LINCOLN SQUARE — Barbecuing is an addictive hobby.
It's the minutiae of the craft — the temperature of the coals, time on the grill, the flavoring of the wood chips and the tweaking of spice rubs and sauces — that hooked Bob Farster on the art of smoked meats and led to his not-so-secret identity as the namesake behind Bobby's Q, a barbecue pop-up holding its second event on Sunday.
"You can cook the same piece of meat the exact same way and it turns out different every time," Farster said of barbecue's appeal.
Having honed his technique over the last four or five years, Farster found himself lamenting with his equally obsessed pals, Brian Orchard and Jeff Gagliano, that "we couldn't find a place in town with stuff we liked as much as what we made."
Bobby's Q is the answer to that dilemma. The quasi-pit masters — none are trained cooks — plan to operate the pop-up monthly out of Borelli's Pizza, 2124 W. Lawrence Ave. Farster, who lives across the street from the restaurant, persuaded owner Mark Borelli to occasionally loan out his kitchen, which is otherwise closed on weekends.
At its first outing in December, Bobby's Q served 110 plates and ran out of barbecue in just four hours.
"This time is looking bigger," Farster said of preparations for Sunday, which involve 150 pounds of meat.
Doors open at 11 a.m. and close when the last pulled pork or beef brisket sandwich is served. Mac 'n' cheese and cole slaw are also on the menu.
"It's just fun. I just enjoy it so much," said Farster, who owns a pair of children's hair salons in the suburbs and has no plans to turn his passion into his profession.
"A 70-hour work week running a restaurant" is not something that interests him, he said. "The idea that I don't have to do this as a job is appealing."
There's really no downside to the pop-up, he noted. Worst-case scenario, nobody shows, and he and his partners "get stuck with a lot of smoked meat."