Tuesday, May 7, 2013

taste of tuesday: franklin bbq

I do what I want, and I want to link-up with Ashley and Jessica for Taste of Tuesday today. Though I am interested to read what everyone else is afraid of.

Today we are going to talk about the best BBQ you may have never eaten. I talked about it's legendary line a tiny bit here.

Rewind back to summer 2011. A and I were going to the Hill Country to celebrate our first anniversary. About a week before we left, we got the newest issue of Bon Appetit, in which Andrew Knowlton said that some place in Austin, Texas had the best 'cue, not just in Texas, but in the entire country. My husband needed this meat.

The article said that the lines were long. The fans were fanatical. The demand far outweighed the supply. (My) Andrew was not deterred. We are going early and we are getting meat. "I'll throw some lawn chairs in the trunk for you," he told me.

We arrived a little after 9:00 for a restaurant that didn't open until 11:00. We were maybe the 15th "group" in line.

I think we were behind the lady in the white hat. The door is at the top right of the restaurant.

About 10:00, a woman came around with a tub of beers and cokes and asked what we thought we might like. She was taking a count so they could estimate when they would run out of food and declare one person the "Last Man Standing." That poor person has to hold a sign on butcher paper and warn all who get in line behind him that nothing is guaranteed.

The doors opened at 11:00 on the dot. Old country music plays on the outdoor speakers. People bring Torchy's Tacos, make mimosas, and have their dogs and babies hang out on blankets with them. The line slowly advances to the door and once you get inside? Another line. By this time, you can smell the yumminess, so it's not really that bad.

(FYI, if you are planning a trip: they unlock the door to the restaurant pretty early for restroom breaks and they have a cooler of water under the covered part. They have also installed misters to help with the summer heat. They take care of their customers as best they can!)

Once we made our way to place our order (I think it was 12:30), the owner, Aaron, was there to slice the meat and make small talk. He told us to visit the 512 Brewery and mentioned other things in town. He made eye contact. Most importantly, I think, he thanked us for our time standing in line and said he hoped we enjoyed.

My Franklin pro-tip: If you are getting something to go, get the pickles and onions. Even if you hate them, get them. They get wrapped in the butcher paper with the meat and soak up all of the deliciousness.

Our first time there, we both got two meat plates. Fatty brisket and ribs for my husband, lean brisket and sausage for me. If you want your trip to be worth it at all, get the fatty brisket (or Fatty McFatterson, as Mr. Franklin himself is known to call it). There are also three different BBQ sauces on each table, but you won't need them.

Basically, it's meat heaven. My husband calls it the best meat he's ever eaten, and he has been wearing himself out trying to find another place in Texas that compares. I go through phases where I love the fatty brisket the most, then I love the ribs. We went Thanksgiving weekend and met my sister-in-law and her friend, and Aaron gave us a sample of turkey when we were ordering. Oh.my.goodness. I have been dreaming of it since. Last time we went, they were already out of it!

The line is an experience in itself: we went once and were right in front of the last man standing. We met three guys from Australia who were traveling the world on a whim and had one day in Texas and spent half of it in line. We've heard people order for graduation parties, had strangers offer us champagne, and I have finished a book or two just waiting. It's like tailgating, but the big event is even more food!

So, it goes without saying that I love Franklin BBQ. Believe the hype and the rumors are true. We have taken a few day trips to Austin just to get our fix.You need to get there and try it out!

Have you ever waited in line hours for something ridiculous?


  1. Tyler and I will definitely have to try this next time we're in Austin!!! We can't pass up the best BBQ in the entire country - haha :)

    So glad you linked up with Ash and I!


  2. How have I not heard of this place?! It sounds SO good and makes me want BBQ right now! Have you been to Salt Lick? It's right outside of Austin and we love that place... this one sounds even better though! Thanks for linking up with us and sharing this restaurant!

  3. Wow that is dedication! I haven't heard of this place, but just might need to try it next time we're in the area!
    If someone offers champagne the line is worth it, right. ;)

  4. I've never tried Franklin's but now I really want to! I haven't been to Austin in a while so I'm thinking that a trip needs to happen soon. Now I'm going to be dreaming about meat. Thanks Lauren!

  5. Alfredo's in New Orleans. It's not in the French Quarter, it's some place the locals told us about. On Frenchman St I think. It's above a bar and seats about 30 people. We waited in line for 2.25 hours with some Canadians to get the food. Their signature dish is veal with "ocean sauce". Ocean sauce is a butter alfredo sauce with lumps of crab and crawfish in it. OMG. I'd wait in line every time for it.

  6. I'm totally going to have to try this place! It sounds like it is quite the experience. And I do love me some good BBQ!


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