With a week off to play before my next job, I'm visiting friends in Austin, Tex., reacquainting myself with the excellent eateries in this city. One such no-nonsense place is Rudy's Bar-B-Q. Each Rudy's location adjoins a Shell gas station, which may seem off-putting to non-Texans, but here in the land of oil and cars, that's a handy thing. Rudy's produces brisket, pork spareribs, smoked turkey and sausage. All are good, especially the brisket (which, of course, is the core meat of Texas BBQ).
As they approach the counter to order, diners at Rudy's grab their favorite beverage out of large tubs that are filled with ice. Then you order your sides and meat (generally by the 1/2 pound). Food is eaten at family-style tables. Rudy's strange tagline (displayed on its sign) should be off-putting to customers: "Worst BBQ in Texas." But anyone who has eaten at Rudy's knows this is a case of self-deprecating humor.