Wednesday, July 1, 2015


Ruby's BBQ Review (Austin, TX)


My friend James and I decided to go to Ruby’s today. He’s been saying good things about the place for a while. I’d been once about 11-12 years ago but don’t really remember the place, so it’s certainly time for a visit. 
 
The Pits Area
 

















It has both indoor, outdoor covered, and outdoor open seating, so can appeal to everyone regardless of your seating pleasure. James orders brisket and sausage. I order pulled pork, pork ribs, and chicken (originally ordered turkey but they were out).

Sides, Sides, Ev'rywhere Sides!
Chicken: The chicken has a mild smoke flavor. It’s a little dry, and skin is a little tough (have to use a knife to get through. Decent, but not great. 6.0/10. 

Sausage: The sausage is Elgin hot sausage. Decent taste and tenderness, so they’ve cooked it OK, but casing has lost a little of the snap. 6.0/10.  

Pork Ribs: Good crust and tender, but flavor is so-so. I’m not really tasting much smoke, and (at least the two I had) are very light on the rub. I like a natural pork flavor as much as the next person, but BBQ ribs need to be about smoke and rub. 5.0/10.  

Brisket: James says the brisket is usually very good here. I’ll have to take his word for it because this… isn’t. Take a quick look at the pictures with the brisket in them. Notice something missing? That’s right, there’s no bark. In looking more closely, it looks like they cut the bark off before serving? I asked James and he said it’s normally served like that.  Well, they’ve cut away any chance of flavor. There just isn’t any here. It’s tender, but I’m not tasting anything but natural meat itself. 4.0/10.
 
Pulled pork: This was very nice. It has a nice spicy bite to it, but there is an underlying sweetness that counterbalances the spice. The flavors are obviously strong enough to overwhelm any hint of smoke, but in this case that’s OK. 7.5/10. 
 
Is it worth a visit? Yes. With the exception of the brisket everything here is a solid (if not exceptional) representative of its kind. There are certainly much worse places in the area (some already reviewed on this site). It’s a perfectly good place to grab some BBQ, have a beer, and enjoy a meal with friends. 
 
Is it worth a trip? Nope. While there are plenty of solid things on the menu, nothing stands out (the pulled pork might be an exception). If you’re traveling an hour JUST for BBQ, there are other places worth going. 

-Tom

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