That place is Franklin BBQ and considering myself amongst those in-the-know about the Austin food scene I had to give it a try.
But here’s the catch about the place. You have to go early or go home. They shut it down once the meat sells out and that usually happens around 12:30pm. So one not-so-busy Friday afternoon I headed out to secure some BBQ. I got there at 10:30am and this is the line I was dealing with…..
That was long enough to have me worried about securing some meat. But around 11am somebody came around writing down orders to get an idea of the amount of food people were going to order. She took my order and didn’t drop any hint that I was SOL. So I figured I was good to go and just waited for the line to move along.
Christy asked me “what did you do while waiting for over 2 hours for BBQ?”. And the answer is talk.
I chatted with a nice gal from Los Angeles, who with her husband and child weren’t about to let a 2 hour wait come between them and the best BBQ in Texas. I was delighted to see other folks talking and enjoying the wait with strangers as well. Having conversations from why Rick Perry should be president (gasp!) to does Mexican coke really taste better than regular (spoiler alert: it does). That’s how Austin rolls, and you got to love it.
As we inched closer to the door, the aroma of smoked meat really started tugging at your stomach. And suddenly the order I had in mind to place about doubled….no reason not to get another pound of brisket, half pound of ribs, and a couple small pies.
You can’t help but notice all the accolades and awards Franklin BBQ has got as you get painstakingly close to the prize.
Then when it’s finally your turn to step up to the counter, you’ll realize that the person taking your order and cutting the meat is none other than Mr. Franklin himself. He’ll reassure you about your order, show you the slab of juicy, brisket with pride, and weigh and wrap it all up for you with energy and a smile.
I snuck out with a box full of goods and returned them to our good friends Eric and Iris’ place. We all chowed down on the following array of brisket, sausage, pulled pork (and of course the little pies).
Here’s the consensus…
Santiago (age 2, but he’ll tell you 5) called it “cookie meat.” His way of saying it was as good as a cookie, which happens to be my favorite dessert so I think that’s the highest accolade he gives out.
Iris and Eric liked the brisket best, Eric giving special mention to the Espresso BBQ sauce you can get.
Christy and I thought the ribs were the best. Cooked tender to perfection and dry rubbed with a heavy dose of my favorite spice, black pepper. Yum, yum and then some.
It’s hard to say without having things side-by-side, but when we say “best” above we mean best of all Texas BBQ we’ve had. And we’ve tried it all from Dripping Springs to Luling.
So if you’re in the mood for some stellar BBQ and don’t mind waiting for it do yourself a favor and check out Franklin BBQ. You’ll eat well, and maybe even meet a few new friends in the process.