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When picked up, the brisket nearly fell apart as the juices flowed all over my hand. The flavors of the natural cut and simple salt-and-pepper rub blended together beautifully, while the texture of a charred outer layer and juicy center created a stunning contrast. The ribs were also extremely delicious, with the meat falling off of the bone – but on this day and in this place, brisket was king.

Around me I noticed that most people declined the use of forks, instead opting to use their bare mitts to pull apart the meat and shove it, along with the dripping juices, straight into their Texan pie holes.

Now, I'm no expert in barbecue and I don't claim to be (although after watching BBQ Pitmasters and chatting with locals, I've become more knowledgeable), but I do know when something lives up to the hype. Without a doubt, Franklin BBQ lives up to the hype. Sure, the line is ridiculously long (it was probably worse on the day I went than it normally is), but they do as much as possible to make you comfortable while you wait. You also get to meet a lot of nice people who might be as crazy, if not crazier than yourself for standing in line this long to get a slab of beef.

However, it goes without saying that this is no regular slab of beef: it's an insanely...delicious...slab of beef! It's the King of Austin!

And in the wise words of a country music legend, don't forget:

"A man can be a drunk sometimes, but a drunk can't be a man." ~ George Jones

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Comments

cavasin May 5, 2013 @ 11:54 a.m.

Hi, i'm an Austinite with inlaws in San Diego who sent me this. I hope you didn't come to Austin to eat BBQ and only go to Franklin! if so you missed:

  • Micklethwait's, a few blocks east of Franklin in a trailer: this is the one no one knows about yet. As good or better than Franklin, but more traditional.

  • La Barbeque: google it, it has a semi-scandalous and kind of funny past. it's in a trailer in south Austin and has been there about 8 months i think. Also more traditional.

  • Hays County BBQ in San Marcos: 45 minutes south of Austin and worth the drive. Possibly the best pork ribs on the planet.

  • Kruez, Smitty's, and Black's in Lockhart: 45 minutes southeast of Austin, this is for many of us the old-school bbq mecca. To be honest, with the exception of Kreuz sausage and saurkraut, all of the aforementioned places make better BBQ than the old-school Lockhart places (and believe me i cringe when i hear myself say this) but it's worth the trip to Lockhart for the history and tradition.

If you plan to come back, you might want to see if you can get tix (they sell out quickly) to Texas Monthly's bbq fest in the fall, where you can sample the top 50 (by their ranking) bbqs in Texas.

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Johnny Caito May 9, 2013 @ 4:53 p.m.

I just checked out the Texas Monthly BBQ Fest. Looks amazing! This is something I may have to do. I got a taste for good BBQ and have been craving it since I got back.

http://www.tmbbq.com/bbqfestival/?page_id=5

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