Monday, July 12, 2010

Luling City Market

HOUSTON: Luling City Market
4726 Richmond Ave

Houston, TX 77027


Open M-Sat 11-9, Sun 12-7

Luling City Market has been described as an identity bandit. They stole an employee and a sauce recipe from the original City Market in Luling, but the meat isn't quite up to that level. Orders arrive on butcher paper accompanied by that signature clay colored sauce, and there's no denying that they've nailed that recipe. Unfortunately, the most pronounced flavor note from the meat was salt.

The crust on the brisket was dense and sticky. There wasn't so much a crust as it was a somewhat dried layer that concentrated the rub into an intensely salty burst in every bite. I enjoy salt, but this was just too much covering what would otherwise be some pretty good brisket. Very little smoke was evident in the slices, and most of the fat had been trimmed away from the still moist beef. Ribs were about the same. They had a very salty rub, and had been stored a while. The meat was still moist with a decent level of tenderness, but this meat was also missing that smokiness. Overall, the meat here was decent, but it's nowhere near the level of the original. Maybe with another name, expectations wouldn't be elevated.

Rating ***
Luling City Market Real Texas Bar-B-Que on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

I've been there 3 times, and have yet to have a meal I would rate higher than 2 stars.

You must be feeling generous.

(Beside, they leave their meats in the steam drawers all night. By the time dinner rolls around, it's all a soggy mess.)

BBQ Snob said...

I was admittedly on the fence about this one. It just squeaked by with three stars because the meats tasted as if they'd been smoked properly if not stored particularly well.

Anonymous said...

If it's any consolation, lunch time is 3 stars...before the afternoon spent in the steam drawers.

So there's that.

Beer Of The Day said...

Note to all iconic restaurants/brewers, etc... Trade mark your stuff.

SeenItAllCougar said...

Ribs are VERY tender and so is the brisket. The sauce is wonderful and tastes good on other things (e.g., meatloaf, beans) too.

One of the best BBQ places in Houston, even if it is not exactly the same as the place in Luling (where I have eaten too).


Each joint is judged on the essence of Texas 'cue...sliced brisket and pork ribs. Sausage is only considered if house made. Sauce is good, but good meat needs no adornment to satisfy. Each review can only be based on specific cuts of meat on that particular day. Finally, if the place fries up catfish or serves a caesar salad, then chances are they aren't paying enough attention to the pits, so we mostly steered clear.