The moist cornbread muffins at Dot’s Place walk the line between sweet and unsweet, so as not to offend patriots on either side of the great cornbread divide. Just remember the restaurant is serving to-go only these days. At Threadgill’s, the unsweet cornbread muffins have a bit of texture and a jalapeño kick that sneaks up on you; moist but delicate, they crumble in your hands as you apply butter. To use comedian Jerry Clower’s memorable terminology, Hoover’s Cooking serves no “whomp” (i.e., canned) biscuits. The finely textured homemade sweet-potato biscuits here are cinnamony and unforgettable (buttermilk biscuits are offered at breakfast only).
Count on the doting servers who dish up food at South Dallas Café to call you “baby” in the most maternal way as they ask you to choose between the slightly sweet, moist, hot-water corn pones or the sweet, buttery, yellow corn muffins; smile big and ask for both. At Celebration, the quick, experienced staff, sporting their hallmark leather aprons and carrying order books in their jeans pockets, are accustomed to bringing basket after basket of bread. That’s because nobody can get enough of those flat, buttery pieces of cornbread filled with chopped green chiles and corn kernels. Seated at the Mecca in what feels like the inside of a large, seventy-year-old junk closet, you’ll find your focus riveted to the basket of cornbread as you await your order. Well-nigh fluffy in texture, these muffins are admirably light on both grease and sugar.
From the moment you place an order at the counter at Drew’s Place, your foot won’t stop tapping until a server brings your tray of food. Why? Because you’re so anxious to get those warm, crisp-edged cornbread muffins, with just enough grease to be flavorful. Customers are afforded two ways to throw low-carb diets to the wind at the Paris Coffee Shop: a basket of the white- cornmeal muffins, perfectly crunchy on the edges but moist and not too sweet inside, or an order of the big, golden-brown baking-powder-and-yeast biscuits measuring nearly two inches thick.
The flaky, falling-apart cornbread at Pearl’s Soul Food Café has a texture almost like cake and mixes wonderfully with the pungent pot likker from the greens. At Triple A, which favors traditional orange Naugahyde chairs, the moist, grainy cornbread tastes cornier than most.
Anzley’s Family Dining, in an unadorned stand-alone building in northeast Lubbock, should get an award for its cornbread. Hand-cut into squares, it’s slightly browned on the bottom, crumbly, and a little bit sweet—no added butter needed. At the Ranch House, which is popular with blue-collar workers downtown, no one thinks twice if you crumble your last piece of golden-brown cornbread into a glass of milk (you did order milk, didn’t you?), just the way your grandpa used to.
Flavorful, slightly gritty Southern-style cornbread muffins—not cakey or sweet—make you want seconds and thirds at Mr. and Mrs. G’s, a comfortable little cafe in a simple yellow-and-white building. The tangy, exceptionally moist, buttermilk-infused cornbread at the Hungry Horse (a counter-order place) is a little pale, but it’s loaded with strips of zesty jalapeño. Almost cakelike but a little coarse, the pieces of cornbread at the 410 Diner are notably sweet and nicely browned on top; the atmosphere is all-American diner to the max.