Franklin Barbecue is one of the most talked about and celebrated barbecue restaurants in the country. Honestly if you are reading this you more than likely already know who Aaron Franklin is. He has long been the face of Texas barbecue, celebrated in Texas Monthly’s top 50 multiple times, and James Beard award winner. His book Franklin Barbecue a meat smoking manifesto spent 12 weeks on the New York Times best seller list, an absolute most read for anyone with a smoker.
Knowing the only chance I would have to try Franklins on this trip would be the day we were traveling home we opted to order ahead. Franklins opens preorders 42 days in advance. They require a minimum of 5 pounds for preorders, I got 3 pounds of brisket, a pound of sausage, and a pound turkey. Sauces and bread were provided. I really wanted ribs but I ordered a little to late in the day and they sold out of ribs for preorders. Also, I have no idea why but I didn’t order any sides. I cannot believe I did that, total fail on my part.
When preordering you choose a pickup time and upon arrival they slice and package your order, just like they would inside. Wanting to get out of downtown Austin, we drove about 20 minutes north before setting up lunch on the tailgate of the Jeep. Let’s talk about the turkey and sausage first. The turkey was still moist when we started eating. Franklins cooks whole turkey breast with the skin removed. It had good flavor, smokey, buttery, with a salt and pepper rub. The sausage was similar to the others we had in the Austin area. Both sauces that were provided paired well the turkey and sausage. I would give La Barbecues sausage the edge over Franklins but they are both very good. Now on to the brisket…
Franklins is world renowned for their brisket, and rightfully so. The pictures look good, but I promise it looks better in real life. That bark is a work of art. My mouth waters just thinking about it. The fat is perfectly rendered down and just melts when you touch it. The beef is the star of show, complimented by the salt and pepper based rub. We got a mixture of fatty and lean in our 3 pound order. I have eaten and cooked my fair share of barbecue and I can honestly say Franklins brisket is the best I have ever had. The barky, smokey, juicy, meaty flavor is absolute perfection. Perfectly tender on both the flat and the point meat. There is no need for sauce, it somehow takes away from the brisket.
The next time we are in Austin we will be going to Franklins and waiting in line to get the full Franklins experience. This place is special. The best meal my wife and I have ever had was Franklins barbecue that we ate on the tailgate in the parking lot of an outlet mall in north Austin. Get to Austin, wait in the line, and eat the best brisket around. There could not have been a better way to end our Texas adventure.