4

My Last Supper: Rudy's Bar-B-Q

^
Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

Everyone has that one place, that one food haven that delivers every time. Tried, true and reliable. As I'm moving to Washington D.C., I had to visit Rudy's Bar-B-Q one last time. I will fondly miss it.

The whole experience at Rudy's, from the bright red barn, to the neon signs, to the candy up front, is exhilarating. Granted, it is a bit confusing for newbies -- am I trying to get gas, am I at the country store, can I order one of each meat and why is everyone so happy? Yes, you can get gas here, and the place is also a country store, but I go for the barbecue. And once you try that spicy sauce, you know you have arrived at a carnivore's heaven.

Rudy's has opened four area locations around Houston, Spring, NASA, 290 and now the largest in the world, in Katy.

Back in the 1800s, Rudolph Aue, the son of the founder of a little township called Leon Springs, which sits on the north edge of the Texas Hill Country, opened a one-stop gas station, garage and grocery store. In 1989 and nearly a 100 years later, that same little-store-that-could added barbecue, and today, those same original recipes lure in large, hungry crowds from all over the southwestern U.S.

While in college at UT, I was introduced to Rudy's through a friend. A quick, friendly barbecue meal became a lifelong love of this culinary institution and its wood-fired pit ovens.

Served on white paper spread on a gingham table cover, the half chicken, pork or baby back ribs, jalapeño sausage links, potato salad and sliced white bread, bread, bread were all on the menu. Portion control was not on the agenda.

The meats, rubbed down with a unique dry spice and then flamed up with pit-fired oak, are delicious on their own. But the spicy, dark burgundy "sause" provides an added bite, a firework of flavor that makes this the best barbecue I have ever seen, smelled or tasted.

Driving back from I-10, I lazily sat in a meat-induced food coma, wishing they would just bring the big red barn out to the East Coast. But I guess the two "sause" bottles stashed in my bag will have to do for now.


Follow Eating Our Words on Facebook and on Twitter @EatingOurWords

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.