The next picture would probably be of the massively long line, but I’ll be honest. The line really is not that long in a physical sense, like what you would expect for the newest attraction at an amusement park. It’s probably 200+ deep? That sounds like a lot, but when we arrived I was pleasantly surprised and didn’t think twice about our chances of passing through the gates of glorious brisket heaven. After claiming my place in line, I sent The Annoyer to get some breakfast. At about 9am, some burly looking man from the restaurant comes out to greet us and explain that he would be taking orders. I was like “Whoa, wait, what?!” By taking orders early, they would be able to estimate when they would sell out and when to cut the line off. The end of the line turned out to be just 10-15 people behind me! At that point, some people will leave but there were still a good number of folks who were willing to tough it out in hopes of getting just something or anything. The funny and sad part is that, as the day rolls on people show up at 11am-12pm to stand in line, unaware that it was officially cut off long ago. Eventually they get the low down and throw in the towel or just wait with the other hopefuls.
My butt was hurting from sitting on the concrete pavement after 30 minutes. I texted The Annoyer to bring some scrubs for me to sit on. He came back with breakfast tacos and two lawn chairs! Totally unnecessary, but made the experience that much more bearable. What was probably more important than the lawnchairs was a giant umbrella to shade from the unrelenting sun. Seriously, with a lawnchair, umbrella, and enough battery life on your smartphone to last about 4-5 hours, the wait really just breezes by. Ok, maybe it’s not that breezy, especially in 90+ degree weather. Making friends with the people around you is probably what made the time go by pretty fast. You’ll find that few waiting in that ridiculous line is actually from Austin, Coming here seems to be the thing to do for out-of-towners. The DonBon says people who live in Austin know there is comparable BBQ elsewhere so don’t bother with the wait.
Once the restaurant opens, the line gets going. It actually moved too fast at some point. We’d park our lawnchairs only to find ourselves picking up and moving forward 5-10 minutes later. By 1pm, we were inside! The restaurant itself is quite small. It would not be able to accommodate all the people waiting in line. I noticed that a fair amount of people take the food to go, and sometimes in pretty large quantities.
It’s hard to appreciate but the picture shows the menu with the original pricing. Brisket in 2011 was going for $11/pound. It has almost doubled in 4 years! Seriously Aaron Franklin must be rolling in the dough.
Surprisingly this was one of the best sausages I had in a while. I loved the snappy casing and the extremely juicy fatty meat. The texture wasn’t dry or crumbly. It was perfect. Best sausage I’ve had at a BBQ place. Better than Killen’s for sure. I was disappointed to find out these are not made in house but rather outsourced and made to Franklin’s specifications. Oh well, still delicious!
I’m gonna venture out there and say Carolina style pulled pork is more my thing. I like the sweetness, but Texas style is more peppery and smokey. It was still good, but this is not what you come to Franklin for.
I didn’t know this, but you can ask for different parts of the brisket, the lean end and the fatty end. The Annoyer made sure to get all fatty brisket. This is hands down the best brisket I have ever eaten. Considering the only seasoning here is salt and pepper, Franklin manages to impart so much flavor in the smoking process. I was in disbelief when I watched his video on how he prepared his brisket. Whaaaaaa? No secret spice mixture?? No secret sauce?? You will never taste a more tender, flavorful brisket. WOW!
The sides here are pretty unexciting. The potato salad is pretty standard. On the tangier side.
The coleslaw was also tangy and a refreshing crunch. I appreciated that the slaw wasn’t overly mayo-y. As you can see they are extremely generous with their sides, giving heaping portions in those half pint containers.
The beans were also on the tangier side than what I’m used to. I expect beans to sorta sweet.
I don’t think I touched a single slice of this.