RUB or Blue Smoke?
I visited RUB about a week ago, around 6 or 7 on a weekday and they were out of ribs, and about 5 other things. We might have ordered one of the big meals but heck no, not without the ribs. The place was packed, and uncomfortably loud.
The brisket is good but on the dryer/leaner side.
I've seen the chicken and it looked impressive.
Pork shoulder sandwich is still the best thing I've had there.
Actually, I take that back...the best thing is the baked bean side.
Their food is really rich, and this latest meal did not sit well in our tummies.
I'd be scared to go back for a while.
Blue Smoke can be hit or miss. Last year around this time I had a bad Blue Smoke experience and would have said RUB would take any taste off... but now I'm not so sure.
Hill Country is a really good option, but the ordering can be much more confusing then it should be. Also some items are much, much, much better then others. I thought there chicken was really strange, for example, but it did have a nice smokey flavor that grew on me. I just wouldn't have been happy with it ordered by itself.
Sorry to hear what posters are saying about RUB... I've had some good food there. Blue Smoke is a "fancy" NYC-style restaurant atmosphere; probably most expensive of the bunch, and not the best food IMHO. But if its suits for a business meal, fine...
I like DInosaur or Hill Country best. Remember that Dino is a traditional sit-down with waitresses who take traditional orders (e.g., I'll have the brisket and ribs combo...). Hill Country is designed around the style of ordering at the restos in the Austin Hill Country, where you go to the counter and order by volume (e.g., let me have a quarter pound... or two slices... of brisket, one beef rib, and a jalepeno-cheese sausage.) They slice it in front of you, and wrap in brown butcher paper, and hand it to you. Ask for a tray, so you don't have to carry that damn paper sack around! Another line for sides. The waitress will bring you a beverage. Then you seat yourself. Both places have the full-blown rough-hewn wood finish deal going on... tacky, but fun. I like em both. For the food, I would give Hill Country the edge.
RUB is not what its cracked up to be..Blue Smoke isnt bad. decent ribs..wider menu..much better than RUB
I would go with Hill Country especially if your BBQ tastes run more to Brisket and Beef offerings..they have some of the best anywhere...the pork is great too, but they really excel in the "Beef" (read - Texas) BBQ offerings