It was highly unusual for Neighbor Roy to drive down to my house, but on this particular Friday in early August 2023, that’s what he did. He was coming home from a doctor’s appointment at St. Mary’s Hospital in anticipation of his heart surgery in early September. Anyway, because it was still early, I suggested we go to lunch at Rudy’s BBQ at Kino Parkway and I-10 on Ajo Way. We had tried to go there a year ago, but by the time we arrived at noon, the place was packed. So we went elsewhere.
This time we arrived about 11:15 AM and while Rudy’s was busy, it wasn’t packed with a line out the front door like last time. Once inside, I sat down at one of the many picnic tables while Roy ordered for us. Soon he returned to our table with lunch, both BBQ brisket sandwiches ($16.98) with sides of potato salad ($2.59) and two medium drinks ($4.98). Can’t complain about the prices here at all. A lot of food for the money.
I’ll let Roy tell you about his experience.
“Where’s the beef?” was a longtime commercial back when. Jim and I have been searching Tucson for the best of a series of cuisines. At last, we found a front-runner for the best beef barbeque in Tucson. Rudy’s on Ajo Way across from the juvenile detention center fits the bill. We had tried to dine here previously. At that time the line was out the door and we went elsewhere. Today we thought we would run into the same problem, Jim was able to park in front, and the line was shorter. The menu is restricted to meats; basically, chicken, beef, pork, turkey, and brisket. We both opted for the brisket. ($8.49).
As I was a new customer I was unaware of their ordering procedure–it took a few minutes for me to figure it out. They apparently sell quite a bit of meat. They sell the meat with or without buns, probably by the pound. Later I saw many orders of just the cooked meats going out the door without buns. I chose the buns and added orders of potato salad, plus soft drinks for both of us. The picnic-style tables featured huge bottles of sauces. As i was eating I noticed that there were few ladies in the crowd. Clearly, this is a men’s restaurant and everyone seemed to have found where the beef is. I was so impressed with this restaurant I have awarded it 4 full saguaros, as to food, appropriate decor, ease of ordering and the atmosphere–I hope to return someday to try the chicken and pork. I was able to take home 1/2 of my sandwich and my dog enjoyed the other 1/2 of my sandwich.”
Ruby’s has 4 locations in the Phoenix area, but only one in Tucson and another one in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Plus they are all over Texas.
I agree with Roy … Four Saguaros for Rudy’s BBQ. Very good indeed. My BBQ brisket was tender and the house BBQ sauce was just a little spice and sweet. Excellent!. The potato salad was also very good. All washed down with an ice-cold Coke.
Ms. Karen here: Don’t expect anything green at ANY Texas style BBQ. I’ll bet they do a great take-out business for Group meals.
Rudy’s Country Store & BBQ
2130 E Ajo Way
Tucson AZ 85713
Sun-Thur 6:00 am- 9:30 pm
Fri-Sat 6:00 am-10:00 pm