I’ve just arrived home from a short but eventful visit to Austin, Texas, and the deliciously smoky, moist and tender, melt-in your-mouth brisket from Franklin BBQ is still on my mind. I’ve tried the brisket at two other Texas BBQ joints before, and while they were very delicious in their own rite, they just did not measure up to the “world famous” Franklin BBQ.
The stories you’ve heard are true; People arrive very early, and it is not uncommon to wait over five or six hours in line. If you are among the late comers, you will most likely end up with scraps, if there is any meat left at all. So, was waiting in line for six and a half hours, under the hot, humid Texas sun really worth it for some brisket?
Yup. I’d do it again, too.
What sets Franklin BBQ apart, and what makes this a “must” while in Austin is the “full experience”: Getting up early, getting in line, making friends and chatting with the people enduring the wait with you. We had a great experience, and it is one of my favorite memories from this trip.
So, if you are ready for what I think will be a highlight of your Austin visit, here are some tips to know before you go:
1.Get there early.
I’m talking like 6AM. We arrived at 7:30AM and were already towards the back end of the line. We asked the first person in line what time they arrived and they said 5:30AM!
2. Bring sunblock.
There’s no shade until you get to the very front of the line by the door. I got a bit burned waiting in line so I wish I had slathered up. Plus, it’s just good for you to wear it everyday anyways I hear. 🙂
3. Don’t snack too much.
It’s tempting because you can bring your own cooler filled with drinks and snacks, and there is a rad coffee cart right next door to Franklin’s but save the appetite for the brisket! That’s why you’re there, right?
4. Make some new friends!
This definitely “made” the experience for me. We got lucky and met this awesome couple from England who we had a lot in common with as far as traveling, sports, things we don’t get about each other’s countries, things we like about each other’s countries…hopes, dreams, etc. 😛 . We even shared a table with them once we all got our food and congratulated each other on making it to the front and getting our sought after brisket. This was the trend through out the line, I noticed. People sharing the excitement with the people around them. You spend A LOT of time with the people next to you so why not get to know them and have fun.
5. Bring chairs.
We didn’t bring any so we sat on the ground most of the time which I was fine with for the most part, but as you get towards the front of the line you can use the chairs that Franklin’s provides their customers as they become available. Once we were able to get a hold of some, we felt like we “made it,” because we were that much closer to our BBQ and no longer had to sit on the ground like peasants! *Insert haughty laugh.*
6. For the love of all things good, please bring your patience.
This is,essentially, a half day commitment on your Austin itinerary. The line will be long, the sun will be unforgiving, and you WILL be hungry, but you knew this coming in and you’ve accepted this fate so don’t be THAT person who brings everyone down by complaining and constantly chanting, “This better be worth it,” over and over. It will be worth it, so pipe down.
SO, what do you think? Have you done the Franklin BBQ experience? Do you want to? Let me know in the comments!