Rudy’s BBQ is now an institution and loved by people far and wide. If you head just a little bit north of San Antonio you will find a small town called Leon Springs. This quiet place might have been forgotten if it was not for a man called Max Aue. Max Aue had a son called Rudolph (Rudy) and he opened a gas station, grocery store and garage. This was all back in the 1800s but in 1989 it was decided that bbq should be added to the operation. With this addition, Rudy’s “Country Store” and Bar-B-Q was born. Ever since that day, tasty bbq has been served up and they are now stretching their business throughout the Southwest. They keep the same original recipes and this is one of the mainstays of their excellent reputation.
Rudy’s BBQ has kept on growing and it is now one of the most famous barbecue chains in the country. At the time of writing, there are 45 stores located across five states. These states are Texas, Arizona, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Colorado. They also cater to the online market now which has again expanded their reach. To keep in line with the original store many of them sell gas and the level of consistency from one store to another is tremendous. There is a simple set of rules that all restaurants follow. The meats are always seasoned with the house dry rub, the slow smoking is completed with oak and the food is always served with the house barbecue sauce.
When you go to a Rudy’s bbq joint you are going to experience the feeling that you would get from a traditional Texas roadhouse barbecue place. Sure it’s not perfect but for a chain restaurant, they do a very good job! They are cavernous in appearance and decorated like an outdoor eatery that just happens to be inside. You should expect to see lots of beer logos dotted around as well as neon lights and old road signs. There is normally a line that zig-zags up and down a bit similar to what you would see at the airport. The line, however, is fast-moving.
When you get up towards the counters you will start to see many steel roughs that have all sorts of soft drinks, beers, and local sodas. These are filled with ice and chilled to a nice cool temperature. All of the sides are packaged already and you just collect the ones you want on the way to the register.
Rudy’s BBQ has a Texan Flair
You are going to get a lot of Texan flair in the restaurants. This is pretty obvious as most outlets are in Texas. You will find the pits just behind the counter which always makes the experience that little bit more special. When you get to the counter the meat is cut by hand and then served up on butcher paper. It comes with lots of white bread all sliced already. You will find napkin dispensers, plastic cutlery, fountain soda a salad station. The station is packed with pickles, jalapenos, pickled carrots, cherry peppers, and other delights. You can either sit at long tables with other patrons or there is a selection of two and four-seater tables. You won’t need to look far to find sauce bottles as they are everywhere and also handwashing stations for when you get in a mess.
But what about the food? Is it worth it? There is a huge array of smoked meats available. Everything from turkey breast, pork loin, chopped beef, beef brisket, pulled pork, baby back ribs, St. Louis spareribs, prime rib, and sausage. This kind of assortment is not available at that many bbq joints.
The whole thing started in Texas so it comes as no surprise that the brisket is fantastic and the most popular choice. You can have a choice of either lean or moist. The moist brisket is so juicy and succulent that it is by far the better choice in my opinion. Another great choice is the pulled pork. It is chunky and has not been shredded as much as other places serve it.
For the not so great side, we would have to say the ribs are not the best. We found them to be a little lacking in flavor and with little punch. This being said, they are meaty and always cooked well.
If you love sausages (who doesn’t?) then you will be very satisfied. These are sliced links and they are pretty dense. They are incredibly tasty with a nice texture. The regular sausage is spicy enough so I cannot comment on the jalapeno sausage.
More Rudy’s BBQ Info
One of the standout features you get at Rudy’s BBQ is that the food is generally hotter than most other places. This is not limited to the sausage but also the sauce as well. You can choose between the original and the sissy. You will also note that the jalapenos and pickled carrots are very hot!
The side dishes are very solid indeed. The coleslaw is constantly being refilled as it is incredibly popular. It has a crunchy and fresh taste to it. The creamed corn is pretty good, especially if you like it very creamy. There are no bad sides and the selection is strong. For a chain, I would say the meats are highly impressive. Especially considering the vast quantities that they serve up. This joint really has brought Texas barbecue to the people. It is efficient, organized and reasonably priced.
Is it Worth a Huge Travel?
The answer is probably no. It is a fantastic choice and it makes obtaining authentic Texas barbecue very easy. The price is good and the service quick. If you are within a reasonable driving distance then I would definitely say you should come. If you are planning a bbq touring trip then there are better choices out there. Will I go back again? Absolutely! Check out their Facebook to see their huge following.
Do you love brisket and want to make your own? Check out this ultimate guide!