Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Texas BBQ Showdown: Rudy's vs. Smokey Mo's

Texas is famous for many things, but the thing I was itchin' to try was its world-renowned barbecue (I'm for sure not itchin' to try its world-renowned death penalty). Yeah, I'm a sucker for something that's both tasty and bad for you (see previous entries on Lubi's and Jreck Subs), and I'm quite a fan of Southern BBQ in general. Back in Florida, there was some excellent barbeue, my favorite variety being pulled pork slathered in a mustard-based sauce with slaw and beans on the side. Then there's the Carolina variety with its characteristic vinegar sauce, but none can compare with Texan BBQ. I am hooked. Here in Austin, there are more barbecue shacks than you can shake a stick at, but let's start the tour with Rudy's and Smokey Mo's, because they've got multiple locations, and both are less than a five minute drive from my apartment.

Rudy's Country Store and Bar-B-Q bills itself as "The Worst Bar-B-Q in Texas," so you know it's good. Although it has it's detractors, who probably object to the fast-food nature of the place, Rudy's serves up a damn fine plate of oak-smoked ribs, the juiciest brisket around, and great side dishes, like the new potatoes drenched in melted butter or their incredible creamed corn. I know, you hear "creamed corn" and you think "nursing home food service," but this ain't your garden-variety creamed corn. Basically, Rudy's creamed corn consists of sweet niblets swimming in a rich blend of heavy cream and creamery butter. It's...creamy. Very creamy. My taste buds exulted as my arteries hardened. Genius.

Honorable mention for their jalapeno sausage links. Awesome.

Smokey Mo's offers a similar menu, but with its own mind-melting variations on the theme. While their brisket isn't as tender and juicy as Rudy's, it is smokier, and no less delicious. They also offer the option of wheat bread instead of just the classic Texas white. Their slaw is also a cut above, but what really sets Smokey Mo's apart from the pack is their sauce, a spicy, lip-smacking concoction that lives up to the "Hot*Hot*Hot..." on label. Man, that is some good sauce, lemme tell ya. I was always partial to a mustard-based sauce, but I have seen the light. Make mine Texas red from now on.

So what we've got here is a dead heat. Both joints serving up a gut-busting cornucopia of down-home deliciousness, each with their own spin on classic Texas BBQ. I've tried other places -- I've only lived here for two weeks, but I've had BBQ approximately every other day -- but Rudy's and Smokey Mo's are my favorites so far. Stay tuned for further reports from the capitol of Barbecue as I experience other fine purveyors of smokey, meaty Texas goodness.


2451 Capital of Texas Hwy
S.Austin, TX 78746
(512) 329-5554

11570 Research Blvd.
Austin, TX 78759
(512) 418-9898

2400 N. IH-35
Round Rock, TX 78681
(512) 244-2936

7709 FM 620
Austin, TX 78726
(512) 250-8002


HEB Center, 100 E. Whitestone, Suite 158
Cedar Park, TX 78613
(512) 528-0500

1601 I-35 South, Suite 320
Round Rock, TX 78664
(512) 828-4050

6001 W. Parmer
Austin, TX 78727
(512) 918-0002

717 South Hwy 183
Liberty Hill, TX 78642
(512) 515 - 0659


806051 said...

Well, I was going to have a late lunch today, but not after reading your delicious tales of culinary delight - Texas Style. Though my options will be most likely less artery clogging, I won't have nearly as good a story...or meal to go with my lunch break.

Craig D said...

I followed you here from the garagepunk.com forums.

I'm floored by your recent triple job-loss and relocation to TX!

Anyway, I have added you to my blogroll so's I can keep track of what's going on.

Truly, you are an Unemployed Renaissance Man!