A few weeks ago I posted to this board asking for BBQ suggestions in the Austin area. Many of you kindly responded so, as promised, here is my take on my first evening of 'cue.
My plane landed in AUS at about 4pm which ruled out a trip to Lockhart. My hotel is in the Research Rd. Area so being tired from the trip and with a bunch of work to do in the hotel room - that of course I should be doing instead of posting this note - I figured close is best.
Rudy's was about what I expected from their web-site. The first thing I noticed were the kids behind the counter imploring peole to 'step right up.' I wanted to peruse the menu a bit and see if I could sneak a peak at what was coming out before ordering but I caught the eye of one of the counter-kids so up I went. He quickly got that I'd never been there before - what a surprise that I don't pass for a Texan - and offered me some samples. Quite nice of him. I had small bites of the turkey (very dry), the lean brisket (not bad but not very good either) and the fatty brisket (easily the best). He also offered a taste of the creamed corn that I enjoyed but had no intention of ordering. I went with the 1/2 lb. of fatty brisket with no sides. Out came the wax paper and what I can best describe as a half-size red laundry basket doubling as a tray. He piled the meat onto the paper along with about 5 slices of bread and sent me on my way. The brisket was nice and tender - the collagen had melted sufficiently - and had a nice smoky flavor but seemed to just miss rising to the sublime. I'd give it a solid 'B.' Hard to put my finger on exactly what was missing, maybe I was hoping for something a little more juicy and a little more smoky. And maybe earlier in the day it would have been just that. It was without a doubt better than what I could get at home and the atmosphere was lively so I had a good time but I'm happy I have one more opportunity to try another place.
Tomorrow morning, due to a 4-hour hole in my schedule, I'll be making the drive to Lockhart. Still haven't decided between Kreuz, Black's or Smitty's but, like always, I'll just follow my nose with report to follow.
Thanks again for all of your wonderful suggestions.