Sunday, May 25, 2014

Tips for Lining Up for Franklin BBQ (Austin, TX)

Breakfast Taco
1. Bring breakfast or snack, or be sure to eat breakfast beforehand. You might think you want to come hungry to eat barbecue, but trust me, you won't be eating for a while (I got there at 9:25 AM and didn't eat until 2 PM!). Me, I brought a breakfast taco from Cenote.

2. You can either be sure to get some or you can take a gamble. To be sure, get there early by 9 am and be prepared to wait up to 4 hours. Or you can take a gamble and stroll in around 12 or 1 pm. You'd only have to wait an hour or so and there's a chance there will be some brisket left for you (maybe even ribs).
The line at 9:25am is already around the block
3. When I was there, they had a guy renting chairs for $5. Remember, you might be there for 3-4 hours, though you can always sit on the ground.

Untitled 4. Beers. Bring a cooler of beers, or if you can't, they will come around selling beers, ciders, sodas, etc. Don't forget sunglasses either. Bring something to read, just in case.

5. Meet your line neighbors. You'll be next to each other for a while! Plus you need to be nice to them so they'll hold your spot while you go to the bathroom. I met some nice and cool people who offered me beer while in line, so don't be shy. Your time waiting is that much more enjoyable when you're drinking beer and chatting. 

6. Stand your ground! The staff will try too estimate how many food is left and they will give someone the "Last Man Standing" sign, meaning that they can only guarantee that much food, but their estimates are conservative. I was behind the last man standing, but many people will give up and you'll move up in line - still behind the last man standing but I managed to get fatty brisket and ribs! The pulled pork and turkey were sold out, though.

Once I got to the front, I ordered everything. I mean, when else wil I be in Austin and have so much time to spare?

I got a plate of fatty brisket with slaw and beans. They'll give you a sample of the brisket too if you don't yet know what you want." I split a Tipsy Texan sandwich with someone I met in line and I added a whole pound of ribs and a bourbon banana pie. Here's my loot (minus the half sandwich I split). There are three different bbq sauces on the table to use as you wish.
Franklin uses black Angus beef from Creekstone Farms in Kansas. You can ask to taste their draft beers before deciding. I went with Pecan Porter from Live Oak Brewing Co (local in Austin)
And the moment of truth ... Here's a shot of the fatty brisket. Gorgeous.
It's true, the brisket is the star. See that smoke ring under the crust? The flavor of the beef, the smokiness, the rub, the texture ... and yes, the fattiness! Everything about the brisket was great. The ribs are certainly great, but it's much easier to make great ribs and a brisket this good. You can't come to Franklin and not get this baby.
Tipsy Texan I got more, though. Watch the Tipsy Texan sandwich be built while you wait for your order. Brisket is freshly chopped up and piled on top of the bottom bun, then topped off with their sausages, cole slaw, and pickles.

And here it is, the Tipsy Texan in all its glory.
Good thing that the famed sandwich is wrapped in paper; as the soft bread becomes overwhelmed by all the goodness on top of it, the paper remains the only thing holding the monster together.

Ribs. I think a whole pound was going overboard ... but it made for a great quick lunch the next day as I sneaked out of my conference room.
Again, beautiful, succulent ribs. It was literally fall-off-the-bone. As I went to pry off a section by grabbing the bone, I pulled off the bone clean!

So is Franklin BBQ worth the wait? It is a long wait (that varies with what time you get there) but the wait was kind of fun when you're drinking beer and making friends, and we all certainly really enjoyed it when we chowed down. It wasn't until later that night that I realized it really was worth it, though. I went to another barbecue place that night, and it was then that I can really say Franklin BBQ is just much more superior.

Franklin BBQ
900 E 11th St
Austin, TX 78702
(512) 653-1187
Franklin Barbecue on Urbanspoon


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