A photo (and fudz)

October 2, 2012 • 12:43 am

I like this atmospheric photo, which I took outside of the world’s best BBQ joint: The City Market in Luling, Texas. That place just made the Daily Beast’s list of the “World’s 101 best places to eat,” a list compiled by chefs. (This list, of course, has inspired me to want to eat at all of them, as I’ve been to only about five.)

Anyway, this is an afternoon shot of the north wall of the building that houses the world’s best BBQ.

Oh, readers who have eaten at any of the 101 best places: please post a report. I will say that the best meal of my life was had at another one, the Restaurant Troisgros in Roanne, France.  Five hours of gluttony was ended with a cheese basket so large that it was carried in on the shoulders of two men, followed by three dessert chariots and then coffee and chocolates.  All for 600 francs ($100 at the time).

h/t: David Hillis for calling my attention to the “best restaurant” list

34 thoughts on “A photo (and fudz)

    1. That staircase looks like the one in a famous B/W shot from the 40’s, give or take a decade. But I can’t remember enough of that shot to find it online. Sound familiar to anyone?

  1. Only been to Vue de Monde, which I felt was a terrible disappointment. We had the lunch special and it was very clearly built down to the price. Longrain, while I have not been there myself is a favourite of friends of mine who sing its praises endlessly. I’ll have to give it a shot.

  2. this is an afternoon shot of the north wall of the building that houses the world’s best BBQ

    I wouldn’t have been surprised if this had been a shot of the north wall of the world’s worst BBQ. 🙂

    I haven’t visited any of the 101 ‘best’ restaurants, but I doubt very much that the culinary experience would have surpassed the delights of a certain Padang restaurant in Sumatra (sadly, I don’t remember what it was called or even where it was exactly), or that of a sea food restaurant at Ancol near Jakarta. Indonesian food is wonderful, but good quality is hard to get outside Indonesia or the Netherlands.

  3. Under Latin America they’ve only got restaurants in Brazil. What, there’s no good places in Lima for eg.? Of course in any list like this they’re going to have to leave a lot out. After all, they’ve left out dozens of great places to eat in London alone, where I live.

    1. There are a few more lower down on the list, including one in Lima, but not really enough considering the great food one can eat in Latin America.

  4. Hmm, glad to see they have a couple listed for Sweden, (one of which specializes in pickled herring??). But after finding Restaurang Byn on Rödabergsgatan (N end of town, walking distance from Karolinska), whenever I go back I try to make a return visit. French and Swedish cuisine with emphasis on ciders.

  5. Sad, never have been to any of these. After your glowing review of Troisgros, I might have to go there. A day trip would be feasible for me.

    But having a great meal depends on so much more than the food itself: the service, the location, and particularly the people you are sharing the meal with are at least as important as the food itself.

    1. Well, Troisgros has location and service: it’s an hour by train from Lyon in France, and in a village so small that it basically consists of the restaurant and a cafe. I can’t do anything about the people though.

      What I like about the really good French restaurants is their largesse: they don’t stint you with small portions, as the nouvelle cuisine ones once did. Anyone who likes to eat likes to eat a LOT.

      1. Lyon and the surrounding areas are generally a great place for food, particularly if one likes meat in all its forms (mmmh, sausages…). And having a couple of great wine growing regions nearby is of course a plus.

      2. I like to eat but no longer do I like to eat a lot. A 300g steak plus veggies is plenty, thanks. I’ve read of US steakhouses that offer three times that amount of meat. Pass

  6. Given this site’s global readership, it might be interesting to hear readers’ recommendations of their favourite places to eat. Sort of like a useful reference for future travel?

    1. Sammy’s Kitchen in Canberra. Just… wonderful. On very rare occasions I havent been 100% happy but it’s practically fail safe. Malaysian Chinese.

    1. Ha–I’ve been to those, and to Kreutz market, too. My host at Texas State took me on a BBQ field trip where we tried all three. I believe that Black’s took the prize, but you’d have to ask Dr. Noland Martin, my host.

      Noland also owes me a shipment of BBQ because I won a bet from him.

  7. The best fish and chips in England comes from the Magpie Cafe in Whitby, North Yorkshire. These people have clearly never been outside London (a foray to the Fat Duck doesn’t count).

    1. I’ve heard of that place, I ‘ll have to try it next time I’m in the UK. It’s very hard to get good chips any more, at least in Australia. I usually don’t eat the provided chips.

  8. Not having tried every barbecue place in Texas (though that sounds like a worthy goal), all I can say is that the Luling City Market is pretty good. OK, very good. Lists are annoying and useless, don’t you think?

    1. No, lists are GOOD. I would have missed some of the best places I’ve ever eaten had someone not put them on a list.

  9. The UK list is very odd. Apparently the best fish and chips is to be had at Borough Market but the Borough Market website lists, not surprisingly, 10 places that sell fish and chips. Are they all the best in the world? Is no fish and chip shop anywhere else better than these 10?

    1. I am absolutely serious: the best fish and chips in England (and, by extension, the world) comes from The Magpie Cafe in Whitby. The queues are *legendary* – in a town whose main industries are fishing and tourism, and fish and chips restaurants are only outnumbered by ice cream sellers, people will queue for 2 hours for a table at The Magpie.

  10. Busaba Eathai in London is nice enough. But it is a chain restaurant, so if you are choosing one of the UK restaurants from this list, I’d aim for the Fat Duck or similar.

  11. By definition, a maximally great restaurant would have to exist in my town, where I can visit it frequently. Having to travel halfway round the world to get there detracts considerably from its perfection.

  12. The list says your restaurant is in Luling, but their website says Houston. Maybe it is a spin-off. The photo looks more like Luling than Houston, so I’m guessing that is where you ate.

    1. Luling City Market (which actually is in Luling) used to have a second restaurant in Houston. I didn’t know it was still in business. But the original actually is in Luling.

  13. I haven’t been to any of those restaurants.

    However, I’m suspicious of this particular list. How could someplace like Chez Panisse not make a top-100 global list?

    (Not that I’ve ever eaten there, either — but, still.)



    1. I have eaten at Chez Panisse, and was bitterly disappointed. Granted, it was only one meal, but on that basis it wouldn’t make my top 100.
      I’ve heard others say it was overrated too, but taste is subjective. There are several restaurants just in Chicago (including Uncle John’s BBQ on the South Side) that I’d put above Chez Panisse.

  14. Just took a closer look at the list, and I actually recognize one place, the Caffè Duomo in Florence. But it is a rather weird choice for such a list: bit of a run-of-the-mill touristy restaurant, lives off its nice location at the back of the Duomo, but it serves the same mediocre food like dozen of other places around it. Not sure why it made the list, most people would not even count it among the best 100 places to eat in Florence.

    1. Sometimes all it takes is knowing the right people. I am sure that most of the places on this list really are good, and I am just as sure that at least some are not. Especially since you just told us so. I’d still like to try them all!

      An epicurean fantasy of mine would be to hang out with Anthony Bourdain on a shoot for his No Reservations show somewhere in Spain, Italy or France. Or just about anywhere. And of course eat and drink everything he gets to!

  15. I detect a bullshit bias on US restaurants being only on the coasts and Texas.

    They resemble a ring species.

  16. I’ve tried all three listings for Sydney, Australia and none of them are really much chop. Bentley is a pub bistro with pretensions to style, Golden Century is an average yum cha place and Harry’s Cafe De Wheels is a pie cart that earned its following by being the only place open at 3am back in the ’70s.

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