10 Reasons Why

The Decadence of Condiments


Editor’s Note: As a companion piece to the recent paean to the mood swings of a Chinese Buffet experience, here is an older ode exemplifying the writer’s obsessive thoughts concerning a new menu option at a local cafeteria-style chain…

1. The fact that Luby’s even serves breakfast.

This is an amazing and monumental development in the history of dining out. Luby’s has always had good food, albeit most of the selections are considerably health-negative. (The cooks love things like salt, butter, lard, and a disregard for free-flowing arteries.) So the prospect of the staff taking a crack at breakfast had me salivating profusely from the exact second I noticed the announcement whilst driving past the location down the street. It was 8:30 at night. I seriously considered just parking the car at the door and waiting for daylight.

2. It’s cheap.

Luby’s is not known for budget-supportive prices. If you aren’t careful when going through the line, snapping up everything that looks tasty, you might have to take out a loan when you get to the register. Even if you try to do the right thing, economically speaking, selecting the LuAnn Platter, which saves you a few cents, I’m just not emotionally stable enough to avoid the other temptations. Like dessert. A wedge of carrot cake, though guaranteed to trigger multiple orgasms, will set you back 4 or 5 bucks.

But brace yourselves, fellow Luby’s lovers. The breakfast at Luby’s is only five dollars. That is not a typo. (To be fair, that’s the price here in Dallas. I can’t really speak for other locales, nor do I have any desire to do so.) And before you have recovered from the shock, let me hit you with another wave: It’s all you can eat.

All. You can eat.

I know, right? Why are you still sitting there? Pack up Granny and hit the road.

3. On the down side, “All You Can Eat” can lead to poor planning and biological discomfort.

As mentioned, I’m still used to careful selections when working through the serving line at Luby’s, because everything costs and I have bills to pay. So when presented with the option of taking whatever I want, I went a little crazy, asking for a bit of everything. When my plate was finally passed down to the last sever and it was time to hand it over, a representative from OSHA had to step in and weigh the thing before Missy could hoist the grease-dripping mess, and in the end they just used an overheard crane to swing the groaning porcelain platter in my direction.

As I waited in line to pay, I realized that I had four different biscuit-based items on my tray. (The most enticing of these? Honey-laced chicken strips on a butter biscuit. Couldn’t you just die!) I had enough carbs in my possession to power me through not only the Boston Marathon but the first six months of next year. If I dared to eat all that mess then I deserved to have internal organs rupture in defiance and self-preservation.

4. The cashier is not yet used to this “one price” thing, either.

As she was announcing my total, Melvinetta, or whatever her name was, actually said to me: “That’s the same amount that I’ve been ringing up all morning!” (Then she grinned maniacally at this perceived happenstance in the cosmos.) Um, everyone is going to have the same amount because it’s the same price. Do you not realize that you’re punching the same button on your little register every time? Poor thing. I hope she really likes working at Luby’s because she’s apparently already clutching the highest star she can reach.

5. The table attendants have a new lease on life.

These people no longer have the boring task of simply inquiring on the fullness level of your tea glass. They are now responsible for running to retrieve any additional food selections you may require during your consumption extravaganza. That’s right, you don’t even have to drag your ass out of your chair if you want to nosh a bit more. Just ask and you shall receive. Good deal, right?

Sort of. You have to be very selective in choosing your table. You want to be in the serving radius of a well-balanced and professional attendant, one who will keep an eye on you without being intrusive. You don’t want one of those hyper, greedy attendants hell-bent on asking if you need anything every five seconds, thinking that every little plate they bring you will automatically increase their tip. “Look, Benedryllia, I’m still chewing on the bite of pancakes that you watched me put in my mouth the last time you checked on my hash brown requirements.”

6. Cream gravy tastes good on everything.


7. It IS possible to slip into and out of a grease-induced coma several times in a row without lasting physical damage.

I proved that this morning. You can rent the resulting documentary at Red Box.

8. Cheaper does mean a ruder customer base.

Prepare yourself for this angle. When prices hit rock-bottom, transforming Luby’s from the realm of senior citizens with nothing else to do and folks who will eat chicken-fried anything to a free-for-all of discounts and gluttony, you are going to encounter some shadier elements of society.

Of course, it’s not like gangs are driving motorcycles around the condiment bar while hookers strut their wares near the extra silverware, but be aware that there are certain sinister tables that you should probably avoid. Unless, of course, you find it refreshing to be part of a drug deal at 9:30 in the morning. I understand that we all have our own interests.

9. The old people are still around.

They are always there. It’s a cult.

10. It’s difficult to remember your name once you’ve eaten enough bacon.

Likewise, an extremely full belly can lead to other complications in public places, like confusion about where the exit might be, where your car might be, how many people were originally in your party, whether or not you still love any of them, and an inability to recall the exact functioning of all those pedals and levers and warning lights on a standard automobile. Be sure to carry proper identification, proof of insurance, a list of possible reactionary medications, and a formal letter of pardon from the last time you lost your mind in a place that has unlimited cream gravy…


(Originally published in “The Sound and the Fury” on 12/19/10, revised and updated with extra flair for this post. Image borrowed and tinted from CardCow.Com.)

19 replies »

  1. Thanks for the trip down memory line. While at college in Austin, I would go out of my way to line up for Luby’s macaroni and cheese, fried okra, and red cube jello cubes dessert. Now that they serve AYCE breakfast, I will definitely be back. I’ve got my tray ready.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. If I ever travel to / through Texas, I will make sure to stop at Luby’s – hey, there has to be at least ONE motorcycle in the parking lot! I’ll try to make it look scruffy enough to qualify as a “biker-gang” hog, LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What do you mean? There is no such thing as too much bacon. Unless of course you don’t exercise after. Having said that, imagine being seated in an Italian restaurant and being presented with the 90 minute all-you can-eat pizza menu when you are a coeliac? Double plus unfunny. I would call that poor planning by my DNA.

    Liked by 1 person

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