Rudy’s: C-plus

Rudy’s “Country Store” and Bar-B-Q

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?

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Kansas City, St. Louis, Springfield, Branson, and Rt 66, MO

In early September we went to see Motorhead in convert in Denver. It was pretty good but I have no pictures. We also ate awesome fried chicken in Denver but I have no pictures.

Then we went to Missouri and I have pictures!

Mmmm BBQ in Kansas City. I think it was called LC’s.

The St. Louis Arch

The view from our hotel room

Dangermike and his daughter at The Pinup Bowl. I love bowling even tho I suck at it.

Crazy ice cream goodies. The root beer floats LOOK good but they were kind of a pain in the butt to eat. Oh well. It was a famous St. Louis place called Fitz’s.

The next day we went on a quest for the best donuts on earth. Apparently they’re located in St. Louis. We went to 2 places that were closed. Wha? This sign cracked me up. What kind of ridiculous hours are these?

This place-World’s Fair Donuts- WAS open.

Yummmmy, they probably were the best donuts on earth. The owner gave us a couple free ones since we had come so far. We didn’t actually ORDER this many (altho we did eat them all).

Courtesy Diner- funny name, basic, but good cheeseburgers.

Chili Mac’s Diner in downtown St. Louis. Typical greasy spoon place. Totally delicious. DM also enjoyed a Starbucks that he got along the way (we walked from the hotel).

After St. Louis we went down to Springfield where I picked up a few things here:

Breakfast of sweet potato hash browns, french toast, and scrambled eggs at one of DM’s old haunts.

Since I’m a huge Rt. 66 fan and there’s a good portion of it in MO, we wandered it a little. Cool old sign for a hamburger joint and an Arby’s sign- DM is convinced this is a really OLD Arby’s sign and that they don’t look like this anymore. Huh? They look exactly like this still. ANYHOW. Then Steak and Shake. But not just ANY Steak and Shake- the original, back up in Springfield. Awesome.

Steak and Shake meal. Yummy. That soup was really good and I scarfed most of it before remembering to take a picture.

The next day we went to Bass Pro Shops (crazy place) and then had lunch at Buck-ing-Hams. LOL. Their sign is of a cowboy riding a pig and the pig is bucking. It was ok. The KC place was better.

Lake Taneycomo near Branson, DMs childhood lake. He lived right on it and had the full on Tom Sawyer childhood.

Blackberry cobbler at some old person place in Branson. I like old people food. I think it was called The Farmhouse.

More Rt. 66 stuff.

More Branson (sorry these are all out of order)

Finally, Rt 66 again.