Sunday, August 19, 2012

Franklin Barbecue

 Franklin Barbecue

What is the "hottest" Barbecue venue we visited on our pilgrimage to Texas? The answer to that would be Franklin Barbecue just east of downtown Austin.  We showed up  at 8:30am (they open at 11:00am) and we were still 4 & 5th in line. We stood around, we chatted up the folks in line and by the time we got in for food I felt like we had experienced a shared rite of passage. Was the wait worth it? Hell yeah! Just a suggestion, if you are planning on a visit to Franklin Barbecue go ahead and show up early. Bring a cooler with sodas and beer or your favorite adult beverage. The atmosphere of the line is similar to what you might experience tailgating for a big football game.  Share your beverages and your stories and don't even think about taking cuts in line.
From Franklin's website:
With the encouragement of friends, Aaron and his wife Stacy debuted Franklin BBQ in late 2009 on an East Austin parking lot. From the walk-up window of a travel trailer turned brisket stand, patrons quickly noticed the Franklins were selling the best barbecue around. By spring, the line of admirers snaked around the block, and the press followed. In less than two years, the duo could count contributors from The Washington Post, Texas Monthly, and Cooking Channel among a growing chorus hailing Franklin among America’s BBQ elite—mentioned in the breath as Smitty’s, Kreuz’s, and other stalwart temples to the holy craft of smoked meat that line the Central Texas brisket belt. In the summer of 2010, Bon Appetit hailed Franklin BBQ as the best in America.
Aaron and Stacy quickly outgrew their trailer, and moved their operation to a brick and mortar location in March of 2011. And despite the new digs and every reasonable effort to increase production, Franklin BBQ’s line is as long as ever, and the restaurant has sold out of brisket every day of its existence.

My "new" buddy Johnnie gave me a Lone Star...gotta love that!
Doesn't look so bad?
Damn! 10:30am and looking at a 3 hour wait for food
Schoen's & Aaron Franklin
Some of the best BBQ in the freaking world!

We ordered brisket, sausage, and some pork ribs. The brisket had a tremendous bark (I ordered from the fat end) and the intramuscular fat and collagen had been perfectly rendered. 
Daniel Vaughn at Full Custom Gospel BBQ has called this the best brisket anywhere (you won't get any argument from me).
Tender, juicy, smokey and as good a brisket as we had on the trip (remember we hit 18 places so that statement might carry a bit more weight). The ribs were great but I thought they needed just a little more time...just my opinion. The sausage was house made and was up to par with the rest of the lineup here. The natural casing and the course ground meat is typical of this part of Texas. The snap of the casing and the juiciness of the sausage were perfect.  Franklin's is definitely on our list for our return visit to Austin.