First in line at Franklin Barbecue

By: Scott Ritenbaugh

Full disclaimer, this us not whiskey related in any way, but I still wanted to share this experience with all of our readers. I recently had the chance to visit Franklin Barbecue in Austin Texas. For those of you that do not know, Franklin Barbecue is owned and operated by Aaron Franklin and his wife and business partner, Stacy. It began as a small barbecue trailer on the side of an Austin, Texas interstate in 2009. Today, crowds stand in line for hours to have a chance to try his food.

My wife and I arrived at the restaurant at 5:30 am. The doors open for service at 11 am. Other than the employees, we were the first ones there. The next person in line arrived about ten minutes after us, and people kept arriving in 10 to 15 minute increments after that.

The line at Franklin is a friendly fun experience. The employees do an amazing job explaining everything to the customers and they keep the process moving. Its definitely a well oiled machine. Getting there early is definitely recommend to get your choice of meats.

As for the food itself, the brisket is as amazing as everyone says that it is. It is the perfect level of tenderness, and the bark from the rub is excellent. The ribs are melt in your mouth tender and easily bite right off the bones. The pulled pork is succulent and is made even better with Franklin’s Espresso barbecue sauce. The turkey is moist, but compared to the other meats, it’s just ok. As for the sides and desserts, the Cole slaw is a perfect cold creamy balance to all of the rich barbecue meats. The beans are spicy, but perfectly cooked and are made even better by the burnt brisket ends that are part of the recipe. The potato salad is too much dill pickle flavor for my personal tastes, but I’m sure most people would enjoy it. As for the pies, the Bourbon Banana is delicious and definitely represents both flavors very well. My pie had at lest a half dozen slices of fresh banana in the filling. The pecan pie was also really good and probably one of the best I’ve tasted actually.

All in all, Franklin’s Barbecue was an amazing experience and should not be missed if you find yourself in Austin Texas.

Just like a great Marvel movie, I have a post credits scene for you all… the famous Franklin offset smokers. This room had to be 120 degrees minimum. All the smokers were filled with the brisket for tomorrow’s lunch, and it was only about 12:15 when I took the shots. I didn’t get to see Franklin himself, but seeing these beauties in action was thrilling enough.

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