By Ed Peaco | News-Leader.com
Bob Craver opened his food truck in January after years of cooking meat at his home and striving for ever-better results. The outcome is a menu focused on pulled pork, brisket and ribs — lively seasoned, boldly smoky.
“I’d been doing it for 10-12 years in the back yard and just perfected it,” in part by injecting his pork with flavors, Craver said. “I thought, this is really good; I need to market this. The food trucks are coming on. I thought it’d be a good idea.” He sold his independent insurance agency to concentrate on the new business.
Starting this week, Smokin’ Bob’s is located in the parking lot of Transport Graphics on the east side of North Glenstone Avenue just north of Chestnut Expressway.
Carver said he uses paprika, black pepper and sugar on his rubs. Chili powder is present in the brisket rub and absent in the pulled pork rub, which has brown sugar. He provides a sauce — regular or spicy — based on the Carolina style, vinegar-based but thicker than typical from that region.
Here are three popular choices, which come with a drink and beans, slaw or chips.
Pulled pork wrap with coleslaw($7): This creative selection collects items that you would find on a barbecue plate and allows you to taste them all at once. The homemade slaw has just a hint of sweetness, and the crunch adds texture with the pork. The hearty sun-dried tomato wrap brings everything together.
Pulled pork sandwich ($7): Once the sandwich is in your hands, the hickory aroma inflames the appetite: you cannot resist. The meat is tender and juicy, and the bun is sturdy enough to contain the meat while you eat.
Brisket sandwich ($8): The beef has a mellower flavor but the smoke remains strong.
A side of beans ($2 for 8 ounces, $4 for 16 ounces) brings another surge of flavor — onion, bell pepper, brown sugar and Craver’s spicy sauce.
Smokin’ Bob’s is a simple operation that focuses on the meat. There’s no fryer in the truck, and therefore no fries. The food has attracted a steady following during the first few months of business, which Craver said he finds gratifying.
“When I give you a sandwich, you’re going to come back for another one,” he said. “If people say that’s very, very good, or it’s the best I’ve ever had, that’s what I like to hear.”
Smokin’ Bob’s BBQ
Hours: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday at Transport Graphics parking lot on North Glenstone Avenue just north of Chestnut Expressway; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday at Harter House, 815 Kenneth St. in Nixa
Facebook: “Smokin’ Bob’s BBQ”