Luling City Market
2010: 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 it 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.