Rudy’s Seafood on South Flores has been a Southside mainstay for area folks for 42 years. So why did I just hear about it? Maybe because Rudy’s has no website, no ads, and judging by the lunch crowds we encountered hardly needs new customers. Be aware this is not Wildfish, but it’s not Long John Silver’s, either.
The décor is basic, one dining area with a linoleum floor and Spurs posters on the walls, seating about 40, with plastic tables, rolls of paper towels for napkins, no printed menus, and an ATM in case you forgot that Rudy’s takes cash only. Look at the board above the kitchen for the fare, place your order, and pay. Sure, there are burgers and chicken-fried steaks listed, but no one orders anything but seafood, and no way but fried. And the portions are huge!
Fried fish (redfish, I think), oysters, and shrimp can be combined in one meal or ordered by the piece. Most of the regulars (and they all seemed to be regulars) go for the $8.79 combo plate of two filets, two shrimp, two oysters, or the three-filet fish plate at $6.79. Either feeds a couple of hungry diners (as we discovered after we ordered). Your plate is heaped with fish over french fries, a serrano pepper that will leave you whimpering, a couple of slices of white bread, and bland tartar sauce. No silverware, just plastic utensils, but at the tables near us diners ate with their fingers or stuffed the fish between the bread to make a very thick sandwich.
First and foremost, this is a great meal for the money. The fish is fresh, lightly breaded, and comes out of the deep fryer crisp and not greasy. The oysters are plump and juicy, and the shrimp are biggies. For my taste, the hot sauce on the table was a must, but you may be content with the catsup.
What can’t you get? No adult beverages; Rudy’s has canned soda and iced tea. No desserts. No entertainment, except CNN on the silent flat-screen TV in the corner.
Rudy’s is four miles south of downtown, just off I-35. Get there early for lunch, because tables are usually full from 11:30 on. And take a sweater, because Rudy’s air conditioning is set to “coldest.” Or eat outside at the three wooden tables that abut the parking lot.”
4122 S. Flores
THE SKINNY Fresh fried seafood, period. Think early Sea Island.
DON’T MISS The combo seafood plate
HOURS 11am-10pm Mon-Sat
PRICES Plates: $6.79-$8.79