Monday, August 22, 2011

Texas BBQ Run - Part 1 (Luling, Texas)

City Market
633 East Davis Street
Luling, TX 78648

City Market on Urbanspoon

I get excited every time I head back to Houston. I get to spend time with family, I get to relax, and I get to eat...a lot. This past week was no different. A typical day consists of kolaches for breakfast, BBQ for lunch, and some Tex-Mex for dinner. These are three things I don't think I could ever get enough of. It was my dad's birthday this week and we decided to go on our first official Texas "Barbecue Run." For anyone that's new to this, a BBQ run consists of making a special trip to worthwhile BBQ spots and sampling each establishment's specialtes. For this run we were going to head a couple hours west to Luling and Lockhart to pay our respects to some of the original Texas BBQ spots: City Market, Black's, Smitty's, and Kreuz. Each place is Texas-famous in its own way and well worth the special trip. Our mission was simple. We'd try a little bit of BBQ at each stop, maybe talk to some of the pitmasters if they're available, and then head home before dinner. We had the determination, but did we have the stomach capacity for our smoked meat-mission? I was interested to see how the Texas style BBQ would compare to some of the places we've visited on our Georgia Barbecue Hunt. We loaded up the truck six deep and headed out in the morning.

The first stop on our mini tour would be Luling's finest, City Market. Jamie had never been to Texas before, and I couldn't think of a better to place for her to experience what Texas had to offer. We pulled into Luling and the only thing missing seemed to be the stereotypical tumble weeds rolling by. This town definitely has character. With all of the apparent locals inside, you feel like a tourist without any boots or a cowboy hat. When you walk inside City Maket, you get in line well before being able to enter the smoke room where you actually place your order. The employee working the pits was nice enough to give me a closer look at everything that was being cooked that day. Meats are cooked overnight using post oak, except for the homemade sausage which is usually only smoked for an hour for additional flavor. Since our BBQ run included four stops, we would be indulging in a "protein only" diet this day. Our meal for the first stop included brisket, pork ribs, and sausage served on old-fashioned butcher paper with bottled Big Red to wash it down.  

The brisket was perfect. It was smoky. It was tender. It had a nice crust. I knew we had three more stops after this, but I couldn't imagine any of them topping what we experienced here. It was gone almost immediately. The sausage was our second favorite. It had a nice snap to it and wasn't too greasy. It went well with the sweet mustard style sauce that they offer here. The pork ribs were overshadowed a little by the wonderful brisket and sausage, but they did not disappoint by any means and were some of the best I'd had in a very long time. They had a nice rub and were served dry. The ribs were moist and flavorful without any need for additional sauce. We tried our hardest not to overindulge with three additional BBQ joints waiting for us nearby. Everyone at the table was pleased with our first meal at City Market and was alone worth the two and a half hour drive. We washed our hands, finished our drinks, and then headed out for Lockhart.

After...on to Black's in Lockhart
(Star ratings for our Texas BBQ run are excluded from the Georgia Barbecue Hunt. If City Market were in Georgia, then it would've easily received the top honors of five stars)


  1. The picture at the end sums up your experience there because there is hardly nothing leftover. It must have been good!

  2. This was by far the best tasting brisket and sausage on our trip. Hope we can find somewhere in Georgia that compares.

  3. A couple bones and some fat was about all that was left. I'll post information from our other stops soon. And Jamie, I'm convinced that there's going to be somewhere that can hopefully compare.