“Are you kidding me?!” Rach yelled as we turned onto Branch Street and slowly coasted past Franklin’s Barbecue. She gaped at the extensive line of people that snaked from the front of the restaurant, along the side, and all the way to the back parking lot.
“It literally stormed all morning! How are there this many people in line!?” I shrugged. I was just as amused as she was. We pulled into a parking space and watched in amazement as people sat in folding chairs and cracked open beers simply waiting for Franklin’s to open. It was 9:00 am and the doors wouldn’t open until 11:00 and yet the line continued to grow.
When we first moved to Austin one of our favorite questions to ask people was “Who has the best barbecue?” Many local hotspots were suggested to us but one that was recommended over and over was Franklin’s Barbecue. However, each time Franklin’s was suggested a disclaimer always followed the suggestion: “you will literally wait in line for 4 hours!” Apparently this barbecue was so good that people arrived at 7 am only to patiently wait until 11 am to be served mouthwatering meat. Rach and I were extremely skeptical of this whole concept. No barbecue is worth wasting half your day for, right!? Well, one day I picked Rach up from work and she excitedly reported that she knew just how we were going to get Franklin’s Barbecue but without the extensive wait. A friend from work had informed Rach that you can place large orders a few weeks in advance and pick them up on your designated day without standing in line. Now, this sounded like something worth looking into! Rach’s mom and a few other relatives were coming to visit in about a month and we thought this would be the perfect time to place a large order!
On Franklin’s website they have a preorder tab at the top. When you click on that it gives you the terms and conditions for ordering ahead of time such as ordering a minimum of 5 pound of meat and paying for most of your order ahead of time. We decided to get 3 pounds of brisket and 2 pounds of pulled pork for 9 people. We placed our order about 4 weeks in advance and slowly counted down the days.
On the morning of our pick up there was a torrential downpour in Austin. So, naturally when we drove up at 10 am to pick our order up and, of course, there was a crazy long line. We were dumbfounded. People are dedicated I tell ya! The preorder pickup is in the back parking lot of the restaurant and we maybe waited about 5 minutes for the workers to get our order together. They sent us home with a giant brown bag full of tender meats and an assortment of barbecue sauces.
Like I said before, Rach and I were extremely skeptical of this place. However, upon taking our first bite of brisket we immediately changed our minds. It was DELICIOUS! By far the best barbecue either of us had ever eaten and the rest of our family agreed.
After this experience we completely understood why someone would wait in line for 4 hours just to taste Aaron Franklin’s masterpiece. It was seriously that good.
So, if you’re in Austin and you’re thinking about eating at Franklin’s just be aware you’ll definitely wait a long time if you don’t pre-order but if you have a good group of friends, a few folding chairs, and some cold beer it could be a pretty good time to hang out, enjoy the Texas weather and some of the best barbecue you’ll ever have!