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What are the idiots at Luby's thinking?

  • w

In this economic environment how can Luby's overhaul their pricing to the extent they charged me over $22 for a pork chop, salad, three vegetables, bread and tea -- for lunch! Sure, I was stupid for assuming they still had a fixed price, but even A la Carte, that is an absurd price for a cafeteria.
Count me out forever.

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  1. Once the Pappas chain bought them, many years ago, I gave up on them. Portions went down, prices went up.

    1 Reply
    1. re: danhole

      I agree. I will admit though the chicken fried steaks did get bigger and *that* I am happy about. :-D

    2. The slap in the face to me was when paying out and they were charging 30 cents for that little tiny nano-ounce of (Andes) chocolate mint. Small gold ingots they're not.

      1. I know Luby's has been really struggling financially but $22 is absurd!

        I just hope they can still stay afloat because it's the only decent cafeteria left.

        1. Woofy.....stop going to chains! I rarely dine at a chain anymore and I very rarely pay over $22 for two people (sans the tea) for lunch. I have grown tired of substandard food and service at the chains. Also, as in your case, the meal ends up being more than what you would pay at dinner! If you would like some suggestions of lunch places let us know (also include what city you are in!!).

          1 Reply
          1. re: LewisvilleHounder

            Thanks, but it's tough since independents are a rare and dying breed in the Hurst, Bedford, Euless area. We like a lunch around $10 or less and in, out and back to work in under an hour - and to further complicate things, we're tired of just about everything around since menus never seem to change much.

          2. When I first moved to Oak Cliff, Luby's was my second meal . My Houston raised husband was so excited, but as soon as they rang up the cash register, I was like, "oh no...we need to go check out Jefferson for some cheap eats." $22 is ridiculous. They need to seriously reevaluate their target diners.

            2 Replies
            1. re: jindomommy

              Jindo...let me know what you find on Jefferson.

              As a fellow afficiando I bet you would like El Ranchito, Paletas Frutitas, La Palapa Veracruzana and Tortas La Hechirzera

              1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                Hounder...just saw your post. I've been eating my way through Asia the past few weeks. You would have loved it! Love El Ranchito and La Palapa Veracruzana as staples. However, we also will just walk into random places and just give it a good try. But, there seems to be quite some turnover. I cook five nights out of the week and we drive all over Dallas to eat, so we don't actually eat in the hood all the time. So, last year we tried La Aldana in the spot where Loretta's was and then now it's gone. Hard to keep up. I also just like eating at the grocery stores where you can find cheap sweetbreads. No lemon caper sauce, but still good. I should really try to commit some of these places names to memory because my husband and I refer to our favorite taco place as Abierto 24/7. LOL...we don't even know the name. Some of the best eating on Jefferson is just walking through the bakeries and grocery stores...like street food. If you couldn't tell yet, I love my ethnic street food. It tells you so much about a culture and it's good!

            2. OMG!
              You could have had the prix fixe lunch at Charlie Palmer for just a mere $4 more.

              1 Reply
              1. That's why I love Furr's Cafeteria (Beltline & Preston)...quality is comparable to Luby's, maybe a little worse, but it's definitely cafeteria quality and it's all-you-can-eat! I've also recently discovered that they make a great cup of coffee!

                6 Replies
                1. re: ShanghaiSam

                  I wish we still had a Furr's in Houston, but Luby's is the last of the big cafeterias in town and they stink!

                  1. re: danhole

                    There's still a few independant cafeterias left in Houston. Try the Dinnerbell on Lawndale (they even have ashtrays built into the wall while you wait in line!) and Cleburne's on Bissonnet, which is pricer than Luby's but you can split an entree with three people. Seriously.

                    1. re: Asticat

                      I'll keep those in mind. Thanks.

                      1. re: Asticat

                        This may be a stupid question, but I just moved to Houston and am not familiar with the local smoking laws. Does "ashtrays built into the wall while you wait in line" mean that I might have to be standing there with people smoking?

                        Say it ain't so, Asticat.

                        1. re: Jaymes

                          No, it just means it is a very old building. Some old places still have ashtrays by the toliets as well! NO smoking inside of Houston. Outside of Houston, it is up to the restaurant.

                          1. re: Jaymes

                            At one point in time you could smoke in restaurants but no longer. I think it just shows that the decor hasn't changed since they first open. When I saw the ashtrays it threw me. Sort of like seeing ashtrays in the seats on an airplane! lol.

                    2. I have eaten at Luby's for 50 years and have to agree, There are many Luby staples that taste the same, but I rarely go as they have priced me out of their market. Fie on Pappa's!

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: randyjl

                        I actually think Luby's is pretty good. Sometimes I just get in the mood for a piece of square fish. Brings back memories of the school cafeteria.

                        1. re: swamp

                          I can catch all the fish I want to eat in the spring and summer, but I often eat that Luby's fish on the way home from fishing, plus they have great tartar sauce. I hate to get technical, but it is actually a rectangle. Ironically, they advertised the fish on a Houston radio station this morning, first time I had ever heard this, and they say it is haddock.

                          1. re: James Cristinian

                            James, it's my understanding that it USED to be haddock, but it's now pollock (commonly used -- in bits -- for fish sticks).

                      2. Don't they still offer the "LuAnn Special"? That was always a pretty good value.

                        1. If you like Furr's and you're around the east side of Dallas, check out the Furr's Fresh Buffet. It's not bad!

                          1. ??? I find that hard to believe. I eat at Luby's often, by myself. My meals (without dessert) never exceed $10-12. And that includes full portions, ice tea and tax.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: twinwillow

                              I can see it. Pork chop, a premium entree, maybe 7.95. Three veggie sides at 2-250 a whack. Salad, 3.95. Tea, 1.50 -2.50, To me, iced tea is the all time rip-off at restaurants, I quit ordering it. Bread, 1.00. That comes to around 22 dollars. Even the 10-12 dollars you pay is alot when people remember Luby's as a good value. Adjusted for inflation, I don't see value and go rarely even though I like, even love, most of their food. I checked their web site and there are no prices, these are estimates based on years of patronage.

                            2. I think they just reduced the price of the Luann platter. It's actually somewhat affordable now. Food was so bad last time I went though...

                              1. I agree, it is one of the last cafeteria's that are still around, and although I've had a few bad experiences, overall I've always thought their food was pretty good, I used to eat there 2-3 times a week. I could usually get in and out pretty quick and spend about $7 for lunch.Notice the words "used to", because like most everyone else, it has just gotten too expensive. I understand the economy, and they are just doing what they can to stay afloat, but if it's too expensive for me to eat there, I ain't goin! To top it off, (and this is what killed it for me) they added "waitstaff", people who will annoy you every 2 minutes asking if you need more water, coffee, pepper sauce, etc... and expect you to tip them! I've never understood that! If I have to get my own food, I shouldn't be expected to tip someone JUST for refilling my glass. Same thing at Golden Corral. Oh well, I guess at least they are keeping people in a job, but I just can't afford the prices plus a tip, (lunch average is now like $10-11) I usually eat at home or bring my lunch.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: dangitbawb

                                  The Luby's on I30 @ Buckner in Dallas is all you can eat!

                                2. Driving in to FW, I saw a billboard advertising the LuAnne (meat, 2 vegetables and bread) for 4.99 (I think) or 5.99 (M-F) which is what I normally get anyway - I average going to Luby's 2 or 3 times a year and the one in Grapevine has always been pretty good, although the portions have shrunk. But I completely agree with dangitbawb about the "waitstaff". What a joke!

                                  When I was young and doing school road trips, we'd often stop at cafeterias for meals. They always charged for pats of butter. With the prices that Luby's has charged in the past, I've been surprised that they didn't have some incremental charge added for butter, lemon wedges, etc. But so far, not.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: CocoaNut

                                    After writing this (above) I started thinking about Luby's and my longstanding love affair with the retro salmon croquettes and great tarter sauce, sides of mac 'n cheese and sometimes cabbage, sometimes black-eyed peas, jalepeno cornbread, 2 pats of butter and water w/lemon. So to Luby's, with a friend I went.

                                    We arrived and I gave my customary look-over the serving line to see if there was anything new and worth my interest. NO never, but neither did I see my treasured croquettes - there's always 3 or 4 of them, patiently waiting under the spotlight of heat for some cafeteria aficionado to order them up. The place was more crowded than ususal for the dinner hour. There were probably 10 people in line as opposed to the more customary 4 or 5. Could the reduced price of the Luanne plate be responsible for the *crowds*?

                                    Anyway, the little old lady in front of me wanted the missing salmon croquettes also. She was told "5 minutes", replied ok and went on along to choose the remainder of her meal. I opted to get out of line, wait the 5 minutes and get my meal all at once. 5 minutes passed, 6, 7..... no croquettes arrived on the line. However, the people serving on the line were very inept and those waiting in line were becoming more and more agitated with the servers' inefficiencies. Finally, I got back in line and asked about the croquettes. "5 minutes" I was told, to which my reply was "it's been 10". Mass confusion ensued because they had only cooked the 1 for the little old woman. I was told 5 more minutes as now it seems the crusted, deep fried fish are special orders while the various baked fish are on display, drying out by the second. Amazing!

                                    Having my fill of waiting and becoming aggravated just watching the disjointed service for 10+ minutes, my friend and I left.... on the heels of a mother w/2 pre-teen boys. They were complaining about the impossibly poor, sloooooow service.

                                    On the drive home, it occurred to me that it's been well over a year since I've been there and I wondered when this horrible transformation occurred. My friend, who has always enjoyed an occasional Luby's dinner, swore she'd never go back, and sadly, I probably won't either. Too bad. I really liked those croquettes and the tarter sauce.

                                  2. Oh my god. Don't get me started on Luby's. My childhood down home cafeteria happy place has been plundered and pillaged by Pappa's. WHY HATH THOU FORSAKEN ME LUBY'S??
                                    Fried fish. Mashed potatoes. Fried okra. White roll. That's all I ask for. But the last time before the last time I went, they were out of fried okra and the mashed potatoes were cold and pasty. We gave it one last chance (despite the annoying 'waitstaff' who will bring you a straw and expect a tip??) and walked out. The manager wasn't the least bit surprised when we asked for our money back. It must be a regular occurrence. Bring back the pushcart ladies and I might go back again for the fried fish. At least they haven't sabotaged that completely. Yet...

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Demandrea

                                      Give me Furr's. They have catfish on the bar right now that is really good and they server fried potatoes and onions (you can't get more country than that, I should know). It's about $10; like a lot of places though you have to pick the right thing when you are there.

                                    2. Yeah, I used ot pay $3.50 for a Luann too but times have changed. I still like Lubys and hope they make it. The one place I never get tired of.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: PuroConjunto

                                        Pappas is used to LOUD expensive restaurants and maximum profit. Now wonder they can't do good old fashioned home cooking!

                                      2. I couldn't resist that square fish patty, so I pulled into Luby's the other day and kept notes. The "lou ann" was $7.00; that's for half a piece of fish, two veggies and a roll. Cole slaw was 2.20, iced tea was 2.20; total lunch of $11.40. Food was fine, I don't think they are changing recipes or anything. But, it was certainly overpriced compared to the competition.I think this meal would be about $8.00 at Mama's Daughters Diner, and you would get a full order of meat, not the half order offered by Luby's. Where can Luby's go with this business model ? I thought ithe idea was for Pappas to stop the bleeding and get Luby's back on their feet. How can they prosper by contiuing to charge more than the competition for less food ?? I have been a customer for a long time, and I enjoy their food. But, I don't understand the goal of the Pappas family. Any bets on their chance of pulling this off ?

                                        1. Sounds like they are trying to bring back AK-47 night! :-)

                                          1. Okay. I will admit that when I am eating a vegetable plate for dinner I want large portions. I at least want my plate to look like large portions. And I don't want to pay more than $10 for it. My Luby's in River Oaks is very inconsistent. Serving sizes vary and the quality of the product does too. Who wants to pay $2 for cole slaw when it's all juice and very little cabbage? I bought their highly advertised Angus chopped steak. It haunted me like tasting charcol for two days. I rarely see a manager around the serving line at River Oaks. I don't understand why the portions at Pappa's Bar-B-Q along with the quality are consistent and usually good.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Tony77019

                                              You should try Kelly's Country Kitchen. VERY large portions, reasonable prices, breakfast, lunch & dinner. 6 locations.

                                            2. Many years ago Pappa's also purchased Dot's Coffee Shop on I-45S at the loop, just next door to their bbq place. They have very good home cooked style food. Real fried potatoes, great burgers, sandwiches, plate lunches, pies, etc. The price is reasonable too. We eat at Kelley's about three times a month out of convenience but Dot's is much better food with just as large servings as Kelley's.

                                              The Luby's near me was closed yesterday. I wouldn't be surprised if they are out of business.

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: texasredtop

                                                texasredtop, which location closed? Every now and then I can't resist a piece of rectangular fish with their good tartar sauce, although the price has gotten quite high. I'd hate to go out of my way and they're not open.

                                                1. re: James Cristinian

                                                  Ha! My husband ALWAYS gets the rectangular fish - lol. It's the one in Deer Park. It was closed last Saturday which is odd, don't you think? We probably eat there once a year if that often but we pass it 6 days a week on the way to the gym.

                                                  James, you should try Dot's Coffee Shop. I've been eating there for over 25 years and it's still very good even though Pappa's bought it several years back. It's not very convenient for us but when we go that way for anything, we eat at Dot's or Boudreaux's.

                                                  1. re: texasredtop

                                                    texasredtop, back in my outside sales days I used to meet my boss at the Denny's by Baybrook Mall, until he discovered Dot's. I need to go back, it was very good. I don't eat at Luby's often, but I love that fish. I'm in Spring Branch. I want to throw a kudos to the fine folks at Spring Valley Police Department. My wife and I were on our way to work at 545 am when some drunken nut went not aggresive driving, to where the point I thought we might be killed, stoppinig his car and impedenig our progress, I could go on and on. I got them on 911 and within mere seconds, the fool was arrested.

                                                    1. re: James Cristinian

                                                      WOW! That's really scary. I'm glad it turned out okay.

                                                      1. re: James Cristinian

                                                        Don't mess with Valley cops! That is a lesson I've known all my life! Former Spring Branch High School girl here. :)

                                                2. Growing up in West TX, eating at Furr's Cafeteria after church was just almost an expected part of the Sunday ritual. I grew up in Lubbock and still have family there so still get to the one on 82nd St. now and again. I lived in Midland for a couple of years before moving here to the DFW area and had lots of good meals there too. In addition, I have had dozens of meals at the one in Hobbs. N.M. and the food was always good.

                                                  However, sadly, the ones I have tried here in the Dallas area just do not measure up. There is a one off of 635 in Garland that is called "Furr's Fresh Buffet" that I have not tried but keep meaning to do so. Hopefully it is better than the others I have tried around here.