Rudy’s country store approaches dining out differently than the type of restaurants you are used to. You will notice immediately the difference and you may be a little bit confused and caught off guard. However, if you can push past that first moment of perplexity you will find that dining at this BBQ joint is an overall pleasure and Rudy’s ranks among one of the best places to east in Albuquerque.
So what is it about Rudy’s that sets it apart from other restaurants? Well first off they call themselves a “Country Store” rather than a restaurant. Upon hearing this alone you may wonder if you can even eat there or if you simply go there to buy ingredients for an at home BBQ. Well let me first tell you that yes, it is a restaurant, and a very good one for that matter.
Now that you have cleared up that confusion you have decided you want to go eat there. Well when you walk in the door you will see a row of long tables with chairs and then a long winding line up to a couple of cashiers. It may remind you somewhat of a cafeteria lunch back in your high school days. Don’t take this to mean that Rudy’s serves cafeteria food though. Just think back to those glory days of high school lunches and get in the back of the line–which is usually pretty long as this is a popular place to eat.
Once you get to the front of the line you will see the menu, which like everything else about Rudy’s, is different from what you would usually see. Instead of entrees and meals being laid out they have a list of meats ranging from turkey, beef brisket, and pulled pork to chicken or hot dogs. Next to each meat they have a price per half pound. While you can order any amount of meat that you want, a half a pound is a great portion size for a hearty dinner, kids may not need as much. Along with the meats they have a list of great sides including potato salad, cole slaw, baked potatoes, and corn on the cob. And with every meat purchase they include plenty of white or wheat bread to make some BBQ sandwiches back at your table.
So now that you have deciphered the menu and the line, acquired your food, and found a place in the cafeteria to eat, its time to dig in. You will notice immediately how tender and juicy the meat is as well as how substantial the portion size it for your money. Back at the tables they have two containers of BBQ sauce that you can dole out on your meat to your liking. This is a great move in my opinion as BBQ isn’t the same when there isn’t enough sauce. One of the containers has Rudy’s original BBQ sauce which has a bit of a kick, while the other container is labeled “sissy sauce” and lacks the spice but still has the great sweetness. Being a bit of a sissy when it comes to spice, I chose the second option.
Once you have decided on your sauce it is time to construct your sandwich. You can take your bread, add a generous portion of meat, slop on some sauce, and they even have onion, pickles, and peppers to add if you want a little extra kick. Make sure to grab some napkins before beginning your meal however as you will surely make a mess. You have to experience it for yourself but from this moment to about 5 minutes later when my plate was clean, I was in heaven. It was the best BBQ I have had in my life.
The best part is after your meal you get to experience Rudy’s custom, state of the art hand washing machine. They expect you to make a bit of a mess during your meal so they have put in a machine that you simply stick your hands in, and pull them out, and they come out clean and dry! If you are ever in Albuquerque I highly recommend you give Rudy’s a try. Don’t read the book by its cover and remember, country store doesn’t mean they don’t serve food!