For two months my friend Jillian and I have tried to find a single weekend day that we were both in town and could go eat at Franklin Barbecue. Since waiting in line requires the dedication of an entire morning, it took a while to find that day. Thankfully, on Sunday, it finally happened. My sister and I woke up bright and early and met them in line for lunch around 7:30 am. While there were already about 30 people in line ahead of us, we were very lucky to get the last spot in the shade under the awning.
That shade was really nice because that sun was bright. By around 9, the line had extended down and through the parking lot behind the restaurant. I was quite thankful I wasn’t back there.
Shortly after 9, a young woman came through the line asking us what we planned to order. Apparently, they give the people further back in the line an estimate of the point at which they think they will run out of meat. Very kind of them. They also had free water and allowed those in line to use their restrooms for the entire duration of the morning. Good people.
We passed the time with card games, chatting, and this man’s rear:
He flew all the way from L.A. to spend a week eating barbeque in central Texas. That’s the life right there. I wonder if he needs someone to carry his luggage and accompany him on his food tourism? I can carry small bags for short distances in the air conditioning.
By the time they opened at 11, the line in front of us had doubled (so, you can can just send one person to hold a spot apparently). We spent about another hour making our way through the line to actually order and eat. It afforded us plenty of time for more pictures.
I got the fatty brisket (because if you wait in line for hours to get lean brisket, then what is the point of you!) and it was the best I’ve ever had. It just melted in my mouth. I can’t even describe it. And it wasn’t tainted with any terrible barbecue sauce or an overabundance of spices. Simple and wonderful. I tried a pork rib and while they were juicy and fell right off the bone, they weren’t my preference because they were heavily peppered and I’m not a pepper fan. So, my favorite ribs still reside at Salt Lick.
I thought it was a fun morning and the food was delicious. I think you could go closer to 9 and still be there earlier enough, but you may end up waiting for hours after they actually open before you can get your food. Since I’m not a good person when I’m hungry, I was glad that we decided to go earlier than later because once they opened the doors, the smell was unreal. They are closing later this month for renovations, but when they reopen you can pre-order their meat and you don’t have to wait in line. The only downside is that you usually have to wait at least a month or more to actually get it, so plan ahead. I think there is a minimum order of $75 (it may be $100, but that information isn’t on their site right now), but that’s easy to meet since it’s about $20 per pound of brisket. Four pounds does not go far with something so delicious.
Several people have asked if it was worth my time, and considering that I normally spend Sunday morning in my bathrobe watching ABC Family, it was well worth it and I would happily go again. I ordered a few pounds, and have been enjoying it at lunch all week.
I let that barbecue smell waft all over the office and I don’t even care if everyone hates me for it.