Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Rudy's Barbecue (Original Location)

SAN ANTONIO: Rudy's Barbecue
24152 W Interstate 10

San Antonio, TX 78257


Open M-Thur 10-10, F-Sun 10-11


Rudy's is such a great concept. Take some gas stations on heavily travelled roadways, and add a BBQ joint in them that actually puts out a decent product. I've enjoyed quite a few meals at Rudy's locations in the past, but I'd always been intrigued by the praises for the original. Everyone says it's so far above the other locations that I was wet with anticipation while making the deceivingly long drive from San Antonio to Leon Springs.

The joint had a solid line formed when I entered, and it was fun to hear the banter between cutters, customers and cashiers. Being in a joint that knows what you mean when you order moist brisket (it's on the menu that way) is refreshing. So was the cold Shiner in tubs lining the way to the counter.

When I reached my picnic table in the front, I couldn't wait to unwrap each meat and dig in. My first bite was of the moist brisket. It was a chewy piece of tasteless gray meat. The fat was not at all rendered, and any form of crust had been trimmed, and any semblance of smokiness went with it. Lean slices looked better, but the fat was chewy at the ends. The flavor was a bit better than the moist, but the smokiness was still lacking. Big and meaty pork ribs were fatty and dry at the same time. A heavy black pepper rub added some much needed flavor, but it wasn't enough to mask the utter lack of smoke. The saving grace was the turkey slices. Nice herbal notes worked well with the light smokiness of these moist slices. Coupled with the sweet creamed corn, it would be my choice if forced to have another meal at this disappointing location.

Rating **

Rudy's Barbecue on Urbanspoon


Hijo Del Sol said...

Rudy's is a great example of expansion destroying the franchise. Before the expansion, they had 4 star bbq, over the years the quality has slowly slid to mediocrity.

David Stanaway said...

The Rudy's in McAllen, TX is almost always good.

I ask for the moist brisket with crust, and most of the time it is actually very good.

I haven't been to any of their other locations, but the McAllen one would definitely be *** and on occasion ****. Just make sure they get the cut you want.

Unknown said...

In addition to the McAllen location David Stanaway suggested (I've never been there), the Rudy's in College Station, TX may also be worth a stop. In my experience, it has the most consistent quality in brisket and turkey. Whereas other locations can have bad days, I don't think I've ever been disappointed by the College Station location's brisket and turkey.

Anonymous said...

The BBQ at the Rudy's in New Braunfels is very good. The brisket is tender and moist, not too fat. The sausage is also very good. Our out-of-state visitors loved the BBQ at this location. They usually go to Stubbs in Austin for BBQ so they know good what good BBQ is all about.

Anonymous said...

Rudy's needs to come to San Diego, Ca.


Each joint is judged on the essence of Texas 'cue...sliced brisket and pork ribs. Sausage is only considered if house made. Sauce is good, but good meat needs no adornment to satisfy. Each review can only be based on specific cuts of meat on that particular day. Finally, if the place fries up catfish or serves a caesar salad, then chances are they aren't paying enough attention to the pits, so we mostly steered clear.