Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Rusty Star BBQ

WACO: Rusty Star BBQ
10600 North River Crossing
Waco, TX 76712
Open M-F 10:30-8

We missed Ted Nugent by five minutes. It was a running joke as we were driving here since the only reason I'd heard of the place was because I saw The Nuge sharing some brisket here with Anthony Bourdain on an episode of No Reservations a few years back (check the 7:25 mark of this video). As I ordered at the counter, Nick shot some photos around the place and the owners said that we were a few minutes late with the camera since The Nuge had just left. I thought they were joking at first, but we had in fact had some poor timing. We ate quickly and had the odd experience of trying to hunt down the most famous modern hunter in Texas after the meal, but he had already left the hardware store down the road.

Back at the Rusty Star, the food was damn good. Creamy pea salad was made with plump frozen peas instead of mushy canned ones. A potato salad was mashed in texture and brought some heat with the addition of jalapenos. Good stuff. Meats were smoked over pecan in a Southern Pride rotisserie. The ribs didn't fare so well in the gas cooker. A crust hadn't developed over the rub that tasted of poultry seasoning and was too heavily applied. It just wasn't good. The chopped/pulled pork had great smokiness from the crust and good smoke, and was the best meat on the plate. A well cooked brisket was better than expected. A good crust surrounded the moist meat giving it some great smoky flavor. The meat was tender and the fat well rendered, but it just needed more salt. Even with the small quibble, it was some of the better brisket I've had from a gas cooker. After this visit I could see why Uncle Ted is a regular, I just wish I could have gotten his recommendations first hand.

Rating ***

1 comment:

Big jim said...

Ribs gotta be cooked at hotter temp on a gasser.!


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.