We were happy when Rudy's finally came to town.
"Finally," we thought. "We can get decent Q without going all the way to Austin."
Well, that was true, for a while. I don't know what has happened, but their quality has fallen off. A lot.
Recently, my wife and I went for Brisket sandwiches, and were sore disappointed. The buns fell apart before we finished. The meat was not fall-apart soft, and not moist. It was very nearly dry, and took considerable chewing. At least the young man knew what I meant when I asked for burnt ends, but all he gave me were some slices that came near an end. The edge of the slices did have that black bark, but these were not Rudy's burnt ends!
Last night, the family gathered at this same Rudy's location (near Yarborough) for a birthday celebration, and I should point out that this was not the first time we met at Rudy's for such an occasion.
The beans were cloudy and almost mushy. The potato salad was gooey. And the pulled pork? Wow. I never had tried their pulled pork, and after the few bites I could stomach last night, I know why that was. Having made pulled pork myself, I know how it should be made, and what it takes to produce flavorful, juicy, great pulled pork. Rudy's cooks do not. That stuff was served in a great big foam cup, like about a quart size. It just lay there, in the cup. Basically, it had the appearance of shredded meat, with the only color being the color of cooked meat. Not particularly moist, no sign of spices, and already tasting stale!
That's right. It was not recently made. And, behind that staleness, it was bland! Pulled pork! Bland! At Rudy's!
The brisket was cold, dry, and showed no sign of bark. The turkey (I think it was turkey; I did not eat any) just lay there, white, dry, and cold looking. The sausage was spicy, but obviously was just laid near heat long enough to warm it, without getting a chance to absorb any smoke (if there was indeed any smoke involved in cooking any of this stuff), or the appearance of having come from a barbecue pit.
I also passed on the corn, which was mostly some milky looking thing with pieces of yellow niblets visible within.
All in all, I think Barbecue, or Q, has left the us high and dry (pun intended) again. El Paso once more has nothing much to choose from, other than Smokey's run of the mill ho-hum, El Paso style.