Restaurant review

Robin's Real Wood BBQ & Grill

By JOE O'CONNELL, Director and President
First posted January 25, 2002 at 11:02 PM PST (0702 GMT)
Last updated February 19, 2002 at 11:30 AM PST (1930 GMT)

PASADENA, California -- One of the very best barbecue restaurants in Southern California is Robin's Wood Fire B-B-Q & Grill in Pasadena.

Robin's Wood Fire B-B-Q & Grill

Robin's Wood Fire B-B-Q & Grill in East Pasadena cooks only authentic pit barbecue -- which requires that meat be cooked only with the heat and smoke of wood and wood coals.  Real barbecue never uses gas or electricity, and ribs are never steamed or boiled. 

Robin Salzer

Robin's proprietor is Robin Salzer, a Milwaukee transplant.  Robin's has been in the Hastings Ranch section of Pasadena since 1982, when it began as an upscale coffee shop.  In 1999, Robin decided to turn the restaurant, in the words of the Los Angeles New Times writer Meredith Brody, into "a showcase for the barbecuing hobby that had brought him raves for years."  Los Angeles New Time, Vol. 7, No. 2, page 27.

Highly ranked restaurant

Robin's is ranked in the Zagat guide as one of the "Top Three Restaurants for Ribs" in Los Angeles.  Famed Los Angeles restaurant critics such as Elmer Dills and  Merrill Shindler have praised Robin's barbecue as among the very best in the Southland.  According to Elmer Dills in his December 22, 2001 review:

Robins Wood Fire BBQ & Grill in East Pasadena, was recently named as one of the top three BBQ restaurants in LA by the Zagat Guide.  A casual ambiance with lots of memorabilia on the walls and just the right atmosphere for a BBQ place. . . .

[Restaurant visitors should] consider Robins Garbage Can Lid platter with onion rings, fries, hot wings, spare ribs, beef ribs, and links on a garbage can lid.  $16.95 and two can easily share.  Elmer Dills.

Elmer knows and loves barbecue and has written, "If I knew I only had 24 hours left on this earth, my last supper would certainly include all my BBQ favorites."  Elmer Dills.

Hickory logs

Robin's uses only hickory logs and mesquite charcoal to impart a rich, authentic smoke flavor to the ribs, tri-tip, chicken and sausage.

Catering and events

In addition to the restaurant operation, Robin's offers catering services and participates in a variety of community events, at which Robin's sells authentic barbecue to the public. 

Official designation

Robin's has been designated by the California Barbecue Association as an authentic American barbecue restaurant.


The ribs, pork, beef and other barbecue meats are moist, tender and smoky.  The sides are very good.

Robin's would be a success if it was located in Memphis or Kansas City.  For Los Angeles, there is no better barbecue.  Everyone who knows and appreciates real, authentic American barbecue will enjoy Robin's.

Rating:  excellent.


Robin's Wood Fire B-B-Q and Grill
395 North Rosemead Boulevard
Pasadena, California 91107

Phone:  (626) 351-8885




Barbecue Restaurants

Clayton Shurley's Real BBQ
Memphis Minnie's San Fransisco
Pecos Bill's in Glendale
Robin's in Pasadena
Zeke's in Montrose CA

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