On a recent tail-between-legs retreat from a rough weekend in Austin -- sunburnt from a long float down the river, broke and dehydrated -- the Texas Traveler wanted only two things: free water and cheap sustenance.
Luvianos in Kyle had plenty of both. Water-filled bags hung around the comfortable patio, supposedly to keep the flies away, and the glasses were both tall and wide, and constantly refilled despite the Sunday-brunch crowd.
One regular described the fare as "real Mexican food for real Mexican prices," and a cool $7.50 brought a large huevos rancheros plate with a barbacoa taco for good measure (along with the free chips and salsa, which were decidedly not half-assed).
The potatoes and refried beans did their job, mixing nicely with the runny yolk, and the sauce had just enough kick to keep away the Tabasco. The barbacoa was tender and moist, and we again spared the condiments in favor of the natural taste.
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Seeking further nourishment a little on down the road, we stopped off at a small, bustling farmer's market just across from Luling BBQ. There were assorted baskets of fruits and vegetables for $3 a pop -- "You pick it, I bag it," said one farmer -- along with, among other things, piles of watermelon, eggs "straight from the yard" and a man in a flannel shirt feeding peppers into a contraption.
We were offered yams fresh from Mississippi ("My friend dropped them off this morning," the farmer said). This was exciting at first, but, it being unclear why we needed yams from Mississippi, we went instead with a hefty bag of peaches. These were delicious, and required napkins.
The extra food was greatly appreciated once we got to I-10, where an accident brought traffic to a standstill for well over an hour. Those countless glasses of water, on the other hand, were not.