The wait and why Franklin Barbecue is the best you can get – Austin, TX

The most common question when you meet someone who has eaten Franklin (no ‘s after the name) Barbecue is “Was it worth the long wait?”  Simply……yes!

Don’t get me wrong. The wait can suck. If you let it. But it can be a great experience as well.  My first trip was 2013 with my lovely wife and her best friend. It was great because it was new. We didn’t know what to do. We took books, a chair or two, and enjoyed the experience.  It was all capped off by Aaron “the man himself” Franklin coming to our table for 10 minutes and allowing me and our party to shower him with praise and questions about his true love of ‘cue. – Arrived at 8:00 with a wait time about 3.5 hours on a Friday morning. 

My second was the wife and I a few months later. We were craving that famous brisket.  We took our chairs and again a book and quietly sat and waited.  It was a chilly morning but worth the long sleeved shirt and light jacket. – Arrived at 8:00 with a wait time of 3 hours on a Friday morning. 

The third and most recent trip was last spring with three buddies. We took chairs, a deck of cards,  and a cooler of beer. We drank a lot of the beer and played the two cars poker game “Gut.”  Best 4 hours and $20 I have ever spent. – Arrived at 8:30 on a Saturday morning with a wait time over 4.5 Hours. 

Two more things to mention about the wait. First the beer girl. She circulates the crowd around 9:30 or 10:00 selling beer. Simply awesome. Second is the order taker. They show up a little earlier than the beer girl to get the poundage of your order. This is the keeper of the “Sorry we are sold out” sign.

Enough about the wait. The ‘cue is the true star and the reason we wait.  First the sausage. Aaron told me that it’s a beef based recepie that is his own but made by a local processor.  It’s good. Not quite great (See Kreutz Market) but good nonetheless.  Great snap and smoke each time I’ve been. Worth a try

The ribs aren’t bad. They are hit and miss though. On one visit they were really outstanding. One visit they were good. One visit they were not bad but not great. With rib cookery being a trying endeavor, I get the inconsistency.

Last but not least the brisket. THE BRISKET. Easily the best I’ve ever had on all three occasions. There is something about that certified beef brisket that makes me smile. Whether it’s the simple salt and pepper rub, the post oak wood source, or the 16 – 18 hours of smoke, the mix is perfect at Franklin. It yields a great peppery bark, deep red smoke ring, and the melt in your mouth tenderness that quality briskets should have but don’t elsewhere. The stuff literally melts in your mouth. The fatty brisket is velvet on the tongue and displays the true showmanship of a quality pit master. The only thing at Franklin that outshines the fatty brisket slices are the free samples of burnt ends at the slicing counter. Holy hell that is an amazing bite!

Grab the chairs, cards, a cooler of beer, and some friends (last item not required) and get in line. It’s simply the best brisket you will ever have. And call me when you’re there, I may come join you.

F – 4

V – 4

R – 4

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