Next month, my daughter and her husband will be moving to New Mexico so he can begin working on his masters at the University of New Mexico.
Before they leave Texas, they composed a list of places they wanted to visit before heading west.
On that list was to eat at Franklin Barbecue on 11th Street in Austin. This is the BBQ place that is featured on a Chase Sapphire commercial with Chef Nobu Matsuhisa -reknowned chef and owner of restaurants that span five continents. Other hot stars of foodie type shows have also featured it – Andrew Zimmerman and Anthony Bourdain to name a few.
But I digress.
Franklin’s doesn’t take reservations. It is strictly first come, first serve – unless you place a HUGE order early enough and pick it up by 10 a.m. – a whole hour before the restaurant even opens.
So when I asked my kids if I could stay with them after a conference on Saturday night, Allison and Taylor mentioned this place on their list and did I want to go. I did. Waking up at 6:30 a.m. sounded like a good idea the night before, but since it was the longest day of the year, daylight helped get us going.
Armed with chairs, books, devices and umbrellas (yes, it rained) we settled in and started the wait. Luckily there was a trailer behind us that sold coffee.
We visited, took photos and chatted up our fellow diners-in-waiting. A young couple with kids in tow ordered (GASP) turkey! But after finding out they lived across the street and have eaten there on several occasions I understood.
Approaching the counter, the guy behind it cut a tidbit of brisket goodness to share. It really was good – nice red ring, tender, juicy and seasoned just right.
On to the order – brisket, pulled pork, ribs, beans, potato salad plus two baby pies – pecan and Key lime.
The kids wanted no part in the sides, nor did they use any bread to sop up the juices and the barbeque sauce.
I had to have the sides – though all I could handle was just a bite or so of each. The potato salad was good and beans were seasoned just this side of ranch beans. They passed.
We almost completed the order with some Big Red (thank you Robert Earl Keen homage to BBQ in his song) but Ali and I decided on Shiner Bock. Taylor stuck with his favorite root beer.
Taking our time, but not prolonging it – there were, of course, others in line to be seated at a table – we ate what we could and wrapped up the rest in some butcher wrap paper that also doubled as our plate.
Pies? Oh yeah. We ordered little four-inch pies. Those waited until we got back to the apartment.
Thankfully I made it up three flights of stairs and onto a very comfortable couch. Ali dug into the sweets – I couldn’t.
After a 2-hour nap, the pies were sampled. They were so yummy. Shortly after, I had to leave to drive back home (did I also mention I had an eye infection?). It seemed like the longest trip ever.
Once home and unloaded I again retreated to my couch, still full. Then it happened – the meat hangover. How could I ever eat again?
The way I see it, I’m not sure if I would ever wait in line again for over four hours for a meal, but I will admit, it was worth it.
SUE BROWN is the editor of the Pleasanton Express. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or write at P.O. Drawer 880, Pleasanton, TX 78064.