On the Road

Texas Traveler: Luling

Whenever I drive to San Antonio, I try to stop for barbecue in Luling. There is no better breakfast in the world than juicy brisket and "wet" links with a sleeve of saltines. You don't have to worry about arriving before lunchtime -- City Market, the legendary barbecue joint on Davis Street, opens at 7 a.m.

First you visit a smoky room in the back, where the butchers carve smoked meats and serve them up on red butcher paper. Then you go up to the cashier, where you get your drinks, barbecue sauce, knives and napkins.

"We started giving out plastic forks earlier this year," the cashier told me on a recent visit. I was astonished. City Market in Luling hadn't offered any forks since it first opened in 1930. Next thing you know, they'll start serving potato salad and banana pudding. It's sad to see the old meat-market purism dying out. But as long as the butchers keep slicing freshly smoked meats, I won't complain too much.

As I explained in the review "Barbecue Identity Theft," the Houston strip center restaurant that calls itself "Luling City Market" borrowed the name of this place in hopes of being confused with the real deal that's actually in Luling. The Houston barbecue buffet serves soggy meats from a steam table and sells a bottled imitation of the famous Luling joint's barbecue sauce.

Once you visit City Market in Luling, you'll never be fooled by imposters.

City Market (Luling), 633 E. Davis, 830-875-9019

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Robb Walsh
Contact: Robb Walsh