Big Mama Blog

Because the LuAnn platter has been there with me in my darkest hour

P had a meeting at our church last night so Caroline and I were on our own for dinner. I told her we could go anywhere she wanted. She chose Luby’s.

And she was genuinely surprised that Luby’s was totally empty when we walked through the doors at 6:00 p.m. because she has no appreciation for the fact that the majority of Luby’s patrons eat at 4:30 and are home watching old reruns of Murder She Wrote by 6:00.

So we ate our LuAnn platters and caught up on the day. Actually, I listened to Caroline’s running dialogue about the injustice of fractions and her thoughts on Harry Potter and how she wants to let her hair get really long and that she likes the smell of the new stuff I put in my hair and did I know that they threw piles of weeds at each other during recess and one of her classmates said that they shouldn’t do that because it hurts Mother Nature and Caroline responded with “Who cares? Mother Nature isn’t real. I’ll tell you who made these weeds. G – O – D.”

Which reminded me of a youth group skit I saw one time where the kids sang “You down with G-O-D, yeah you know me” and confirmed forever my belief that it generally works out best for everyone when Christian culture doesn’t try to rip off pop culture.

Anyway, the conversation was lovely. But the food.

I don’t know when I’ll accept that Luby’s is a far cry from the Luby’s of my youth.

I loved Luby’s Cafeteria from the days when it was still Romano’s Cafeteria. And then it was Luby/Romano’s Cafeteria. And then the Romanos must have gotten kicked to the curb because it became just Luby’s.

We’d go there after church on Sundays and wait in that long line. And I’d order the chicken fried steak which was known by its fancy name, breaded beef cutlet. With cream gravy and mashed potatoes and fried okra.

And jello in a fancy glass dish for dessert.

It was the meal by which I judged all other meals for a long time.

The best part was that Luby’s was a constant, unchanging presence in my life. Kind of like if God wore a hairnet and scooped out delicious mac and cheese.

(I actually feel that there will be mac and cheese aplenty in heaven. But no hairnets. Those will be reserved for hell.)

Even when I went to college, there was a Luby’s right on the corner of the Texas A&M campus with an interior all decorated in maroon. And anytime I craved a delicious meal lovingly prepared by women in hairnets, I would beg my roommates to head to Luby’s with me.

But at some point after that it began to go downhill. The fried okra wasn’t the same. The breaded beef cutlet became a little flavorless and chewy. And the mashed potatoes tasted a little too instant.

Apparently I wasn’t alone in the end of my love affair because, a few years after P and I got married, they closed a bunch of Luby’s, including the original one that was down the street from our first apartment.

But I held out hope when they were bought out by a bigger restaurant chain. Alas, all this brought was higher prices, a drive-through window, and an attempt to make Luby’s cool. It’s not supposed to be cool.

It’s a cafeteria.

Yet I still get lured in by Luby’s from time to time. The siren song of the mac and cheese is too powerful to resist. And I always hold out the hope that this time, THIS TIME, it will be like the Luby’s of yore.

Then I sit down with my LuAnn platter and am faced with the cold, hard reality of a study in culinary mediocrity. And I vow that this will probably be my last time to eat there.

(Please picture Scarlett O’Hara in the field at Tara shaking her fist at the sky.)

Until I crave the taste of a home-cooked meal. And remember that a home-cooked meal these days requires that I cook it since I am the cook in my home. And then I lament the fact that there aren’t any restaurants around who just serve good old-fashioned food that tastes like home.

Which brings me back to Luby’s. And the taste of disappointment.

Have y’all ever had a restaurant turn on you but you can’t let go? Am I alone in this journey?

Is there a light at the end of this cafeteria line?

(I don’t even know what that means.)

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Comments

  1. 1

    You should come to Macon, Georgia, we have many home-cooked, cafeteria style restaurants down here that never dissapoint. Next time I go to H&H (the cook was the personal chef for the Allman Brothers Band) I will order the country fried steak and think of you, lol! Great post!

    • 2

      I went to Weselyan, and my college friends and I loved going to Golden Corral. Only my close friends know I love Murder She Wrote- it was the only thing on TV 11pm when I used to get in from the library during Pharmacy school.

  2. 3

    My Paw-paw used to take all of us ( Granny, their 6 kids and spouses and 11 grandkids) to Po Folks… I ate there in college with some friends and it wasn’t the same. I think it’s seasoned with memories and no one can cook those up the way they used to be!

  3. 4

    It’s the Carolina equivalent, called K&W Cafeteria. Every time I go home, I persuade my friends to go with me (they call it Kane and Walker.) Last time, I kid you not, I watched as a woman with white hair, a shockingly strapless floral sundress, multiple tats and an OXYGEN TANK glided past me.
    The macaroni and cheese has gone so far downhill just since I’ve lived in Germany that one is hard-pressed to find the cheese in it. But the sweet tea is still king of the universe.

  4. 5

    I lived in Texas (Pampa and Corpus Christi) when I was little, and I was a HUGE FAN of cafeterias. We used to eat at the Furr’s Cafeteria (which I now see on Wikipedia is called Furr’s Fresh Buffet…fancy) when we would go visit my great-grandmother, who was from Richardson. When we lived in Corpus Christi, there were two malls, and each one had a cafeteria (I think one had a Luby’s), and I used to love eating there. I especially remember green Jello parfaits with fondness.

    Here is Pennsylvania, the closest we get to a cafeteria (outside of a school or workplace) is the Old Country Buffet, which does NOT compare. I do eat in the cafeteria in the hospital in which I work on occasion, and although it is not the same AT ALL, it does bring back memories of those days waiting in line at Furr’s Cafeteria.

  5. 6

    We’ve noticed that if you can’t get to Luby’s by 4:25, all the pudding cups are gone.

  6. 7

    Growing up, we went to the University Cafeteria every week after church and sometimes for dinner to meet my dad when he had to work late (pediatrician). It is no longer around but I miss it terribly. A good cafeteria is the only place I can order liver and onions! I WON’T cook my own liver (who wants to eat it after seeing it raw??) and newer places don’t cook it to death, like you must, or it’s not edible. OK, so hopefully you haven’t banned me from your commenter list ’cause I like liver. Oh, and chicken livers are fine too, but again, I won’t make them myself.

  7. 8

    You are hilarious!

  8. 9

    Oh my! I have the exact same experience growing up and feelings you have now about Lubys (except it was the fried fish for me)! I had a genuine craving to go there recently after church. Worst dining experience in years! I didn’t know it was possible to make fried fish chewy, but they succeeded. And my son wanted blue jello, but they were out. I asked the lady at the salad counter and she said, “they are making more.” I asked her when more would be ready and she literally just shrugged her shoulders and started serving someone else.

    So sad. I used to love standing in that horribly long line on Sunday for some delicious rectangular fish.

    Sigh.

  9. 10

    As I read your post Amy Grant singing “They paved Paradise and put up a parking lot” began playing in my head… when that song first came out I was too young to understand what it meant. The closest we came to cafeterias up in Canada was The Ponderosa. I felt so special holding my tray and plastic number waiting for my Salisbury Steak.

    • 11
      Canadian Cathy says:

      I am from Canada too. Ponderosa! Which became Bonanza! We also had a Mom and Pop Shop called the Double Bar S. Back when you had chicken drumsticks as a kids meal instead of Chicken fingers! Good times.

  10. 12

    growing up in Houston my entire family would always get together and go to Luby’s….i absolutley loved the fried okra, mac & cheese, and fried fish luann platter…i also went to texas a&m, c/o 2006, so I know exactly what Luby’s you are describing in college station….ever since the big “shall remain nameless” company bought them out the quality has just gone down and the prices have gone up….i miss the good ole days :-) i’d even go for a good picadilly cafeteria now!

  11. 13

    OH the good ol days….Picadillys was the cafeteria I grew up on.The last time I went there,all that remained good was the rolls and the tea.I dont know why but cafeterias always have good sweets,breads and tea.At least once a week.I wish for a home cooked meal in my house that I dont have to make.I miss going to my grandmothers house on Sunday and bringing home tupperware full of pot roast,potatoes,ham you name it.It made me realize just now that I miss her cooking most of all after she died.I think I might have to go slither away and contemplate just what that says about me if I saw her again.would I say so glad that Jesus set you free now run in the kitchen and fix me some some food.

  12. 14

    Taco Bell. It tasted so good in high school and college. Now it just makes me sick.

  13. 15

    Back when my grandmother was alive, my mom would take her to Luby’s for lunch about five days a week. Sometimes they would go to Wyatt’s or Piccadilly to spice things up but Luby’s was my grandmother’s favorite. Sometimes my brother or I would take her and there was a line to get in Luby’s when they opened at 10:45 AM! And you are right, the food was pretty good back then. But my grandmother has been gone for seventeen years now and I can’t believe what happened to Luby’s since. We went several years ago and I will never go back, at least while I still have teeth.

  14. 16
    lavonda says:

    Where I grew up in Florida (if we weren’t eating at my grandmother’s house after church) we all ate at Morrison’s Cafeteria for Sunday lunch. Which then became a Picadilly’s in my early 20′s. We have a Picadilly’s up here in NW Ga near our home now, and I swear to you, when my daughter was 5, she asked to have her birthday party there, she loved the food so much. What better gift to share with your friends than the Child’s Plate with it’s chopped steak, green beans, and macaroni and cheese?
    And that pudding cup… it’s what 5 year old’s dreams are made of.

    When I eat at Picadilly’s on occasion today, I’m always torn between getting the Chocolate Silk Pie or the Egg Custard Pie (both of which my Grandaddy LOVED so much). Just a bite of one of them takes me back to sitting beside him at Morrison’s after church, before my feet could even touch the floor from my chair.

    Good gracious, I was laughing and now I’m crying. Thanks for the memories this morning. I feel safe to say Picadilly’s is in our future this weekend. The kids will be so happy!

    • 17
      Valerie says:

      Oh, I do miss Morrison’s! The wedge salad. The bread pudding. The roast beef with mashed potatoes and gravy. The cornsticks. Piccadilly just isn’t the same…at least around here.

  15. 18

    Growing up my grandmother used to take us to Western Sizzlin. I always loved it and would order fried chicken fingers and have soft serve ice cream. When you are a kid it’s hard for any restaurant to beat the ones that let you have all the ice cream you want plus sprinkles at the end of your meal. Now that I’m grown up I really don’t find myself having cravings for this anymore.

  16. 19

    I used to love those cafeterias too. We had several in my town…but my favorite was a place called Bailey’s. The women (obviously in hairnets) who served the food were at least 110 years old. What I loved were the options! All laid out before me! All those desserts! It was heaven. Eventually it closed and life hasn’t been the same since : ( I think all their regular customers must have gone on to their reward. No, seriously.

  17. 20

    It was Bishop’s Buffet for me in IA, the best chocolate silk pie ever, with the chocolate curls on top. And really good krinkle fries. Ladies who carried your tray. And a little light on your table so one of the ladies would bring you something you needed or forgot. Used to make my mom and grandman insane when my sister and I turned the light on when we didn’t want anything!
    Sadly Bishop’s is gone now too.

    • 21
      Kimberly/OKC says:

      Yes, Bishop’s!! And yes, it was called French Silk Pie…it sat 7 inches high, I bet, maybe 8! I was a kid and used to ask my Dad, please can I have the French Silk Pie? Lovely memory…

  18. 22

    I loved Luby’s after church on Sunday! Now Cracker Barrel is my go-to for ‘home cooked.”

  19. 23

    I’d give my right arm to have a Big Boy from Shoneys. There was a time in my life where a hot fudge cake was on the regular rotation, but now it’s just a hot mess of powdered egg and soggy french toast sticks.

    • 24

      Oh my gosh, I was going to say the same thing! I loved the Big Boy and the hot fudge cake….we still eat there, but they named it Frisch’s in this town. It will always be Shoney’s to me :-)

  20. 25
    Nate's Mom says:

    I truly miss Hot Shoppes Cafeteria. The first tossed salad I ever had that didn’t consist solely of iceberg and cherry tomatoes. Never had anything there that I didn’t like, best stewed tomatoes, loved the Swedish meatballs over rice. Egg custard for dessert every time.

    McDonalds used to be a guilty pleasure for me, even 5-10 years ago, now since trans fats have been banned it’s just greasy and gross “food.”

    Nate’s Mom

  21. 26
    Kimberly M. says:

    This made me laugh a lot! First of all, my parents (who are in their early 70′s) have suddenly become addicted to Golden Corral because you get the Senior Discount from 2-4PM! ;-)
    My husband Clint, used to always want to go to Luby’s for their mac and cheese. Sadly, I never cared for it so he occasionally teases me that we will be going there for our next date!
    Oh…and as far as I know, the Luby’s here by campus still is decorated in maroon!

  22. 27

    I grew up in Florida and we always went to Morrison’s cafeteria too. It was always dimly lit and emitted a romantic ambiance, or at least it seemed that way to my 10-year old self. Then when I went off to college, the cafeteria on campus was none other than a Morrison’s cafeteria. Monday through Friday it would be full of smelly students but on Sundays after church all the little old people in town would come to campus for Morrison’s. They would wait in line with all the students to get their lamb with mint jelly or the fish almandine. The romantic atmosphere long gone. Sigh.

  23. 28

    Thank you for this post. My husband has wanted to go to Lubys for years and I’m like no way that’s old people food. Ok I get that he and I are now considered “old People” by some of the youth of America and I’m ok with that but that doesn’t mean I have to give up taste. Now, I can point to this post and say………….. I told you so. haha OK so I won’t say I told you so but, I’m really thinking of getting him to read this post.

    Sorry your Luby’s dream has died. Maybe you have developed a better palate since you are older and wiser and on to the delights of delicious Mexican food. Because I’m there with you sister!

  24. 29

    I am right there with you on the experience of the Romanos, Romanos/Luby’s, and now Luby’s thing. It is not the same, but we keep trying it too every once in awhile.

  25. 30

    Bryce’s in Texarkana, Texas!!!!!! STILL THE ONE!! You and Gulley need to take a road trip and try it. :)

    • 31

      Bryce’s is the cafeteria of my youth. MMMmm. It was so good. And the peach pie that is on the line in June is the best pie ever!

  26. 32
    Nancy Minchew says:

    Next time you are in Houston, go to Cleburn’s Cafeteria, 3606 Bissonnet Street Houston, TX 77005, (713) 667-2386. My sister introduced me to this family run establishment several years ago. I know it will remind you of Luby’s of yore!

  27. 33

    Picadilly’s & Morrison’s from my childhood in MS. Closest thing to home-cooking –other than mine:) — Cracker Barrel.

  28. 34

    I think Cracker Barrel is seriously disappointing these days. The food is never very good (I had the pot pie the last time and I swore that had done me in for all my Cracker Barrel desiring days). Our particular Cracker Barrel is always busy and I can’t figure out why, except they sucker you in with the shopping.

  29. 35
    Tonya Henry says:

    Pietro’s Pizza! It was the best when I was in High School. The Barmaid Special….mmmm. Yes! Then it changed hands and it was notcieably different, but tolerable. Changed hands again and it just got GROSS! I still miss it. And even long for it, occassionally.

  30. 36

    Golden Corral and PoFolks. Of course that’s only judging by the ones near me. Once you’ve been scarred by one, it’s hard to go to another of the same name.

  31. 37

    can we please speak of duffs?

    o sweet duffs my heart yearns for you!

  32. 38

    Ahh, it’s the Picadilly for me! I still love the big wood-armed rolling chairs that smash your fingers if you push up to the table the same time your husband/son/daughter/friend does! OUCH!
    Fried liver with onions on the side for me and the biggest slice of pie I can find! Ha!

    PS–HOW do you get out of cooking? My people would revolt! Teach me your ways… ;)

    • 39

      I remember those chairs! We had a Picaddilly at the mall near our house and if it wasn’t a beans and cornbread Sunday, Picadilly was our destination after church. I loved all the choices but always ordered the same thing – the fried fish. :-)

  33. 40

    My husband’s grandparents still love Luby’s. My kids think it’s awesome because – all the choices under bright lights!! And Jello in any and every color? Does it get any better? We always shake our heads and smile and suffer through the mediocre food to give our kids and our grandparents these special memories :)

  34. 41

    Golden Corral. And Shoney’s. *sigh* Ahhh, nostalgia.

  35. 42

    About A&M, if you are talking about the Luby’s on Texas Ave., close to University Drive-it is still there!
    I used to eat there too, in the mid 80′s. Wonder how it is today? Did you ever get the strawberry pie with “whipped cream”?

  36. 43

    We ate Luby’s on a very regular basis growing up, although at that time we also had Wyatt’s cafeteria to mix things up a little bit. My dad has always loved Luby’s (he always order liver and onions when I was growing up. Not sure if he loved it as much as torturing us about having to eat some.). There’s only one left around here, though, and he occasionally forces my mom to eat there. However, Jello and Andes Mints will always remind me of Luby’s.

  37. 44

    I feel like this might be a southern thing. I had no idea what you meant by “cafeteria” til I saw someone in the comments compare it to an Old Country Buffet. My girls think Old Country Buffet is the height of fine dining. Because “you get to eat WHATEVER YOU WANT.” And every time they talk about how wonderful it is, I feel like I’ve failed them in some way. But everyone eats fairly well when we go, so we go again. Because at least we don’t pay for a kids meal that gets 3 bites out of it. And they do have Icees as a beverage choice.

  38. 45
    Kay Hale says:

    I have never commented on any blog before but love yours because I was born and raised in San Antonio and though gone for more years than I care to remember your stories about HEB got me hooked (and have more than once had me laughing right out of my chair) and when I saw LuAnn platter at the top of your post this morning it made me smile. I now live in Overland Park, KS but no matter when we come back to Texas we ALWAYS land at Luby’s for a meal or two. And even though it has changed a lot and I wonder what I was thinking when I start eating, it is like a trip down memory lane that is not to be missed. And hey it works out pretty good when you don’t realize that you now pay at the serving line which leaves your daughter who was last in line to pay the bill!

    • 46

      I went to college in San Antonio and we used to go to Luby’s or the Wyatt’s that was in Ingram Park Mall. And you always walked away stuffed! And they had the best German chocolate cake! And mac and cheese. Now, I live in Abilene and used to take my kids to the Luby’s here (cuz kids ate free) but it was never as good as I remembered. And then it closed and got remade into a Genghis Grill. We don’t have any cafeteria’s anymore. After Luby’s closed we still had a Furr’s for a bit but that went waaay downhill too and was shut down too. It’s so sad when you have something like that that you remember so fondly but it just isn’t the same as when you were a kid.

    • 47

      can someone enlighten me on what is the “LuAnn platter”? never been to a Luby’s, can you tell? We had a Wyatt’s, and I loved the eggplant casserole.

  39. 49

    One summer we ate Luby’s for dinner every night as part of an experiment wherein my mom hypothesized that we could spend the same there as she did grocery shopping that month. Clearly that was back during the time of reasonable pricing. I don’t know if the budgets came out the same, but mom sure was glad not to have to shop, cook, and clean up afterward. We became pretty weary of Luby’s though, so it was awhile before any of us ventured back for a Sunday lunch.

    My LuAnn platter go to-chopped steak (really just a fancy hamburger), fried okra and mashed potatoes.

    • 50

      I remember that summer! (I’m Katie’s Mom) Don’t think we saved much money, but the time and energy saved was worth it, and the fact we still talk about it all these years later means it was a good memory.

      The Luby’s on 290 at Spring Cypress in Cypress actually has decent food. I rarely get meat, tho, just a vegetable plate. The mac and cheese and black eyed peas are faves.

  40. 51

    I have never been just a real big van of cafeterias. I think that is because you just couldn’t beat my mother and grandmother on home cooking. When we went out to eat we wanted something we couldn’t get any where else. It is like when I travel I don’t want to eat somewhere I can find in my home town. I want to try new things.

  41. 52

    I feel this way about Furr’s….except not because I HAVE managed to let it go. It is truly awful now. LOVED it growing up though!

  42. 53

    You just made me smile so big. The thought of you eating at Luby’s reminds me of the time you ran into mother and daddy there.

    Daddy used to call me at work at 4:30 when Roy was out of town and ask me to meet them at Luby’s at 4:45. Oh how I miss those days!

  43. 54

    We had something like Luby’s when I was young called Hometown Buffet. Except I was a child wise beyond my years and hated it even then. I usually just skipped straight to the soft serve frozen yogurt, which basically cost $8 since I didn’t eat anything else except maybe a roll. Don’t tell my mom.

  44. 55

    I feel so sorry for all those people who don’t know that Luann Platter is not just a character on King of the Hill. I always loved Luby’s, but agree that it is not the same anymore.

  45. 56
    Anne N. says:

    I grew up eating at Romano’s! Loved it, and was disappointed when it became “big time” and was bought out by Luby’s. HA. I also remember eating at Wyatt’s Cafeteria, Furr’s and the Dinner Bell (Houston, TX).

    • 57
      Brenda B says:

      Sadly our Belle Meade Cafeteria (The Blue Hair) closed several years ago. It got the nick name because of all the old ladies with blue hair who ate there. They had waiters who carried your tray to your table and we felt so fancy. Really miss the beef bourgandy.

      • 58

        As soon as I read this post, I thought of Belle Meade Cafeteria! Loved eating there!

  46. 59

    All the chain restaurants get their food from 3 big food manufacturing plants in the US, so everything tastes the same, all they do is open packets up and pretend like they made it themselves. If you want a good chicken fried steak head out to the OST in downtown Bandera. Actually I love their chicken fried chicken, its the best. We stopped going to most chains because all the food is just awful.

  47. 60

    Oh, this just about made me cry. Luby’s isn’t the same anymore? We live far, far away from Luby’s, and I just assumed that the chicken fried steak and fried okra and pie were the same as they ever were. I’m ignoring this. The Luby’s of my dreams is still there, I know it is. Traditions in Tyler is good, though, and if anybody rains on my Highland Park Cafeteria parade, I might get homicidal, so just hush. I haven’t been there in decades, but oh my word the coconut cream pie.

  48. 61

    Well, I finally have to disagree with you on something besides college football…I have always loved Luby’s and I still love Luby’s. (Although I do miss the rolling high chairs and the ladies with the aprons, hats, and ugly shoes.)

    We used to go when I was little with my Grandma and her sister and her husband. I have all of these special family memories wrapped up in that place. I was also allowed to get a piece of chocolate pie and eat it all by myself every time. Dessert spoke to my young heart.

    A couple of years ago I got the cookbook and wrote a sweet message inside and gave it to my mom for Mother’s Day. She cried. Mother’s Day was obviously a success.

    And my last thing (because I look like a Luby’s stalker now) is that to this day, my 31 year old self still orders the EXACT same thing as my 5 year old self: fried fish, mashed potatoes, corn, and pie. Delish.

  49. 62

    My college buddies and I had our Thanksgiving day meal at the College Station Luby’s when we didn’t go home for Thanksgiving and instead staying in College Station for the t.u. game. It was a far cry from my Mama’s cornbread dressing!

    The restaurant that has let me down and yet I still try it when I go back to Dallas to visit is The Blackeyed Pea. I used to love their broccoli cheese soup but it’s just not the same anymore.

  50. 63

    We used to eat at a Luby’s in our mall growing up… there was always a long line, but it was worth it for the fried fish and mac ‘n’ cheese. Always the mac ‘n’ cheese for me! We now live in Aggieland and visited the one on Texas last month (early, with my husband’s parents and uncle) and mac ‘n’ cheese just wasn’t the same. It made me sad.

  51. 64

    Quincy’s was our Sunday after church dining spot…I loved those big fat yeast rolls. The taste of honey butter always reminds me of those Sunday lunches. As far as I know, all the Quincy’s are gone too…but so our the days I can enjoy guilt free carbohydrates, so I guess alls well that ends well?

    As for home cooked meals…if you’re book tour brings you to Columbia, SC, try Lizard’s Thicket. I know the name is little strange and may not make the resturant sound appealing, but I promise it’s delicious…and their fried okra is fantastic!

  52. 65

    Oh man, I used to love Luby’s. My college roommate and I would get cravings for the fried chicken and mac and cheese, and we’d force ourselves to wait until 5pm to go. We also had Picadilly Cafeteria when I was growing up…same concept as Luby’s, but their pudding was better.

  53. 66

    Ah, Morrison’s Cafeteria! We used to go there in Pensacola when I was a kid on summer vacation, then my new husband and I went with my grandmother one summer. He had food piled on his plate and she asked sardonically if he was sure he had enough food. As he piled on rolls, he replied that eating was serious business. She kidded him about that until the day she died. Morrison’s had some good food, y’all.

  54. 67

    Oh, now Piccadilly was the love language of my childhood. We would go regularly but always on Fridays during Lent for the rectangular fried fish. I was allowed to pick whatever I wanted for my little plastic tray and it never changed: the Dilly Platter with fish, heavenly mac and cheese, broccoli with gooey melted cheese and strawberry shortcake. Nutritious options were obviously my priority. The last time I ate at a Lubys was on the way to a football game with the dance team in high school. Imagine the looks on the faces of the regulars when 70 chipper, screechy girls in sequins and tassled cowboy boots came charging in. It was delightful.

  55. 68

    My family almost never went out to eat. Only if we were a long way from home and it was usually some strange place that served strange food that I didn’t really want to eat even though I had to. I only liked it when our relatives ordered pizza! That was my favorite. Still is most of the time. My kid’s would tell you Super China Buffet and the day they come back and tell me that it doesn’t taste as good as it used to I’m going to assure them that it never tasted good. There taste buds just hadn’t matured yet!

  56. 69

    I just made the Pioneer Woman’s chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes. Ans her wedge salad. Vegetable…fried okra. Pretty sure it would beat out Luby’s.

  57. 70

    Melanie, I KID YOU NOT- I watched a guy PROPOSE to a girl at the Luby’s you speak of on Texas Avenue (that is on Texas, right?) I’m talking drop down and one knee and propose!! If that’s not romantic and fancy I don’t know what is.

  58. 71

    Oh Luby’s!!! Memories….

    Seriously, how I miss those days when it was so delicious. And now they charge $9 for a plate of mediocre food and Jason and I complain about it the entire time we are there, but yet can’t stop going back every so often.

  59. 72

    Bad news…My roommates and I have determined that the Luby’s in College Station is EVEN more mediocre than regular Luby’s these days. Its quite a bummer for Aggies everywhere.

  60. 73

    You are so right about the Luby’s quality going right downhill. However, there is one Luby’s that is still awesome…it is the location on Weidner on the East Side. My ex-mother-in-law lives over there and we took her after church a while back. The line is almost out the door but the food is worth the wait. The food tastes just like in the old days, the decor is classic and the tables are clean. Also, it is the only Luby’s I know of that is all you can eat. The price is higher than just a LuAnn, but totally worth it. I recommend taking the drive the next time you want an old school Luby’s experience…but only go on Sunday, I think the crowd helps to keep the food hot and fresh…not sure it would be the same during the week.

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    DH feels this way about Cracker Barrel. They started out great and then turned. I wonder what has brought them to this lowly state?

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    Oh how I loved this! SO many….
    1) I saw someone else mention Taco Bell. My mom & I were on a mini vacation and could not find anything BUT TB. Threw my burrito out the window on the interstate. Why did I love it???
    2) Grew up in New England and the only thing we had similar was Ponderosa. I thought only fancy restaurants gave you hand sanitizing napkins at the end of the meal.
    3) When we drove to the South for vacays, our family thought Shoneys was the bees-knees! ALWAYS stopped. A few years ago, my hubby’s VERY redneck family in the middle of VA had a funeral dinner in the dining room of the Shoney’s. So fancy! I got sick on the car ride home.
    4) Never been to a Picadilly, but they have them in our area. Used to work in a business where the closest person to my age was 30 years older. The whole gang would ALWAYS go there for lunch. I think they have a minimum age requirement.

    Pssst…Still watch Murder She Wrote re-runs.

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    Please please please tell me this is not the Luby’s on Broadway. I ate there every.single.sunday after church my entire life. LuAnn with fried chicken and double fried okra. Those were the days. sigh… Haven’t been back since I was out of college. As a young girl, I always said my dream job was to be the drink filler person that got to fill the coke glasses. Thought that was the coolest job ever. When we come visit SA… we don’t waste our time on Luby’s now, we frequent Chris Madrids and all the other fab food that SA has to offer.

  64. 77

    I was reading the comments and thinking I wish everyone could eat at Bryce’s Cafeteria in Texarkana, Texas. Ate there from the time I was a little kid ( in the 50′s) till anytime we drive down in that neck of the woods.

    THE BEST…not a chain….family-owned….and wonderful!

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    Wow. I lived in San Antonio for 17 yrs, practically gave birth to my oldest at Luby’s at, oh, oh I can’t remember the name of the mall, but it was the mall just West of North Star mall. On Blanco and I410. I moved back to my homestate of Nebraska about 15 yrs ago and I still reminisce about the SA places we used to eat at. Luby’s, Taco Cabana, Bill Miller’s BBQ (catered my wedding reception!) Mi Tierra, Souper Salad to name just a few. And HEB. Boy, that was the best grocery store ever.
    Here in the big O, we don’t have a cafeteria like Luby’s. We did have Bishop’s at the Westroads, and they were close. I always had the beef french dip and chocolate pie. We also had the cafe in the basement of the downtown Brandies department store. That was wonderful. When i was very little, like before kindergarten, Omaha had King’s. I don’t remember much about them but we ate there and my family seemed to love it.
    It hurts to hear that Luby’s is changed. I will always have fond memories.