Before you scroll further, read this: Franklin Barbecue is worth the wait. Even a six hour wait. Don't believe me? Step in line before 8:45 a.m. yourself.
You would think that 1700 pounds of meat could last a full day, but oh no -- the amount of meat has never lasted more than six hours at this establishment. In fact, we were in line right before the "Last Man Standing," the dreadful title for the last man or woman who is hypothetically "guaranteed" a plate of barbecue later in the day. All hungry trekkers behind the Last Man Standing must turn away in mourning and venture back to their cars. Only the lucky survive in the line to receive what I believe is the best Texas barbecue out there: Franklin Barbecue, recognized as the new "Trendy BBQ" by USA Today. My crew survived the cut.
Not to mention, my Memphis BBQ roots are evident -- I couldn't resist asking the Franklin manager if he had experienced Memphis' finest at Corky's (my favorite!). I was pleased to hear his response that Corky's, in fact, directly inspired the pulled pork menu item here in Austin. That's what I'm talking about, Memphis. A small world, indeed!
To draw you into our truly one-of-a-kind fete, I documented a timeline from entrance to exit. Feast with your eyes.
8:47 a.m.. We arrive, dismally realizing that we were not the only crew with the idea to camp out for barbecue during the early hours of a brisk yet sunny Saturday morning.
9:40 a.m. Nap time. Thank goodness we brought blankets.
10:38 a.m. We place our orders. By the time our hilarious waiter Dale met us in line, he informed us that only brisket and sausage remained. We were bummed but, nonetheless, ever-so determined.
11:34 a.m. Ashley and Hannah return to our spot with breakfast tacos from a nearby trailer. The simple egg, cheese and potato combination alleviated my hunger but simultaneously amplified my carnivorous craving...
2:05 p.m. As if we had just won the lottery, Erin and I are shockingly informed that all meats remained except for beef ribs. Naturally, we ordered a sampler of the rest: sausage, pork ribs, pulled pork, brisket and turkey. Sides of beans and cole slaw were a must. And, of course, we had to wash it down with some local Zoe brews. For the portion, the price was adequate - $16 for each of us isn't a bad deal at all!
2:17 p.m. We get our food. Yes -- six hours later. And yes, I have never been so thrilled for barbecue in my entire life. Erin and I both contended that the smoky sausage was our favorite with brisket as a close runner-up. If you aren't a red meat fan, still come for the turkey -- it was phenomenal and it ain't dry like your distant relatives' bird at Thanksgiving. The espresso barbecue sauce was my ultimate preference (especially over the brisket), although the juiciness of the meat was satisfying enough.
2:40 p.m. I leave with a full to-go box and a key lime hand pie intact. I guess it is inevitable that, after a full day in line, our eyes were bigger than our stomachs.