"LuAnn?" No, Laurie.

The Texas Story Project.

Luby's Luann Platter

Luby's is a Texas tradition.

Even before I moved to Texas in 1994, I knew that macaroni and cheese was a vegetable on the cafeteria line at Luby's. Every child who goes to Luby's knows that. And, every Texan child knows what a LuAnn platter at Lubys's is—half an entree, two vegetables, and bread. However, being an adult from New Jersey, I was unaware of the make up of this particular offering.

I was excited about my first visit to Luby's, waiting to order chicken fried steak, mac and cheese, and greens—real Texas food. I passed up the salads and jello and slid my tray up to the main dishes. When the server asked me my choice, I said "chicken fried steak."

"LuAnn?" was the reply.

Being from New Jersey, I thought the server knew me, and I replied, "No, Laurie."

He asked again, "LuAnn?"

I said "Laurie" once again. From behind me, a kindly older gentleman in quintessential polite Texas style, explained the situation—thrilling my New Jersey ears when he actually called me "ma'am."

I carried my tray to the table, sat in one of the regrettable (no longer present) green wheeled chairs, and began my journey to becoming a Texan. Later, I even married someone from Marfa!

Laurie Pineda has been a Texan for 23 years. She works as a hospital administrator—and loves Luby's.

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