Rudy’s - For those who can’t wait for good barbecue.

Wait a minute, fellow foodies! I was standing in line on opening day of the new Rudy’s Country Store and Bar-B-Q and I had a flashback to standing in line at Disney’s Space Mountain. A sign in front of me said: You are XX minutes from your adventure. The folks at Rudy’s might want to do something like that to manage their line. To be fair, it moved quickly. About 20 minutes from door to ordering at noon. There was no line at 1 pm.

I have been to Rudy’s before in New Braunfels, TX. The new Santa Fe Rudy’s looked exactly the same, a nod to the consistency of a chain establishment. BBQ purists can scoff at a chain BBQ restaurant because they have had the best brisket ever at some hole-in-the-wall place in Fredericksburg. But if you are going to thumb your nose at chain restaurants, you should also stop shopping at Target and Lowe’s. Just sayen…Those are chain stores too.

Once up at the counter, I barked my usual order over the din of kitchen staff yelling orders up, a half-pound of moist brisket, a half order of jalapeño sausage, beans and coleslaw. Everything is served no-frills on parchment paper on plastic trays. A big condiment table provides forks, knives, pickles, onions and napkins that you will need to soak up the grease. The service was efficient and friendly. They were well prepared for the opening. There was no shortage of friendly attendants ready to get you anything or bus your table.

About the food. The moist brisket was moist, tender and good. Not overly salty. I’m not much of a BBQ sauce person on my brisket. I did try both sauces on the table. I assumed one was supposed to be hot and the other mild. They both tasted the same. The coleslaw was bland and the beans lacked depth and spice. The jalapeño sausage was okay. My benchmark is Kreuzer’s hot links. I used to order links from there when I lived in New Jersey. All the meats came hot. I will return to try the pork ribs.

Is Rudy’s going to satisfy the BBQ purists? I doubt it. But for this Jersey boy, who lived in Texas and misses his favorite Q joints, it will do...for now.


Al Wasilewski

Santa Fe Foodie member Al Wasilewski is a retired corporate public relations executive with a passion for cooking and dining out.

After retiring from the corporate world, Al redirected his attention to perfecting his kitchen and cooking skills, attended baking school and received certificates in artisanal and sourdough bread baking.

He started cooking at a very young age, along side his mother, who was training to be a chef. Mostly self- taught, Al is a student of regional Italian cuisine, but is open to new styles and new cuisines, from Asia to the American Southwest.

Al and his family relocated to Santa Fe in 2020, fulfilling a life long dream to live and soak up the rich diverse culture, foods and amazing vistas of the Land of Enchantment.

In his spare time, Al plays tennis, cooks for his family and volunteers for the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce’s Bienvenidos Tourist Information booth at the Santa Fe Plaza during the summer.