Saturday, April 5, 2014


On the drive from San Antonio to Houston, my husband and I decided to stop for BBQ for dinner.  We had been planning on stopping at Pappa's BBQ because we knew we loved it and because we'd gotten burned at Bill Miller's BBQ.  However, we decided to chance it and try something new.  We had seen signs for Rudy's BBQ and Country Store around Texas, and when we passed another sign, my husband decided we should try it. 

indoor dining
outdoor seating area

On first impression, I was surprised at how big the place was.  The decor was very country and outdoorsy with one picnic table after another, but it'd be a great place to feed a hungry family without having to wait for a table.  There was also an outdoor area that looked nice, and inside, the windows looked like they were made like garage doors where you could open them up if the weather were favorable.

We walked through the seating area and up to the line where you order.  There was a huge ice-filled bin with beer and soda.  I looked at some of the sodas and decided to try a Blue Cream Soda since I'd never had one before.  I'd had cream soda but not blue cream.

There was also a refrigerator where you could grab cold sides like coleslaw.  My husband got some coleslaw and banana pudding.

meat being sliced to order
Then we waited for the next register.  While we waited, I noticed that the meat was cut right behind the registers.  It looked delicious.

You order the food by weight.  There aren't any combos, but you could easily make your own combo.  My husband ordered 1/2 a pound of baby back ribs.  The waiter weighed it right at the register to show that it was really 1/2 a pound.  I wasn't sure that looked like enough meat for my husband, so I suggested he order something else too.  He ended up ordering a half-link of jalapeno sausage.

I was torn between ordering a 1/2 pound of pulled pork and a jumbo smoked potato or a jumbo smoked potato topped with pulled pork.  In the end, I decided to go with the potato topped with pork.  The guy at the register asked if I wanted everything on the potato.  "Everything" means sour cream, butter and cheese.  I said no cheese but butter and sour cream on the side.  I let him go ahead and put the pork on the potato though.  The potato really was jumbo!

The guy at the register asked if we wanted any bread to go with the food, and we said no.  He seemed a little surprised that we turned down the free bread, but we didn't need the extra carbs or calories.  I saw some families with practically a whole loaf of white store-bought bread at their table.  I don't remember if it was Wonder Bread, but it looked similar.

fixins bar

We asked for cups for water and took our crate of food over to the beverage station to get water.  There was also a fixins bar.  I grabbed a few sliced onions and some peppers.  I also got plastic silverware.

We chose a picnic table near a window and took all of our food out of the crate.  My husband grabbed some paper towels, and we settled down to dig in.
1/2 jalapeno sausage link & 1/2 lb baby back ribs

jumbo smoked potato with pulled pork

banana pudding

So what did we think?  The food was really good.  We loved all of the meat.  The jalapeno sausage was awesome.  My pulled pork was good and not greasy.  My husband devoured the ribs.  He liked the coleslaw and the banana pudding.  I used a little of the butter and sour cream on my potato, but the potato itself had a delicious smoked flavor that hardly needed anything added to it.  It was too big for me to finish, so my husband helped me out.  He was really impressed at the smoked hickory flavor of the potato.  We need to figure out how to do that at home.

blue cream soda

BBQ sauce, hot sauce & more
What about the Blue Cream Soda?  It kind of tasted like cream soda but with an almost cotton candy taste to it.  It was really sweet.  I'm not used to full-sugar soda, but it was really good.  My husband and I shared it.  It kind of tasted like being at a fair.

And, the negative: we didn't like the BBQ sauce.  There were too kinds of BBQ sauce on the table, spicy and regular, but both tasted too vinegary.  I'm glad we didn't just pour it on our meat without tasting it first.  The meat would've been even better with some good BBQ sauce on it, but it would've been ruined with Rudy's BBQ sauce on it.

In short, we loved all of the food at Rudy's, but since we didn't like the BBQ sauce we probably wouldn't eat here again.  After all, what's BBQ without BBQ sauce?  If I lived locally, maybe I'd bring my own BBQ sauce, but when you're on a road trip, that's not really practical, and I'd rather go somewhere that has good BBQ sauce anyway.  If "BBQ" is in their name, the BBQ sauce better be good!  Next time we'll eat at Pappa's.

Happy eating!

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