Friday, April 12, 2013
Rudy's Country Store & Bar-B-Q (Denton, TX)
Today I was in Denton for work, so I decided to make the most of things and sample some great local 'que. I was only a few miles from Rudy's, which has an excellent reputation for serving up delicious smoked meat.
You won't find any frills at Rudy's. There are only long communal folding tables and uncomfortable metal folding chairs, so sit down and make some new friends. On the side of the main dining room, there is a deep handwashing sink (well, really a trough), which I'm guessing is meant for the rib eaters. If you're looking for uppity things like plates, Rudy's isn't for you. Luckily, they do have forks and napkins, so you can maintain some sense of civilization.
The menu is a little confusing at first. Basically your only option is to order meats a la carte by the pound (or fraction thereof). There are sandwiches available, but no combos. I ordered 1/2 lb. of moist, fatty brisket and a half link of regular sausage. The cold sides are pre-packaged in the fridge, so just pick up whatever you want while you make your way through the line. I snagged a small container of potato salad to round out my meal. When I looked at the incredible duo of meats on my tray, I immediately knew that no barbecue sauce (or "sause" as Rudy's calls it) would be needed here.
As much as I wanted to dive into the brisket, I started with potato salad. There were big chunks of large-dice potatoes, but surprisingly not much crunch. Basically just potatoes, though I did find a good mix of mayo and mustard. The main downside was that, having come straight from the fridge, my potato salad was ice cold. I would have preferred it served a little less chilled.
Now, on to the meat. The brisket looked fantastic sitting before me, plate or no plate. There was a hefty black crust and a big red smoke ring. I could also see it glistening with juicy goodness. Initially, I feared that 1/2 lb. would be too much for a lunch portion, but once I started, I quickly and easily devoured it all. The brisket was amazingly tender and crumbled apart in my mouth. It had a nice smoky flavor, coupled with a very tasty blend of spices and seasonings. The beautifully rendered fat only added to the smokiness. I also got some delicious pieces of bark, and even a few burnt ends. Score!
I opted for regular sausage over the jalapeno variety, mostly so I could get a good feel for the flavor. My big half-link was split down the middle, which gave me a great view of the cracked pepper and assorted spices within. The casings had a very nice snap. I didn't find quite as much smoke as I would have liked, but it was certainly noticeable. The sausage was tasty, though it paled in comparison to the brisket.
Most of the employees were wearing t-shirts which read: "I didn't claw my way to the top of the food chain...to eat vegetables!" I couldn't agree more. If you are fortunate enough to try Rudy's barbecue, skip the veggies and load up on their delicious meats.
Rudy's Country Store & Bar-B-Q
520 S. Interstate 35E
Denton, TX 76205