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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Dinner Report: Rudy's...

We were flipping through the TV channels the other day and happened upon the last part of some show called BBQ Pitmasters on TLC. Aside from the hoakie "You've been voted off the island" feel to it, the show did feature Warren Sapp and food, so that made it worth watching for a minute or two. The show also made my wife suddenly have a hankerin' for some Rudy's BBQ.
Whenever people are having out of town visitors in our office and they want some good Texas BBQ, for some reason everybody wants to go to Rudy's. It isn't bad - in fact, Rudy's is quite good - I guess I just don't get all giddy the way everyone else does.

Rudy's has branched out to Oklahoma, Colorado, New Mexico and loads of locations throughout Texas, so technically, I don't think that makes them any less of a chain than Bill Miller's or Grady's, right? But I do like how they have kept up the look and feel of an old general store and gas station. And, they still serve you your food on butcher paper carried in a plastic soda carrier.
I think most local readers think of the Leon Springs location when you mention Rudy's, but the Sea World location on Westover Hills is just a few stop lights from our house. You'll find the smokehouse is where you do your ordering and paying and such, then you can either head out to the many picnic tables surrounding the place or inside the general store for rows of air conditioned tables. We opted for inside, thanks.
We went in with the idea of sharing a few meat selections so we ordered a half pound of brisket and a half pound of baby back ribs. We also got a side of creamed corn and some potato salad. That big green thing in the picture is a sliced dill pickle. Along with some drinks, you are looking at $25 worth of food.
Rudy's brisket is good but for my money, you're going to want to add some of their sauce to it. Ditto for the ribs. I do think that the sauce really does work well - and you can buy some to take home, so that tells me that others feel the same way.
I don't know anybody who doesn't like Rudy's creamed corn - assuming you like creamed corn to start with. This picture doesn't do justice, so you are just going to go an order some for yourselves and tell me what you think. Good stuff. The potato salad is fine - nothing to make me crave it, but it certainly was worthy of cleaning my cardboard serving container.

On a high note, as we were dining there was a couple sitting at a table a few rows away from us. A manager was walking through the dining room asking everyone how their food was and this couple commented that their ribs were a bit lacking in meat. She walked back to the pit area and returned in a minute or two with a foil wrapper full of fresh ribs and asked him if this would work. She did it in a very friendly and apologetic way to make sure the couple were satisfied with their order - and they were. I looked down at our butcher paper full of empty bones but decided she might not be as accommodating. Bottom line, that was some good customer service.

What's your take on Rudy's or any of the chain BBQ places? Won't you leave a comment below?


the pistolero said...

Never have eaten at Rudy's, but I really like Bill Miller's -- and not just because of my fond memory of it as the first place at which I ate in San Antonio after I met Sabra. For what it is, it's damn good.

Albatross said...

I am one of the few people who dislikes Rudy's sauce. It's too peppery. And, call me curmudgeonly if you will, but I prefer my restaurant food to be served on plates, or at least in their own containers. If I'm going to be spending that much money on BBQ, I'd rather not get it flipped to me on wax paper.

Bottom line: Rudy's has good BBQ, but the minuses outweigh the pluses, and I wouldn't choose to eat there if there were another option.

Maureen said...

I haven't eaten at Rudy's in years....don't even know why not! I love the peppery sauce. The last time I ate there, and it's been probably 16-17 years, they sold prime rib or ribeye ( one of those two ) by the pound and it was fork-tender. Next time we went, they had stopped selling it. Boo. Whatever, though, we just really don't crave BBQ much when we are going out, so we've avoided Rudy's.

Are you two going to be brave enough to try D-lo's Family Food Joint right there by our hood? LOL can't wait for the review!

M2 said...

We love Rudy's, but my waistline not so much! Still, we go regularly and it is consistently good. I can’t fathom why anyone would go to Bill Miller’s if there is a Rudy’s nearby, except maybe for their sweet tea. Otherwise, Rudy’s has them beat hands down.

Rudy’s “sause” is good but I still prefer Sweet Baby Ray’s.

Oh, and Rudy’s not only gives a military discount, but they also always thank you for your service which I find to be really nice.

Other than Augie’s, there isn’t much choice for good BBQ in SA. Floore’s in Helotes has a nice pulled pork sandwich; but for great BBQ there is only one choice…Rudy’s!

Cheers! M2

Jake said...

Try BBQ Station on 410 at Harry Wurzbach. It's leaner than most, but that's how I like it. Their beef ribs are the best, as is the potato salad.

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I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.

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