Back in the 90's when we started driving down to Montopolis to eat at Ray's Barbecue the neighborhood was quite a bit different.
We love the rough and tumble part of any town whether it be Birmingham or Istanbul.
It's must be writ into our genes as we naturally gravitate towards a city's nettlesome zones where folks congregate eating quick mart takeaway on the corners and drinking beer from paper bags while leaning up against buildings.
Such was the way Montopolis used to be.
The little cheap bungalows and tenement style apartment buildings have all been buffed and polished and rehabbed for the communities transformation.
We still go to Ray's however.
We wonder if Austin Police Department approached Ray's with their "Operation Meat Locker" undercover black market brisket operation we outlined here: http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/index.cfm/2011/7/28
If so Ray's must not have been down with buying brisket on the down low as they never made it into any court documents.
It was bad enough when Sam's was taken down along with Willie's Barbecue.
We don't know what we would've done if they'd put Ray's out of business too.
We miss the Soul Food Thursday meat and three specials Ray's had running awhile back.
Apparently they were so popular the staff couldn't keep up so they curtailed the offering.
Pictured is Sterling, one of the main men at Ray's Barbecue. He's about to knock out a batch of potato salad for the day's business.
We come to Ray's for well marbled outside slice brisket and thick, smoky pork ribs.
We used to get a good bit of circus with the bread outside in the parking lot as it was a good place to people watch.
Would be gangsters, amateur hour pimps, hookers strolling about in daisy dukes, guys cruising in tinted out lowrider Buicks blasting Lil Flip and South Park Mexican-there was always a show in Montopolis.
That scene has blown away with the sands of time but we still come down to Montopolis for under the radar barbecue at Rays.
all barbecue coverage here http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/index.cfm/Barbecue