It’s rare for a public establishment of any variety in Norman to have a University of Texas Longhorns banner on prominent display. Rudy’s Country Store and Bar-B-Q has one, along with those of the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University, hanging high over the dining room. (The owner lives in Texas but went to OU.)
Rudy’s menu is posted on an enormous board so you can decide while standing in line. The selections have a few quirks. There’s “lean brisket” and there’s “moist brisket,” which means with some fat. Unlike nearly every barbecue joint from coast to coast, Rudy’s does not serve french fries. It does, however, have new potatoes, baked potatoes and potato salad. You can get a side order of green chili stew.
Barbecue sauce is spelled “sause,” and there’s an explanation for that printed on Rudy’s T-shirts for sale: “Because taste is more important than spelling.” Prepare to be denigrated if you want the mildest sauce, which is labeled “Sissy Sause.” Rice Krispy treats are among the dessert selections. Service at the counter was fast and friendly.
At the heart of barbecue in these parts is the brisket. Rudy’s beef is tasty. All meals are served with Sunbeam Bread’s Texas Giant white bread. Cram some brisket between a couple of slices and it is a tasty barbecue sandwich.
Snow-white hickory-smoked turkey breast slathered with “sissy sause” was among the best tastes. Texas sissies must be tougher than the garden variety because this sauce boasts a robust black pepper bite.
The coleslaw was unseasoned shredded cabbage and carrot with absolutely no dressing of any kind whatsoever. Rudy’s beans naturally are of the pinto variety. Shredded smoked meat and plenty of spice in them rated a double thumbs-up.
Rudy’s has a Conoco gas station out front. The “country store” is of the modern convenience variety with beer and soft drinks. Enter the restaurant by joining other customers in a line that’s regulated by livestock control-type railing for your turn to place an order at the counter.
Long dining tables are pushed together in rows resembling a German beer garden that Rudy’s calls “family style.” Around the perimeter are lots of picnic tables if you don’t want to make new friends.
The room decor is made up of various vintage automotive and agricultural product signs.
Serve yourself at a nearby soft drink beverage station. It has directions on a sign that reminds, “Your Mother is not here. Please clean up your own mess.” Low-point beer may be purchased separately in the country store and carried to the dining room.