I'm not a huge fan of barbecue, but everyone else is, including Colby. Two years ago, when it was Colby's birthday, we tried to go to the Franklin trailer, but I was about to fly out to Boston for a work trip the next day and we didn't have time to stand in line. Colby's maybe only a little bit bitter about that still. I found out from a friend this year that we could pre-order and pick up if we got our order in early and were willing to buy 5 lbs of meat. Challenge accepted.
Colby sent an email 5 days before his birthday this year and the earliest availability they had was 11 days later, so this morning we picked up 3 lbs of brisket, 1 lb of pulled pork, and 1 lb of ribs along with a pint of beans. It comes with three kinds of sauce, bread, and pickles+onions. Let me preface this by saying that I don't really like barbecue.
We've been to Rudy's a lot, Sam's once (you know, pants meat), Iron Works, Bill Miller Barbecue, places in Lockhart and Elgin, the Salt Lick, and several other barbecue joints and trailers around Austin that I'm sure I'm forgetting. They run the gamut from should-have-known-better to nationally renown. From all of those places we've visited, these are my favorite things: Salt Lick's potato salad, getting the hell out of Bill Miller's, Rudy's ice. Yes, Rudy's used to have crushed ice, which is the best ice and I enjoyed that more than any of the food. Franklin Barbecue is hands down the best barbecue I've ever had. This is nothing new. Everyone thinks this, but let me just say, that as someone who just doesn't like barbecue that I thought this was good, great even. And not "good for barbecue", just plain good.
|beans - $4.50/pint|
When I saw the order Colby put in, I questioned why he would get beans, but he said that the reviews said that the beans were excellent. I no longer question these people. The beans were magnificent, though it's probably a misnomer to call them beans. There was a lot of meat in the beans, but I'm not complaining here. Their hot sauce isn't incredibly hot and it's on the acidic side, but a splash of hot sauce on the beans? Perfection.
|ribs - $14/lb|
I really really liked the ribs. They were fall-off-the-bone good.
|pulled pork - $13/lb|
|meatucopia - $16/lb|
|take in the meaty abundance|
|Kimchi was about to keel over with excitement|
|brisket - $16/lb|
Eating this with the loaf of Mrs. Baird's bread is a mistake. I made a sandwich with pickles and the espresso sauce and the bread brought the meal down, as the juxtaposition of carefully crafted meat with chemically-preserved white bread is strange. Perhaps a loaf of homemade white bread would have been better.
|baby's first barbecue - priceless|
We also decided that this was probably the best opportunity to introduce Ramona to brisket. She really liked it too, although now she's probably ruined forever, since no other barbecue that we get on the regular can really match this.
Will we ever go there "for real", with the lines? Unlikely. My barbecue apathy combined with my extreme aversion to waiting will prevent me from ever getting up at the crack of dawn to wait for hours for meat; however, I'm already looking into pre-ordering again.