Franklin Barbecue, Austin

I vote we all go on a field trip to Austin for some barbecue. Or rather, all y’all should come with me to Austin for some barbecue. (All y’all being the plural version of the singular y’all, which I find crazy charming now. Especially when someone uses it in a sentence like this: “y’all haven’t tried Free-toe Pah? p-EYE is a mathematical term. P-AHH is the stuff you eat.”)

There was a lot of really great stuff in and about Austin, but I can’t fill you in on everything, so since my tired brain is strapped for adjectives anyway, I’ll focus on yesterday’s lunch. Because really, there are no words.

We went to get in line at Franklin Barbecue at around 10:30, on the advice of some locals who told us it opens at 11 and is generally sold out by 1. Go early. You won’t regret it.

If you go with 8 brand-new friends, the wait in line isn’t so bad.

And when they open the door and you wind through the building, exposed to the smell of that barbecue as you pass the people from the front of the line just sitting down at their tables, newly heaving under the weight of pulled pork and brisket, it’s like food foreplay.

It’s just that much better once you get to the front of the line. But then you have to choose.

We bought a pound each of the meats – plus a little extra brisket – and some sides. Butcher paper instead of plates. Paper towels instead of napkins.

The brisket was unreal. The pulled pork and ribs and spicy smoked turkey were close to it. The sausages dripped down my chin like warm peaches. They had something called Big Red, which tasted like red sugar – cream soda-y and bubblegummy – and authentic Dr Pepper, which is apparently a Big Deal and hard to come by. I had to run out early and check out of my hotel, and forgot my bottle, ice cold and covered with condensation, on the table. I’ve been pining for it ever since. (And the brisket. Oh the brisket.)

Austin was never on my radar, and certainly not on my mental list of food destinations – but now I’m plotting a way to get back. Perhaps at a time of year when it’s not over a hundred degrees. At least next time I’ll remember to not bring only one pair of dark, heavy, fully-enclosed leather shoes – my feet are currently weeping with joy over their reunion with flip-flops. The rest of me is weeping with joy over the memory of what in my mind was perfect barbecue. So worth the pilgrimage.

I wonder what their pie (read: p-AH) is like.


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29 comments on “Franklin Barbecue, Austin

  1. sweetsugarbean
    June 5, 2011 at 10:13 pm i need to go there too! that food has me written all over it.

  2. Laurie from Burnaby
    June 5, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    It’s wonderful isn’t it?

  3. shauna
    June 5, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    That really happened, didn’t it? That was one of the most extraordinary eating experiences I have ever had. So I’m especially happy we were together there. (p.s. I finished the Dr. Pepper for you. Or y’all.)

  4. Jessica
    June 6, 2011 at 7:03 am

    My favorite iteration of y’all is the possessive form. As in, ‘Is that y’all’s car? Cuz you’d better move it before it gets a ticket.’ Where else do you have the opportunity to use TWO apostrophes in ONE word?!

  5. Terri
    June 6, 2011 at 7:45 am

    I went to San Antonio this past winter and had the pleasure of going to a BBQ joint that was featured on Triple D called Texas Pride BBQ…yeah, I ‘almost’ wish that I hadn’t gone as that I am ruined for BBQ now. I’ve never had anything even remotely close to what they had there. I feel like that about the pizza that I had in NYC too. Oh well all the more reason to go back I guess!

  6. susie
    June 6, 2011 at 8:02 am

    living in another BBQ capital (Memphis) I stay away from the stuff….until I get to Texas. I love the whole butcher paper atmosphere and the brisket….you won’t find any beef here and it is the tastiest for sure! Great photos…

  7. Lael
    June 6, 2011 at 8:44 am

    OH! I adore the carnage in that first photo. That really says it all,YUM!

  8. Vivian
    June 6, 2011 at 9:02 am

    What a grand adventure! So glad you shared it with us and that YOU met so many new foodie friends. The “footware” shot was verging on ART! If that lady with the chutzpah to wear the b/w polka dot skirt with the kick-ass balck cowgirl boots has a blog…I think I wanna read it! (Funny: I just wondered what kind of “p-AH” chutzpah would be? Texas Kosher?!)

  9. Vivian
    June 6, 2011 at 9:03 am

    Ah, that should be “black”…

    • JulieVR
      June 6, 2011 at 9:08 am

      I know. Those boots were kick-ass. Especially with the dress! there’s a reason my feet aren’t in that shot.

  10. Amanda
    June 6, 2011 at 9:08 am

    Argh…It all sounds so delicious. I suppose I will have to console myself with a pulled pork sandwich from the Hillhurst Farmer’s Market. Not brisket… but pretty damn good.

  11. Carol SB
    June 6, 2011 at 11:01 am

    Waall, it shore looks like all y’all had a good time, I tell you what!
    Ah am so in for bar-bee-kew!
    And p-ah.

  12. Liz
    June 6, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    I miss all of that. Big Red is great in an ice cream float. And Dublin Dr. Pepper…I die. The reason it’s considered authentic is because the Dr. Pepper Plant in Dublin, Texas, is the only plant in the world that still makes Dr. Pepper with Imperial Sugar (everyone else uses some sort of corn syrup concoction). When I took my boyfriend to visit my parents in Fort Worth, Texas, I made sure to get him a Dublin Dr. Pepper in a glass bottle. He’d never been a fan of Dr. Pepper at all until that vacation.

    So glad you had fun in the Great State!

  13. Erica B.
    June 6, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    I need to get me some p-ah!

    Looks like a fantastic trip. Thanks for sharing!

  14. molly
    June 6, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    crap, my stomach is GROWLING, i’m in the library, and i am SO not close to austin.

    really, julie, such posts should be illegal unless you offer airmail.

    (welcome home, and so glad you had a ball!)

  15. Kalyn
    June 6, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    Not sure about the waiting in line, but I can testify to the deliciousness of the brisket. Lip-smackingly good.

  16. Jan (Family Bites)
    June 6, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    Wow! Now I want to go to Texas and it definitely wasn’t on my radar either. Sounds so yummy.

  17. Christopher Giardino
    June 6, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    The photos of the food here look delicious!

  18. MikeVFMK
    June 6, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    I wasn’t at the conference but I’d like to think I would have joined along to this place. If I had any sense, that is. This bbq looks amazing, Julie! Thanks for sharing and making me hungry right before I head to bed.

  19. Tricia
    June 7, 2011 at 8:14 am

    Wow, FANTASTIC table shots, Julie! So worth getting up on that chair, huh? Love your style and daring attitude, looks like you had a wonderful time a IACP. Cheers! ~Tricia

  20. Gaby
    June 7, 2011 at 8:18 am

    is it wrong to want brisket for breakfast?!? miss u already! xo

  21. Kathryn
    June 7, 2011 at 9:27 am

    Julie, please come back as soon as you can! And bring flip flops this time. It was such a pleasure to meet you, I hope our paths cross again. 🙂

  22. Jan TD
    June 7, 2011 at 11:57 am

    Your pictures remind me of picking crabs on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. I really miss the whole Maryland, Virginia, Carolinas approach to outdoor eating.

    I guess we have it in the Northeast with lobster boils, but the season is way too short!

  23. tara
    June 8, 2011 at 11:58 am

    I wanna go. That is all.

  24. Gailee
    June 8, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    Franklen is great, but you must revisit Austin for more food experiences. I have been there five times and each time my daughter found us terrific dining. It is worth the trip! LOVE AUSTIN!

  25. Dixie Caviar
    June 14, 2011 at 6:37 am

    I missed Franklin’s unfortunately, as I arrived too late. Sigh. Thanks for sharing your photos; I just lived vicariously through you.

    Well, I guess it’s as good excuse as any to go back…

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