all I dreamed it would be.

Monday, January 7, 2013

After seeing the Austin episode of No Reservations, I was determined to visit Franklin BBQ.  It's been on my to do list forever and seeing Anthony Bourdain rave about it finally made it all happen.  The second my friends Amanda and Will heard about it, they were up for the adventure.  Adventure?  Well, Franklin isn't a normal restaurant.  It opens at 11:00 Tuesday through Sunday and closes when it runs out of food.  If you want a meal, better show up early and get in line.  So we did.
We got there around 9:00 AM, so we were pretty far up in line - luckily, because the line stretched out waaay behind us.  People were geniuses and brought camp chairs and coolers.  We thought we were so prepared with our Baileys and hot chocolate, but we learned our lesson for next time.  (In related news, I'm a homemade dark hot chocolate making master!)  We made do with sitting on the ground (right in the handicap parking spot, so luckily, no cars pulled up) and counted down the hours.
Will put his sweet doodling skills to use personalizing our cups.  (That's Stephanie, Amanda, and Will in  brisket, ribs, and sausage, respectively.)  As it got closer to 11, someone walked down the line and asked us what we were planning on ordering.  When the numbers added up (to whatever amount they'd made that morning) those people in line got the "Sorry, by the time you order, we'll be out of ribs/brisket/everything" speech.
Once they opened the doors at 11, it was only 30 minutes until we got to the counter.  Those 30 minutes were torture.  We were so excited and inching up the line while seeing and smelling the BBQ was just too much.
The walls were lined with awards like this... I agree Austin Chronicle voters: this is the best brisket in the history of the world.  Seriously.

Aaron Franklin, the owner, is the one you order from and he cuts and serves every piece of meat you eat.  He was super friendly and so kind about how much we were geeking out over the food.  It was kind of embarrassing, but he was sweet about it.  We ordered So. Much. Food.  5 or 6 people would have been stuffed if they'd eaten all we ordered.  Of course, we ordered it all: brisket, ribs, pulled pork, turkey and sausage.

Example of our over ordering?  As we were figuring out how much of each item we wanted, Aaron suggested 3 ribs.  Our answer? 7.  (Duh! 2 for each of us and one I'd promised to bring to my dad...)  That's how we approached everything - err on the edge of too much, stay way away from too little.
See what I mean?  Notice the BBQ for 10 and the single serving size beans and potato salad.

I was a vegetarian for years and haven't been eating meat for that long, so I don't have a lot to compare this BBQ to.  Nevertheless, this was the best thing I'd ever eaten.  I don't really have words to describe how delicious it was.  We devoured it, stopping only to repeat, "THIS IS AMAZING!" or "THIS IS THE BEST THING I'VE EVER EATEN!"  
The carnage.

All I can say is, you have to try this.  If you like BBQ, you'll love it.  It's not over hyped; it's so worth waiting in line; it's all I dreamed it would be.


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