I cannot explain the longing for smoked meat on a styrofoam plate that occasionally overtakes me. Rib plate with slaw and beans ($8.73) at Jim Bob’s, February 2007.
West of Austin, on a scrubby stretch of Highway 71 that connects one zillion-dollar subdivision of McTuscan villas to the next, is the dilapidated, corndoggily cow-pokey, caliche-dust-covered shack infested by Jim Bob’s Barbeque [sic]. I can recommend stopping here if you are on your way back to town from a meeting in the creepy exurb of Lakeway that dragged on until 2 o’clock and you find yourself stricken with the kind of melancholy that seeps in through esoteric crevices carved out of your obstreperal lobe by extended lunchlessness and a goddam hot flash. But know in advance that Jim Bob’s decor runs to fly-specked photographs of assassinated rattlesnakes, and that the meat plates are sauce-free.
I never met a smoked rib I didn’t like. I am tortured by it.