Franklin BBQ, Austin, TX, sampled 9/20/11 about 11:15 am
This was only my second trip to Franklin and my first to the new location (which is actually the OLD location of Ben's Longbranch BBQ which we sampled back in 2006). To be sure of getting our share of the good stuff, we showed up one full hour before opening at 10 am. We found a few folks already waiting. Some had arrived at 9:30 am. The line began to get longer, some of us on the porch, others going down the ramp and along the street. A few minutes before opening, a nice lady came out and straightened up the line and went along with a clipboard to get an idea how many pounds would be sold to those already waiting. They might want to put a chain across the porch with a "line starts here" sign to avoid the scrum before opening. Then they could drop the chain at opening. Just a suggestion. I think there were about 60 folks in line when they opened.
At 11 am the doors opened up and the line snaked inside. I got a half pound of fatty brisket and 2 pork ribs, plus another 2 pounds of fatty to go. My buddy Dave gets "to go" a lot and he says the brisket freezes and re-heats well. I added two bottles of Dr Pepper, not knowing they have the real sugar DP on tap. Thanks Dave. Next time I will know!
The brisket was awesome. It was tender, moist, and smokey, with a healthy crust around every slice. Meat candy fit for the Gods. The ribs were perfectly cooked. Check out the bite mark below. KCBS would be proud. Again the meat was tender, moist, and delicious. Their rib rub had a tang I could not quite make out. It sort of reminded me of Cholula hot sauce but it went well with the meat. After about 20 minutes we had very happy tummies indeed.
This was Scott's first trip to Franklin and his reaction was similar to most. He said it is rare that any place lives up to such massive hype and adulation, but Franklin's does. Yes, it does. I passed on sides this time but both Dave and Scott remarked that the beans were good. Dave said they seem to have changed their recipe. Scott said thumbs down on the tater salad. Hopefully when they complete their new pits out back, there will be enough tasty meat that the pre-opening lines will become a thing of the past. I sure hope so. When we left there were still about 50 people in line.