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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Counter service

Mon–Thu 6:00am–9:30pm
Fri–Sat 6:00am–10:00pm
Sun 7:00am–9:30pm

Features Kid-friendly, outdoor dining
Bar Beer
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx


Northwest Houston
14620 Northwest Fwy.
Houston, TX
(713) 462-3337
Sun–Thu 7:00am–10:00pm
Fri–Sat 7:00am–10:30pm

20806 IH-45 North
Spring, TX
(281) 288-0916
Sun–Thu 7:00am–10:00pm
Fri–Sat 7:00am–10:30pm
Rudy’s Country Store
Reliably good barbecue wherever you are

Rudy’s is a growing barbecue-and-gas empire that has proliferated not only across Texas, but even into New Mexico. Its façades enjoy a Disneyesque attention to detail, like rough-hewn logs, an unmistakable red-and-yellow palette, and a hokey font—even the writing on the bottles of homemade “sause” is a dead ringer for Walt’s famous signature. Long tables—some picnic-style, others with folding chairs—remind us a bit of a church supper, and red-checked oilcloths lend a down-home feel. Other accoutrements include the requisite neon beer signs and trophy deer heads. Despite bold signs advertising “The Worst BBQ in Texas,” long lines are a frequent thing at lunchtime, but service is relatively fast and often in-your-face friendly. Barbecue is sold exclusively by the pound.

Skip the below-average breakfast tacos and wait for lunch to have some reliable barbecue. We’re especially impressed by tender smoked turkey breast. Extra-moist, fatty brisket is texturally terrific, but less smoky and charred-tasting than the tougher lean brisket. It’s better with a dash of that “sause,” a thick tomato and vinegar concoction that ships worldwide. Sausage is finely ground and peppery, with a jalapeño version that has a lot more fire. Ribs are hit or miss; some have been tough and skimpy, but with a good, tongue-tickling dry rub. Sides are the usual assortment, but Rudy’s does make a whole-kernel creamed corn that is, with its sweetness, a nice change of pace.

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