Austin, TX Edition: Franklin Barbecue

By Candace Nelson - 10:00 AM

Franklin BBQMy adventure for Franklin Barbecue started at 6:50 a.m. on a Sunday.

Franklin BBQFranklin Barbecue? Well, it opens at 11 a.m. 

Franklin BBQThat's right, I got in line for this BBQ place more than four hours before it opened. FOUR. HOURS.

Franklin BBQWanna know the best part? There were about a dozen other people ahead of me already waiting in line.

Franklin BBQSo, what in god's name would possess me to line up four hours before a BBQ joint opened? The same one that sells out by 2 or 3 p.m.? Well, Franklin Barbecue is known for having some of the best BBQ of all time.

Franklin BBQ
It is the best. It is the finest brisket I’ve ever had. - Anthony Bourdain
Franklin BBQ

So, yeah, I got in line at 6:50 a.m., pulled a camping chair from the stack they have sitting for the early risers and settled in for a long morning. It was cold - like 40 degrees - and I didn't have a proper jacket, so I was freezing the entire time. It wasn't fun.

Franklin BBQAbout halfway through the morning, they open up the restrooms for folks, which is super nice. And music begins playing. It started to get light out, and the folks who were hibernating in front of me slowly start to awaken. Folks come around to get an idea of what you want to order so they can estimate how much they'll have. If you are toward the back of the line, it's not likely there will be brisket left.

Franklin BBQ
When it got to be around 10:30 a.m., I was damn near giddy. We put our chairs away, stood up, inched closer to the front of the door, and when they finally opened the door to allow people to stream in, it was such a good feeling to just be INSIDE of a warm building.

Franklin BBQIt was another few minutes before we got up to the front of the line to place our orders. They slice the brisket right there in front of you, and you order by the pound - or half, or quarter. I ended up getting some brisket, some pulled pork, a side of potato salad, and a mini pecan pie.

Franklin BBQ
Aaron Franklin is the host of BBQ with Franklin and owner and chief firestarter at Austin’s Franklin Barbecue, widely regarded as one of the most influential pitmasters in the U.S. He received the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: Southwest in 2015.Aaron Franklin’s interest in BBQ started with the backyard cookouts that he and wife, Stacy, would throw. When they opened up a small barbecue trailer on the side of an Austin, Texas, interstate in 2009, they had no idea what they’d gotten themselves into. Today, Franklin Barbecue has grown into the most popular, critically lauded and obsessed-over barbecue joint in the country (if not the world) — and Franklin is the winner of every major barbecue award there is, including Texas Monthly’s coveted Best Barbecue Joint in Texas award and Bon Appétit’s Best Barbecue Joint in America. Six days a week, crowds stand in line for hours for a taste of his mouth-watering brisket. Franklin’s barbecue has been celebrated by everyone from Jimmy Kimmel to Anthony Bourdain to President Obama.

Franklin BBQSo, it's definitely the best brisket I've ever had. It's perfectly moist and flavorful with a delicious bark. The fatty and lean pieces both are delectable. It's definitely the star. But, of course, the pulled pork was delicious - I topped it with some of the spicier barbecue sauce to give it some kick. Onions, bread and pickles are all garnish. The potato salad was perfect for a bit creamier, cool down. And the pie was a great sweet finish.

Franklin BBQSo, you're asking if it was worth it. Yes. Because it was an experience to mark off my bucket list, and it was easily the best brisket I've ever had. Would I do it again? Not sure. Might go for the second best brisket and not have to wait for four hours :)

Grade: A
Franklin Barbecue Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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