chain based in Texas and home away from home for many a senior citizen
. Many of my memories
revolve around family trips to Luby's.
Most weekends of my mid-early childhood my family would go out to the Hulen Mall whence we would browse the wares of the curly shoestring vendor, the store with the framed holograms and titanium earrings, as well as the Easter Bunny if he was in town. After walking around until we children were sufficiently tired to be taken to a restaurant, out parents would walk us to the Luby's that was conveniently located inside the mall.
Once inside, we would wait in line in the waiting room outside of the serving line proper. My only memories of that place are the smell of Pipe Tobacco and trying to play with the sand in the ashtrays. Once in the restaurant, I have memories of the steam-washed trays still dripping and hot to the touch, the doong sound that the lady at the register made with a little button when someone needed help carrying his tray to the table. I also remember the little old lady who pushed a cart around, refilling everyone's drinks. This woman was a constant throughout my childhood until one day she wasn't there anymore. A slightly upsetting experience for a child already morbidly obsessed with death. Of course the best part of the whole evening was when my parents would pay as we left and our change came shooting out of the change machine and I got to remove the coinage from its little plastic bowl. That and the free Dum Dums the lady at the register gave me.
Apparently they have expanded into much of the states surrounding Texas, though I doubt that Luby's is such a cultural touchstone or so ubiquitous outside of The Great State of Texas.