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Ya’ll? I love BBQ. Seriously. And it isn’t because I’m Texan. Sure, good BBQ is a Texas right of passage, but for me? Good BBQ is like a holy experience that soothes my soul. Six years ago when I moved to Texas, I thought I knew what good BBQ was. I was sadly, sadly mistaken. If you’re taking a road trip and are looking for a great road trip stops for families in Texas, you can’t go wrong with a good BBQ place and a big appetite. Here’s the thing; BBQ in Austin is up for debate. Some will say it’s Black’s BBQ in Lockhart. Others will have another choice. We’ve eaten at Black’s and while it’s amazing, I just wasn’t feeling it. Maybe it was the standing in line for 90 minutes just to order, but by the time we ate, I was over it.
Don’t get me wrong. Black’s was fantastic for taste, but like I said; the environment left a lot to be desired. I’m not one for huge crowds – especially when I’m trying to eat – and Black’s is just that. A lot of people trying to cram into a limited space. BBQ in Lockhart is amazing, but when we moved back to the Austin area from North Texas, I wanted something a little closer to home with a lot less people. Enter gas station BBQ.
Things to do in Texas – Visit Rudy’s BBQ in Austin
You heard me. Gas station BBQ. Never in my life did I think that I would be raving about a bbq place that shares a gas station, but here I am doing just that. The four Rudy’s BBQ locations in Austin all share a building with a gas station. Don’t mistake them for cheap and less than stellar bbq though because I guarantee that if you do; they will surprise you. Part of the reason that Rudy’s is so tasty is that they smoke their meat in authentic brick pits. Yes, it really does make a difference in the taste.
They may share a building with the gas station, but the restaurant is completely separate from it. On one end, you’ll find the gas station portion. On the other, Rudy’s “Country Store” and Bar-B-Q. Seating for the restaurant is outside in a sheltered area and done cafeteria style. In other words, you’ll get your own table, but it’s a picnic table.
When you order, you’ll choose between lean or regular brisket, sausages or Saint Louis Style ribs. All of Rudy’s BBQ comes without sauce so make sure that you find a bottle for your table. You can also buy a bottle of Rudy’s Bar-B-Q sause to take with you and yes, we do every time we visit the restaurant. Sides such as potato salad and desserts such as banana pudding are also available. That’s banana pudding you see in the pic above and yes, it is amazing.
Your food is served on paper instead of plates. I won’t tell you how odd this seemed to me the first time it happened, but I get it now. Not only does it make packing up leftovers amazingly easy, but it makes cleanup a breeze too. When you order your BBQ, you’ll be given bread to go with it. Take the bread. The bread is good. The bread is winning!
Sauce your brisket up and chowdown! If you bought dessert, you should totally be a “mean Mom” and make your kids wait until after they’ve had their BBQ to eat it. If you’ve got a picky eater, you might just be surprised at how quickly they down that brisket or those ribs so that they can dig into that banana pudding. It taunts them the entire meal. It’s tasty enough that even as an adult, it may or may not taunt me too. I’ve learned to deal.
That makes it easier to deal. Gather your bread, add your brisket and make yourself one incredibly amazing sandwich. Like I said, bread is winning and once you taste it? You’ll understand. I like food. Food is good. Bread is winning.
Ribs. Don’t forget the ribs. I’ve never had them, but the kid swears by them. They are her go to each and every time we eat at Rudy’s BBQ in Austin. She splits her order. Half get sauce and the other half don’t. I don’t think she can make up her mind on which is best. That’s okay; we’re an equal opportunity household here. Sauce or no sauce; we accept all.
Once you dig in, you’re going to find that eventually you get your heart broken. You’ll reach down to grab another piece and discover sadly that it’s all gone. Don’t lick the sauce off the paper. People might look at you strange if you do. You can always come back again and have more great BBQ in Austin at Rudy’s BBQ.
Oh and if by chance, you can’t finish it all? Wrap it up and grab a to-go bag. You’ll be glad that you did.