When you do an internet search for “things to do in Austin” a lot of cool things come up, hiking, biking, sightseeing the graffiti art, catch a live music show, visit Barton Springs and so on. One thing that caught my eye was eat BBQ at Franklin. A small establishment on the east side of I-35 where you have to line up early, yes there is usually a line, to order some BBQ.
Is a three hour wait worth it (came on a Friday which may have been busier than earlier in the week)? That’s what I was thinking when we were waiting in line. If you get there early enough you can snag a chair from a pile under the stairs or bring your own. You can also bring your favorite adult beverage to enjoy while in line. They also have an employee selling cans of beer, for those that didn’t come prepared. Eventually you will be greeted by a bbqista who will make a note of what you would like to order so they can gauge the amount of meat that will be sold. It helps them know how long the line can get so those in it can still order some BBQ.
Why the line? Smoking meats takes time especially when you want it to come out very good. Visiting Franklin Barbecue is like going to a theme park. Part of the experience IS waiting in line. Talking to neighbors about whether it’s their first time or how many times they’ve been back. What’s their favorite items to order? Do they have leftovers or do they stuff themselves full?
Once you reach the front door up the stairs you are almost to the order counter. It’s still probably an hour, but you are in. You. Are. In. No turning back. It’s loud inside and it should be when people are eating and talking about BBQ. At the order counter you choose your meats where they are cut right in front of you, then move on to the next bbqista who gets your sides together and finally you get to take your meal to a table to feast! Oh what a feast it is! It is definitely worth the wait, if you have a few hours to spend. The brisket is soft, tender, moist and flavorful. Take care if you are a BBQ sauce user you may want to eat it solo first. Then decide if it is needed. We felt there wasn’t any need for it but to each their own.
Location: Franklin Barbecue 900 E. 11th, Austin, Tx 78702