Monday, May 25, 2015

A Taste of Texas: Rudy's Country Store and Bar-B-Q

This past Memorial Day weekend, my husband and I went to San Antonio. As a couple who grew up near Kansas City, we were interested in trying some authentic Texas barbecue. We had some car problems, so we asked the guy who worked at the mechanic shop we went to. He said to go to Rudy's Country Store and Bar-B-Q because it was the best and most authentic in the area. There were a couple others around but he said not to go to those, go to Rudy's. So, that's what we did.

Chopped meat
Pulling up, it looked like a gas station, but once I got closer I noticed it was a restaurant with a gas station attached. There's an area to come in and wait in line for your to-go order, an outside, covered dining area and an inside dining area. First, we stood in line to order our food. Behind the counter, and right where you can see them, people are chopping meat to order. After telling the cashier what I wanted, he yelled out to the butchers what he needed, then built my order and I paid. Of course, Ryan and I got a little bit of everything.

The food is served on a tray with parchment paper that acts kind of like a plate. Although, there are no plates -- just meat on parchment. It works. I also bought a drink cup and the proceeds went to veterans in need. With Lackland AFB in San Antonio, there are all kinds of armed services benefits around, lucky for my sister and cousin who were with us, they got military discounts pretty much everywhere we went.

Fatty brisket. 
I wanted to try the chopped meat, which was a mixture of chicken, brisket and pork. It came in a sauce and chopped in small pieces, not pulled like I'm used to back home. I think I would have liked it more if I liked their sauce more. The sauce is made with a lot of black pepper and I couldn't get over that, I'm not a fan of a lot of black pepper. It was a thick sauce, just too much pepper. The meat was good, and I liked that they served their meats with thin-sliced white bread because I made a sandwich with the meat. It was good that way. They also give out little bags of sliced dill pickles and raw onions, so I added pickles to mine.

The brisket was my favorite. My only complaint is that I got fatty, chewy brisket that could hardly be eaten, but my mother got a better order of the lean meat, (not pictured), more of what you'd expect of brisket. It was smoked, juicy and tender. I didn't even use sauce because I didn't think it needed it. Same with the turkey and the half-chicken. My sister got the half-chicken and let me try a bite. It was juicy, smoky and tender. No sauce needed, which was good because as I said before, I wasn't a fan of the sauce. I like mine sweeter, maybe even with more vinegar.

Cream corn.
The sides were just as good as the meats.

I loved the cream corn. It's not your canned crap that's like mush. This was whole-kernel corn in a creamy, delectable sauce. The kernels are firm, but tender and the sauce is creamy. While waiting in line, I saw a huge sign about how it's a secret family recipe that many people have tried to figure out over the years. The cashiers hand out samples to guests in line, and I bet most people order the cream corn after sampling it. It's so good. If you don't like cream corn I would recommend trying this anyway, I think you'll like it.

The potato salad and cole slaw were both good. The coleslaw was pretty typical, and reminded me of coleslaw you can get most places like Long John Silver's or KFC. I loved the potato salad. It was creamy, mostly mayonnaise based with some mustard, but not too much. There were a few peppers and some onions, but not too many as to be overwhelming. I would order this potato salad again.

I enjoyed the food at Rudy's. If I come across one again, I would return. You can find their restaurants in Colorado, Arizona, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas. There are a lot more locations in Texas than anywhere else, of course, and I remember seeing quite a few of them on the drive home on I-35. For all of their locations, click HERE. I did like the food, I just wasn't a fan of the sauce. It was too peppery for me and not sweet enough for my tastebuds, yet I would return. The meat was smoked just right and everything was good. I'd recommend it to any barbecue fan, especially someone who wants to check out Texas-style.

I'm still a Kansas girl at heart and enjoy Kansas City barbecue the best. I like the Kansas City sauce better. It's thick, sweet and sometimes spicy. Plus, there's pulled pork, my favorite, and there was just none to be found at Rudy's. Texas did good, but KC wins this round.