So what is a Texas construction worker doing, cooking barbecue in Philly, anyway?
Having a blast, it turns out.
Robert "Bubba" Kolbasowski, who migrated to the Pine Barrens a couple of decades ago, has parlayed his fish-out-of-water life into Bubba-Q, a reality series premiering at 10:30 p.m. Aug. 19 on Food Network.
On Bubba-Q, Kolbasowski and his family and friends create outlandish grills out of cars and whatnot. Bubba also gives provides cooking tips and explains the science behind smoking.
Bubba has been catering for years. His old buddy Steve Ehrenhalt set him up last year in Bubba's BBQ, a bar-restaurant at 19 W. Girard Ave. in Fishtown.
During one of Bubba's "drive-by ribbings" - as he calls his deliveries of BBQ to bars and restaurants - he stopped at the Italian Market bar Twelve Steps Down. Bubba said some people there suggested that he pin his business card to a corkboard at Percy Street BBQ on South Street. A producer at Nancy Glass Productions saw the card and liked Bubba's "look."
"Next thing I knew, they were filming me at a catering job at Sayre Peterbilt in Conshohocken," he said.
Hello, TV. Goodbye, Fishtown.
Bubba yielded his custom smoker at Bubba's, built by metal fabricator Barry Robbins, to new chef Mike Buhles. "No hard feelings," Ehrenhalt says.
If you want Bubba's cue, you can find him most Sundays and Thursdays at Hedger House Bar and Grill in Chatsworth, Burlington County.
Bubba-Q might even be the Food Network's answer to Duck Dynasty. While Bubba's son, Bobby, who has an engineering degree from Fairleigh Dickinson, and business manager Lonni Delane play the voices of reason, you'll get plenty of homespun color from Bubba's older brother George "Fobo" Kolbasowski and Bubba's sister-in-law Arlene Treacy.