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Rudy's Country Store and Bar-B-Q

6401 S. Desert Blvd.
El Paso, TX
(915) 587-8397

It is not usually a cause for celebration when a chain restaurant opens in a city, but I think Rudy's Country Store and Bar-B-Q breaks the mold in what can be expected from an out-of-town company. The gas pumps outside were a little surprising to me since food quality is usually an afterthought at any business whose main purpose is to provide fuel to the motoring public and quickly get them on their way. At Rudy's, though, barbecue seems to be their main mission, with gasoline being an added convenience.

The west side El Paso Rudy's is located at the northwest corner of Interstate 10 and Artcraft, a short distance south of the new outlet mall being built at the Trans-Mountain interchange. Another restaurant has been built on the east side of El Paso on the IH-10 frontage road. Having its start in the Hill Country of central Texas, Rudy's has expanded a bit throughout Texas and New Mexico, but it is still quite a small chain compared to many of the national companies that seem to be located at every major intersection.

While Rudy's brings the cooking techniques of central Texas to all its locations, I got the feeling from the quality of the food that the same personal care and attention to detail was evident as would be found in a locally owned restaurant. The wood smoked barbecue seemed to be done right, with tender meat and a smoky flavor. I would have to say that I get more excited about a really good vegetarian meal than a meat one, but Rudy's seems to be pretty satisfying for those times that I think meat is in order.

Brisket sandwich
Rudy's brisket sandwich with pinto beans on the side

The Brisket Sandwich almost gave me more meat than I could handle. I generally do not turn down the opportunity to finish an order of brisket that is this good, but I was surprised that it seemed to have a substantially larger quantity than is the norm for barbecue restaurants. I liked the cooking method used, and Rudy's "sause" was quite satisfying (although not as good as some I have tried in Oklahoma). It seems that Hill Country barbecue has indeed been transplanted into far west Texas.

Rudy's offers free samples of different meats that you can try before you order. I could have taken this opportunity to write a review of different ones on the menu, but I will just say that the turkey was not nearly as flavorful as the brisket. In fact, I did not even care for the turkey as much as the one at Smokey's Pit Stop, another barbecued turkey that left me underwhelmed.

All the side dishes are sold separately at Rudy's, and along with the meats are available to go or to eat at one of the long tables in the restaurant or outside on the patio. Eating in is not fancy-- plastic utensils are available and the regular or mild "sause" is available on the tables.

The Pinto Beans were not spectacular but they were good. I like the fact that several desserts are available, along with Blue Bell ice cream cups and bars in a freezer. The sandwich gave me enough food, but it is good to have something to go along with it.

A large case full of ice is stocked with drinks including beer and sodas. I almost always avoid soda pop, but the Mexican Jarritos drinks at Rudy's present quite a temptation. I figure if I am splurging with a meat-intensive meal, I might as well get something different for a drink as well.

The "Country Store" at Rudy's sells quite a few items for take-home. The concept is similar to Cracker Barrel, that also tends to locate near Interstate highways and has a country store. At Rudy's, though, the store is not nearly as extensive but the food is a lot better.



Cuisine: Barbecue
Cost: $
Hours: Open Daily
Accessible: Yes
Additional Location: 7970 Gateway East
Smoking: No Smoking
Alcohol: Beer

Most Recent Visit
Aug. 18, 2007

Number of Visits: 1

Best Item

Special Ratings
Brisket Sandwich:
Pinto Beans:

Restaurant Web Site
Rudy's Bar-B-Q