Thursday, October 3, 2013

Franklin Barbeque

With the encouragement of friends, Aaron Franklin and his wife Stacy debuted Franklin Barbeque 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. 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's line is as long as ever, and the restaurant has sold out of brisket every day of its existence.

The line at 11am on a Thursday.

From the website: "Aaron Franklin's parents owned a barbecue stand in his native Bryan, Texas, so it could be said that making good brisket was in his blood. But barbecue runs thick in the veins of every Texan, and when Aaron began experimenting with brisket and a backyard smoker a decade ago, it just so happened that with him it ran thicker than most."

With all this hype, we had to check out Franklin's for ourselves.  We woke up Thursday morning and walked over first thing at around 10am.  Knowing that the place opens at 11am and is only open a couple hours until they run out, we thought we had a good chance.  Boy - we weren't the only ones with this idea.  A long line had already formed and extended down into the parking lot.  Where we stood, we were informed that we might have a chance to get in around 1:15pm or 1:30pm and that they could not guarantee anything would be left.  Since we were here, we decided to wait.  Two and a half hours later (yes, we stood in line for 2½ hours), we made it indoors.  Just a few feet from the counter, we were told they were sold out of ribs and only had a few slabs of brisket left.

I went for the 2 Meat Plate and got turkey and pulled pork.  With my plate came two sides, I chose potato salad and cole slaw.  The turkey was incredibly juicy with a subtle peppered crust.  The star on my plate was the smoky pulled pork.  It reminded me a lot of kalua pork and I happily made my own little sandwich with the slices of white bread and vinegary cole slaw.  Keith ordered a ½ pound of brisket and a sausage.  The beef was tender and had lots of its own flavor, but Keith tried the various sauces that Franklin's makes in house too.  The sausage was a mix of beef and pork and was different than other typical sausages.  Overall, was the food worth the wait? Perhaps.  It was indeed tasty, but I'm sure we would have eaten anything after waiting so long.  It must be noted that the staff is super friendly and courteous, and they walk around selling cold drinks to those waiting in line.  Would I come back again?  Not likely.  It is something for tourists to do at least once, but if I was a local, the smarter move is to call ahead for large orders and pick it up right as the doors open.

Total Rating: 3.98
Food: 4.5, Price: 4, Service: 3.5, Ambience: 3, Accessibility: 1

What I ate:
2 Meat Plate of Turkey & Pulled Pork
with potato salad and cole slaw

Plus Keith ate:
Brisket and Sausage
Franklin Barbecue on Urbanspoon

No comments:

Post a Comment

Pin It button on image hover