Monday 28 July 2014

City Market, Lulling - and the end of the line!

[City Market, Lulling]
Well, it's a sad moment, I've just had my last Texas barbecue - for this year at least. Alas, I didn't entirely go out on a high. City Market in Lulling has a top reputation, and is certainly popular - they had by far the longest queue so far. Like Smitty's in Lockhart, you queued for your meat first, served in butcher's paper, then queued again for sides and took a seat in the busy dining room.

However, like Smitty's, this brisket was too lean, at least to my tastes. The flavour was fine, but it just wasn't the unctuous  experience I've had elsewhere. A little bit of a damp squib for my last lunch.

So, in conclusion, how's my Texas Barbecue Adventure been? Well, I've enjoyed it hugely, and feel I've really only scratched the surface. I chose to only eat brisket, as that's the quintessential Texan barbecue meat, but I know this means I've missed out on a world of sausages, chops and chicken.

I know I've also missed some great joints - of the famous places, I've missed Kreuz's and Chisholm's in Lockhart, Franklin's in Austin and the pits along the road to Llano. There must also be hundreds of little joints that weren't even on my radar from all the way in England (although the internet means that nowhere stays a secret for long).

[City Market, Lulling]
Where would I go back to? Wild horses couldn't stop me eating again in Louie Mueller's in Taylor, Blacks in Lockhart or Cooper's in Llano. Even thinking about those places gets me salivating.

I've also learned that that no two briskets are the same, and that I much prefer the fattier end when I'm given a choice. I also know I'm sucker for atmosphere and experience - as much as I love a smart restaurant, barbecue somehow tastes better when eaten off paper with your fingers, on a long table with kitchen roll and sliced bread in front of you.

But this year's food adventure doesn't stop here. Next stop is New Orleans - quite literally, as I'm heading there at high speed on the Amtrak as I type. Time to learn a whole new food vocabulary. What's the difference between Cajun and Creole? Jambalaya, gumbo and bouillabaisse? What, exactly, is a roux? Watch this space!

1 comment:

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