Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Rudy's Country Store and BBQ - Webster, TX

There's a lot of BBQ in Texas. Everything from mom and pop joints to more widely available chains. Rudy's is one of those chains. I know what you might be thinking; a chain, how good can it be? Well, as it turns out, surprisingly good for a place that also sells gas. Rudy's started life as a gas station and grocery store located in the Texas Hill Country town of Leon Springs. They added barbecue in 1989 and the rest as they say is history. Rudy's has expanded from its small town origins and now locations can be found all over the southwestern United States.

Rudy's is set up as what I've come to know as a typical "meat market" style barbecue spot. You stand in a snaky line and wait for your turn at the ordering counter. You then order the meats you want by the half pound or on a sandwich. (The menus are posted on the walls)

We ended up ordering some pork loin, turkey and links of sausage. There was also prime rib available the day we were there so we grabbed some of that.

The only side we got was Rudy's Green Chili Stew. The stew is a blend of chilies, potatoes, carrots and pork. I think it's pork anyway; full of flavor in any case. They offer several different sides and desserts too.

Green Chili Stew
We've been to Rudy's a few times and I have no doubt that we'll be going back. Ice cold beer and good barbecue, it doesn't get much better than that. If you're in Texas or the southwest don't hesitate to give Rudy's a try. It's the real deal.

Happy dining!

Note: A new BBQ place has opened nearby that is being compared to Franklin Barbeque in Austin. As some of you may have read here Franklin has the best BBQ we've ever had. We'll be heading to the new spot to see for ourselves. Stay tuned for the results.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Let's Eat!

If there is a best part of being on the road it just might be the chance to try some great food. Over the years the Dining Companion and I have had the good fortune to dine all over the country. Today I'm going to run down some of the best places we've tried. Places worth seeking out if you're in the area and some places worth a journey all their own.

I've written about this before but my hands down favorite breakfast place is the Red Eyed Mule in Marietta, GA. A small breakfast and lunch spot run by a great group of people. The food is fresh and imaginative and doesn't disappoint.

Sometimes finding the goods means getting out of the city. One of the best places to find something good to eat is along the Buford Highway that runs from Atlanta to Buford, GA.The Crawfish Shack had some of the best Cajun style seafood we've eaten anywhere. A trip out to the Buford Highway is a must do when in the Atlanta area.

Our vote for the best barbeque is still Franklin Barbeque in Austin, TX. We can't compare this to anything else because it's in a class by itself. All we can say, is that if you love BBQ and want to experience the best, head to Franklin in Austin.

Having eaten at many Brazilian Steakhouses it was a revelation to eat at a restaurant that served other traditional Brazilian food. On the recommendation of our server at Fogo de Chao we tried Sao Paulo's in Austin. The food we had was flavorful and interesting. It brought another ethnic food to our awareness and something else to seek out in our travels.

One of my favorite things to eat has got to be a cheeseburger. Cheeseburgers are pretty ubiquitous and we've eaten them everywhere. The ones that stand out are not necessarily the fanciest or most gourmet. One of my favorite places to get a cheeseburger is the Northgate Soda Shop in Greenville, SC. A nostalgia filled diner that serves up some regional favorites. Specifically the Carolina Slaw Dogs and the Pimento Cheeseburger. Worth seeking out. A local favorite and a fun stop.

An honorable mention here for The Vortex in Atlanta. It served up one of the most memorable burgers for sheer size and ridiculousness. Grilled cheese sandwiches for buns, multiple patties, bacon and cheese. A crazy over the top plate of goodness.

In the last but not least category we have Corea Kalbi in Newport Beach, CA. This was our first encounter with Korean BBQ. All types of meats are grilled at your table and served with a large variety of condiments. We'd never had anything quite like it and haven't really since. If you're lucky enough to have a Korean BBQ restaurant in your area you should give it a try. One of the most fun and interesting dining experiences we've had.

These are just of a few of the places that have stood out for us over the years. Places that I would return to again given the opportunity.We're looking forward to more interesting and exciting dining in the future. When we find the gems, whether hidden or smack in the middle of the tourist districts, you'll read about them here.

Happy dining!