Rudy's Country Store & BBQ

I12/08/13 12:08pm - This is where the "worst bar-b-q in Texas" empire began. This is the original Rudy's. Now there are over 30 restaurants across 5 states. Yep, adding BBQ to the grocery store and gas station business back in 1989 worked out pretty good. So how does the original compare to the franchise?

I scored the original Rudy's an 86 out of 100. This is Reserve Grand Champion Texas BBQ.

Smoke: Oak. Stacks and stacks of post oak used in real brick pits. The franchise locations use wood fired Olyers.

Brisket: Very Good. A 5/16 impressive smoke ring beneath a thick substantial bark. Tested tough of tender just like the franchise. Same rub and oak smoke flavor as the franchise. Overall this brisket tastes better than the franchise, hands down. The difference is the full intense smoke flavor from the brick pits. If you love Rudy's BBQ, don't miss an opportunity to eat at the original.

Ribs: Fair. Must have caught them on a bad day. I have had better ribs here in the past. Tested tough of tender with much tearing and dirty bone. Overall flavor was dull. Full smoke but little else.

Sausage: Good. This is a different link than what is served in the franchise. My first thought is this a big smokey yummy hot dog! Fine ground pork and maybe beef with salt, mild spice and no aftertaste. Great smoke flavor. I envisioned putting this big link on a bun covered in Chile and cheese.

Sauce: Excellent. What can I say? This is the best sauce in the state. My own recipe is an attempt to duplicate this sauce. Before the franchise exploded, the wife always sent instructions to buy a bottle when coming back from the deer camp.

Overall I am impressed how well the franchise compares to the original. There are other big name Texas BBQ joints that have expanded their business, but none have done it better than Rudy's.
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