"Memphis barbecue is different than any other," the elder Robinson states proudly from behind the counter where he takes customers' orders. "Hell, in the north, they'll do beef. And they cut their pork up in chunks," he adds scornfully. Sometimes, he says, they even mince it before dressing it with sauce and piling it into a white bun. In Kansas City, beef brisket and spareribs, both cooked with assertive, tomato-based vinegar sauce, are the specialties. Here, at the Cozy Corner, Robinson coats pork shoulder and ribs with his secret rub, a dry mixture of various spices that probably includes a ton of red and black pepper and at least some garlic salt. I suggest this, and, true to the Southern cook's way, he doesn't confirm or deny a thing. But, over the strains of Aretha Franklin, he does tell me, "We cook it real slow." The true secret, he says in his low Memphis drawl, is in the smoke that comes from the meat juices dripping onto the hickory coals in the pit. "That's where you get your flavor," he adds. "That flavor was put in by our ancestors—and that's the flavor we look for."