Once I wrote about Rudy’s barbecue, and people didn’t care much for my opinion. They hurled insults and hurt my feelings (just kidding — I don’t have feelings).
So it’s always with great trepidation that I write about barbecue because someone’s likely to disagree. Fine. Disagree. I’ve probably said this before, but arguing about barbecue is like arguing about your favorite color. You like what you like.
Anyway, we like the two-car-garage-size Colorado Smokehouse a great deal. Shame about having to be in Fountain, but it’s worth the trip. Maybe someday they’ll have a downtown location!
Colorado Smokehouse does things a little differently than other BBQ spots. Instead of focusing on one type, like Kansas City style or Memphis, Colorado Smokehouse offers a variety. Smart move. And the workers when we were there were very nice and accommodating with all our dumb questions.
Even The Gazette and The Indy agree: This is fine, fine barbecue. And when your two major papers come together like this in praise of food (“nirvana in a foam container”), well, it almost makes you think all the world’s problems can be solved if only everyone’d just sit down somewhere and have some barbecue.
Adrienne had the chicken sandwich with the Carolina vinegar sauce. Her side was the macaroni and cheese, which has bacon in it (they might consider adding that info on the menu for the weird people like Adrienne who try to not eat bacon).
I had the brisket with the sweet BBQ sauce. Next time, I think I'd like something with a little more kick, but this was delicious. The baked beans were incredible. Best I've had in Colorado, I think. We've heard good things about their desserts, too, but we were too full. Next time.
A disclaimer: We happen to know a couple who work at Firehouse — Janel, a server who also does hair and makeup for Adrienne’s Pink Kitty Studios; and Pete, Janel’s current love interest. I don’t know what Pete does at Firehouse, but it’s important. Hey, Pete, what’s your title there?
They did not give us free food or anything.
In true barbecue fashion, there’s a lot of opportunity at Firehouse for gluttony. The beer alone is served by the bucket. Overall, the dining at Firehouse was excellent. The chicken was a little dry, but smoked chicken, apparently, is just that way sometimes. Loved the bottomless sides — I had okra (a lot of okra) and the western beans. Adrienne had the regular beans and green beans.
I know there are people who don’t care much for my barbecue opinions. But I’m going to tell them to you anyway.
I've been called worse, certainly, but "moran" hurt. Seriously, I have very delicate feelings, people.
The bar at Firehouse BBQ in Old Colorado City.
This beer is unreasonably large. I'm not complaining. Just pointing out that it's an enormous beer. Bristol Brewing's Beehive, I think. I was having trouble lifting it.
Adrienne had the brisket and chicken, with green beans and baked beans. The chicken was a little dry, but that's the way it goes sometimes with smoked chicken.The brisket was delicious and so moist and flavorful that it didn't even need any sauce, Adrienne says.
In addition to my 40-gallon drum of beer, I also had brisket, pulled pork, and ribs. I also enjoyed the jalapeno pepper that came as a garnish. Nice touch, Firehouse.
The sauce selection at Firehouse is nice and varied. I liked the Wild Side best. No idea about high-fructose corn syrup. I fear I may be losing my battle against HFCS.
I also really liked the B-B-Nero sauce. Spicy.
Dessert? Oh, sure. Why not. The pecan pie was fabulous.
Ask for Janel. She'll make sure your Firehouse experience is good.
First of all, I want to clear one thing up right now: The quotation marks on “Country Store” are Rudy’s, not mine. In fact, they ought to be docked a full letter grade for indiscriminate use of quotation marks. But since we’re talking barbecue and not punctuation, I’ll let it slide. (But really, people, don’t do this. Don’t just go putting quotation marks any old place. It’s weird.)
Apparently, Rudy’s has a pretty big following, so were were excited when one landed in the Springs. At first glance, it looks very much like a place I’d want to eat barbecue: very informal, warehousey. But it felt phony. Like those faux-vintage Coca-Cola signs you see everywhere. The picnic-table seating, the red and white checkered tablecloth, the rolls of paper towels, the pop-your-own-top Coke in bottles — it all just seemed to be trying too hard.
And the gas station? Oh, I’m sorry: “Country Store.” What’s that about? It’s kind of cool that there’s a gas station attached to the restaurant, but do we really need another gas station? That felt gimmicky, too.
But all of this is really immaterial. We’re here to eat barbecue, right? Turns out the barbecue is only OK. The sauce was fairly typical, the kind you can buy at any grocery store, made mostly with high fructose corn syrup. Tasty, for sure. But ultimately unsatisfying.
Barbecue needs character, and you don’t get character from HFCS. Compare Rudy’s to this place in Kansas City, LC’s Bar-B-Q. The place had character. Of course they were shut down for health code violations earlier this year, but whatever. The food was amazing. And besides, what kind of pansy-ass life do you live where you can’t risk a little food poisoning for some barbecue heaven?
The interior of Rudy’s BBQ. Nice and faux-informal. A little too purposefully imperfect for my taste.
You find this sign in a box in your grandmother’s attic, you’ve got a pretty cool sign. Find it at Target, and it’s not so cool.
The girlfriend ordered the brisket sandwich.
I had the “moist brisket.” Tasty enough. But nothing spectacular.
Now this is how you do barbecue.
Mmmmm. Can you taste that? It’s called “awesome.” Shame about those damn health codes. Always trying to keep a man down.