City Market, Luling
What a great experience!! Right when I walked through these sacred doors of BBQ I realized I was somewhere special. As I was waiting in line to get into the separated pit room and order all I could do is take in the smells and visual delicacies that the people who already had their food were showing off. I’m not kidding when I say this but the dining room and pit room were perfect. Take Smitty’s pit room and combine it with Louie Mueller’s dining room and there you have it. Everyone seemed excited to be spending their Saturday night at City Market, and I was about to find out why. I was minutes away from BBQ perfection. I was minutes away from accomplishing what I have been searching for since I was 9 years old. So let’s get to my reviews because I have never written one like this. City Market is like getting a hole in one on a par 4, it is more than one of a kind…….
I couldn’t even give myself a second to sit down after carrying my sausage and ribs back to my table wrapped in butcher table with a simple onion. I took my first bite of the pork rib and the clouds in heaven parted and angels sung. This was it. I’ve been searching for this moment since I was 9 years old in Fort Worth. “The best rib ever? Where is it,” I would ask myself. Well 34 years later and I have found it and City Market in Luling is the answer to my Texas BBQ prayers. These are the holy grail of ribs. Salty & tangy all at the same time, while the tenderness of the meat falls off the bone. Pork ribs are my favorite form of BBQ, and these are the best I’ve ever had,and I’ve had a lot!!
OK so now I’m ready for the letdown, the ribs were perfect so the sausage can’t be right? WRONG! City Market just kept producing mouth watering experiences and the sausage was Excellent!! All beef sausage with a crispy pork casing. The crunch was perfect and the taste and texture was amazing. I’m blown away at this point with Luling city market. I really mean it, BLOWN AWAY! I love my local BBQ joints in Cowtown and really didn’t think it could THAT much better, but wow, can it ever.
As a side note the BBQ sauce here was also extroidinary. It complimented a bite of sausage and raw onion perfectly.
This is the first time I have ever given this kind of rating and as I do, I literally beg you as a fellow BBQ lover and Texas BBQ Guide reader to visit City Market as soon as you can. It should always be on every BBQ lovers bucket list if you dont live real close, but I would recommend a road trip any day of the week to experience this perfection. I’m giving City Market 5/5 stars and declaring it the best ribs and sausage I’ve ever had. I couldn’t stop eating & so I decided I’d make a trip back to taste the brisket. This place has given me a full stomach and permanent BBQ smile.
I sincerely thank you City Market. What you do, you do amazing.
Buzzies ribs had dry decent flavor. You have to work them a little to get the meat off the bone. Rub is seasoned well and not over applied but overall just so/so.
2.75/5 with sauce
Very good crusty pop and pretty good distribution of meat, cheese, & jalapeño. I liked the crunch but the flavor could have been deemed on the bland side, even with the jalapeño bite. Mix this with Buzzies BBQ sauce though and you have a real winner. I usually don’t judge with BBQ sauce but for Buzzies I will because I liked the sauce so much.
3.75/5 with sauce
Great moisture, good blackened crust, lack of smoke flavor. They smoke with oak at Buzzies and I feel the smoke flavor was a little understated. The texture was almost perfect and with the BBQ sauce (I’m laughing as I write this because of my usual disdain for BBQ sauces making the BBQ) popping some flavor onto the meat. I would recommend the brisket if your in the area with generous amounts of the sauce.
3.75/5 with sauce
Actually pretty perfect. Just perfect amount of sweetness & spice. This sauce really turned the meal around. I was disappointed in the flavors of the meats even the sausage with jalapeños but the sauce was amazing & turned the experience around.
Amazing!! Amazing desert perfect blend of sweetness and utterly delicious.
Not as good as the strawberry but classic and sweet. But still 4/5 stars
BAR-B-QUE REPORT CARD
Located in the TCU area of Fort Worth Woodshed has a cool location right on the Trinity river across from the Zoo and Colonial Country Club. This is a sit down BBQ joint on the nicer end of most BBQ’s I’ve been too and by far the most modern. It’s funny because as I walked in it had more of a Dallas feel which in Fort Worth can be considered a bad thing. It is very modern and open aired. Luckily I visited on a Texas August day when the temps somehow are about 80, that is NOT ordinary and I wonder how it would be to eat here in a deep heated sweat. I can imagine this being a real cool place to hang in the Fall or Spring.
Beef Tenderloin: Served cold and loved the flavor. This was by far the best thing I ate. I ate it dry and with some of the Woodshed bbq sauce. Both the meat and the sauce were very very good. This was a very good piece of meat and I would highly recommend it. Is it worth coming here just for this? Maybe if you toss in a comfortable night and a few cold beers.
Pork Ribs: Very disappointing. Smoked with pecan wood & heavily rubbed the Woodshed ribs are on the tougher side. It’s hard to compare against the other Fort Worth BBQ establishments, but pork ribs which are my favorite aren’t close to the rivals in town. Tough, and rubbed too heavy. The flavor is decent once you get the meat off the bone into your mouth. But at times it was a chore to do so.
Atmosphere: 3½ Stars
Woodshed BBQ sauce : 2½ Stars
Beef Ribs: Very tender for beef & rub was very good on initial taste.I’m not a huge beef rib fan but I liked this and it’s tenderness. One rib is fine even though I’m a big eater, not bc of its size but the rub sets in differently and is a bit strong in the long run. It seems this is a constant at Woodshed, they seem to be focused on rubs instead of smoke.
Over All: All in all I feel woodshed is a great place to come drink a beer on a comfortable summer night and eat some of the tenderloin served cold. As for the ribs they are tough and don’t compare to the places down the street. Woodshed is also a bit on the pricey side. You definitely pay for the atmosphere. If your looking for a fancy modern BBQ place and don’t fancy flavor as much, Woodshed is the place.
Overall Experience: 2½
of 5 possible stars = 2½ Star Experience
BAR-B-QUE REPORT CARD
Natty Flat Smoke House, 19280 U.S. 281, Lipan, TX 76462
Brisket: A hair dry, needed sauce to get it down. The taste and smokiness was mediocre at best. It was very bland almost tasted boiled with no solid smoke ring. Very disappointing.
Sausage:Good taste but lacks crunchy outer crust. The taste was good but I really like to get that cruch when I have a goos bite of sausage. Its not spicy but very flavorful.
Very unique & cool
Very kid friendly
Lots of candy, cookies, ice cream, & fudge for sale Unique outhouse restrooms
Ribs: Great rub and decent tenderness but a little too sticky to the bone. I was expecting more and that might have been the problem. Again, I wonder what their procedure with the ribs is and I wish I had taken a look at the smokehouse.
BBQ Meats: 2½
Regular BBQ sauce : Regular bbq sauce was delicious, though I’m not a BBQ sauce lover. Natty Flat sold their sauce in mason jars and I would have bought some if I really liked sauce.
Hot BBQ Sauce: Sauce was subtle to be called hot, but who cares what it’s called if it’s good and this BBQ sauce is. Like I said previously I don’t like BBQ sauce much, especially very hot sauces but this hot bbq sauce was to my liking. Subtle when tasted with a subtle spark of heat a moment later that was tasty but hard to detect. I’d rename it tasty but Luke warm bbq sauce. I’d usually rather not use bbq sauce but brisket was dry enough to give it a shot & it was good. Condiments were available on a condiment bar and were fresh & plentiful.
Over All: All said and done, wonderfully fun atmosphere to eat at. I had my kids and they loved the old time feel and I enjoyed the quaintness. The three meats that I focused on overall disappointed. The BBQ sauces were some of the best I have had and I particularly liked the “hot” bbq sauce because of its taste and lack of heat. On any family roadtrip where Natty Flat crosses your path, I’d give it a shot. It’s a fun place to stop if your expectations aren’t too high.
Overall Experience: 4
of 5 possible stars = 3.5 Star Experience