With my first full week of classes behind me (my last class of the week ends at 11:20 AM Thursday - amazing) I decided to treat myself to a Texas BBQ lunch. When Robby was here to help me move in, we went to the famous Stubbs BBQ downtown near 6th Street on the recommendation of our taxi driver but we left dinner unimpressed. Robby thought that Hill Country in New York was better and I thought what an irony it would be for us to be surrounded by Texas Hill Country here in Austin and yet have "Hill Country" in NYC be the better BBQ joint. Shouldn't the original be the best? I had to keep looking in Austin.
When someone told me that Ruby's is a great Austin BBQ spot I rejoiced - it's only 2 blocks from my apartment! I decided to check out Ruby's for my Thursday afternoon celebratory meal.
Ruby's looks like a classic Austin spot. I mean this mostly architecturally. A lot of the buildings here are one story, with low ceilings, hardwood floors, and wood beams throughout. Many also have outdoor areas. Ruby's is just as I described, and although I love dining al fresco, with the temperature at 102 I decided to sit inside.
Being ignorant as to how it Ruby's is run, I posted myself at the counter and asked if I could sit at a table. "Just one," I said unabashedly. Ruby's doesn't have full-on table service; you order at the counter and when your food is ready one of the servers brings it out. Upon instruction, I grabbed a menu and took a seat at a table by a window. The window looked out onto the parking lot but the sunlight beaming off the table was beckoning.
I had done my research before going to Ruby's and surmised that the brisket was the way to go. The only question was: sandwich or plate? The sandwich ($5.75) is 1/4 lb brisket with a side of pickle and the plate ($11.95) is 1/3 lb brisket with two sides off the menu. Feeling decadent, I opted for the plate. I was curious to try the spicy baked beans, which I chose as I side and wimped out with a side salad for my other side. Gotta eat your veggies!
My plate came with the brisket served sliced on wax paper accompanied by the spicy beans in a bowl, the side salad in a bowl, two slices of thickly cut whole wheat bread (white bread is the other option), and a small serving of BBQ sauce. The brisket was perfectly marbled - not too fatty, not too lean. I made myself an open-faced brisket sandwich with the meat and bread, and the BBQ sauce drizzled on top.
BEST BRISKET I HAVE EVER HAD! I savored every bite and even though I was planning on bringing leftovers home for dinner, my tray was bare by the time I was done. Ruby's has made my list for go-to spots in Austin and even better (or worse perhaps) it is a 3-minute walk from my apartment.
I also love that Ruby's advertises wedding catering on their website. Slow-cooked cow breast sounds like a great party to me.