When people ask me what my favorite BBQ joint is, I am always reluctant to answer that. I have to preface my answer. Franklin Barbecue is my answer, but I am hesitant because of the long wait/line. My first review on my blog was on Franklin, and you can find it here. It has been a long time since I stood in line at Franklin. It has been over two years. I have had it at festivals and through pre-orders since then. Pre-ordering is the way to go. You sign up online about a month ahead; order over five pounds of meat, and walk up and pick up your delicious meat without waiting in line. You cannot eat the food there though.
|Line when we got there|
|Line right before opening|
Amber and I took the day off so we can wait in line at Franklin. We got there around 9:15 AM and were about 50 people back. I was surprised the line was so long on a Tuesday. When the staff came around gauging how much food everyone was ordering, they informed us there will probably not be any pork ribs left for us. I was bummed. They came back later and said there will be some because a pre-order had cancelled. Yes! We had some friends meat us at various points while we are waiting. The time moved a lot quicker than the last time I waited. We got to the door around 12:15. We finally arrived at the counter at 12:45 PM.
There were five of us so I wanted to make sure no one was hungry after we left Franklin. I ordered three pounds of moist brisket, a pound of pork ribs, half pound of pulled pork and turkey, and three links of sausage. I got carried away and might have ordered too much. Is that possible at Franklin? The only meat that was missing was beef ribs. It is only a Saturday special, and you will not catch me in the longest line of the week. Five hours or more? Nope.
One bite into the brisket and I was transported to that magical place. It has to be one of the best things I have ever bought into my mouth. The explosion of flavor that came from the bark was delightful. The meat was so tender and smoky. The rendering of the fat was on point. I could live solely off this brisket. I could not stop eating it. The pork ribs were delicious. The meat could barely stay on the bone. The rub and smoke meddle together forming a deep flavor with every bite. We typically forget about pork butt in Texas. Aaron however did a great job with the pulled pork. It had a nice balance of moisture, rub, and smoke. I am not a fan of turkey normally, but the slice I had was fantastic. It was juicy and flavorful. I did wish for a little bit more smoke. I enjoy their sausage, but I wish they made it in-house. Besides the line, this is their only other flaw. Not bad flaws to have if you can call them flaws. The sausage is made to their specification by Texas Sausage Co. The grit and snap were ideal. It had a great taste from the pepper and garlic blend. Everything was excellent that I forgot about their three sauces. You can even buy their sauces from HEB now.
We got a tour of the new smokehouse. Franklin Barbecue was closed for a couple of weeks this summer to build it. With the new smokehouse, the weather elements will not affect the smoking process as much which allows for shorter and better cook times. The added on structure now houses fives offset smokers and a rotisserie smoker for ribs.
|Brisket 3 hours in|
Sometimes it is hard to put your opinions into words or on paper. My friend Rob that night said it best, "I did not eat dinner because I didn't want the taste of Franklin Barbecue to leave my mouth." True. What I do not get is how some people think Franklin is overhyped. Have they tried their meat? They like their BBQ covered in sauce? Sure there is wait, but the prize at the end of the tunnel is superb 'cue. If they do not think this is good barbecue, they might want to get their taste buds checked out. This visit affirmed everything I know. It is my favorite and the best barbecue I have ever had. Grade: A+
Until next time, happy smoking...
Address: 900 E 11th St, Austin, TX 78702
Phone: (512) 653-1187