Thank You, G-d, for Texas BBQ

All B&W photos are courtesy of Flickr. I’m just not comfortable taking pictures of people, particularly in such close proximity.

This is a feast for the eyes, not just for the tummy. Look at the colors. The effects of the smoke. The basics of eating on paper–not paper plates but paper. This is Texas BBQ. And it’s divine. Add root beer and there’s really nothing else to be done.

City Market BBQ Luling TX

City Market BBQ in Luling Texas is unassuming in an unassuming town. There’s no need for decor when you get to see the smoke pit.

Smoke pit at City Market BBQ

Keep the door closed to keep the smoke in. But you go in, and smell, and smile, and place your order with assembly line efficiency.

City Market_6733961173_l

Order your meat with these fine men: brisket, ribs, or sausage. Outside, at another line, you can order your drink and sides from the women–evidently the pit is men’s work. I don’t know why pickles are in the meat section.

City Market BBQ  - cut to order

There’s no time to stockpile already-cut-meat–everything is sliced to-order. The line is out the door and people patiently wait their turn; it’s not much of a wait though. They’ve got this down pat.

Waiting your turn at City Market BBQ in Luling TX

The sauce is so good that once I was done with the brisket, I dipped remaining white bread in it just to have more. White bread. When do I ever eat white bread other than with BBQ? I searched both my palette and vocabulary to describe the sauce and I will be woefully inadequate. It’s not spicy, but it has power. It’s not vinegary, but it has tang. It’s not mustardy, but it’s headed in that direction. It’s smooth, thin, the spices visible, and it drips out of the bottle cautiously.

This is an entirely different dining experience than Arthur Bryants in Kansas City. AB in KC was messy and delectably painful. City Market was mellow and mighty. The smoke flavor of the meat was a treat all its own. The edges are crisp and yummy. The brisket cuts easily with plastic “silverware”–really, it almost cuts if you look at it long enough.

You talk with neighbors at boardinghouse length tables; and even if you don’t, you say goodbye when you leave. This is Texas, after all.

***
Question courtesy of Nancy, who noticed that I didn’t include one. See our exchange below.

What’s your favorite BBQ memory?

5 Responses

12.25.12

I’m going to this place.

P.S. You didn’t ask a question.

Nancy – you’re so observant! I couldn’t think of a question. I’ve written about BBQ five times… Do you have a question to pose? I’ll add it! 🙂

And are you going as in it’s imminent or on your list?

12.25.12

Your Comments
You pegged the atmosphere, food and people exactly right. When we lived in Victoria, TX and had kids going to UT in Austin, we would go through Luling on our way to football games. City Market was always one of the places we stopped on the way there. One of the things unique about Texas Bar-B-Que is the sauce is always on the side.. not basted on the meat like some areas of the country. There are several other Bar-B-Que sites in Texas that vie with City Market for the title “Best”.

12.25.12

I’m going as in some day. Not planned yet.

I see what you mean, now that you’ve posed the question back to me, that it’s hard to come up with a question related to BBQ.

How about … what’s your favorite BBQ memory? I’ll answer. In my hometown of Ames, Iowa we have Hickory Park. They serve BBQ and ice cream (why has this not caught on?). The place is the size of a football field and you still have to wait. It’s special because the sandwiches have coleslaw on them. They incorporated candy bars in ice cream before anyone else (I recommend the Heath Bar sundae). Happy memories there of food and family.

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