Jessica insisted that I have authentic Texas barbecue while I was here in Austin. When I say ‘insisted’ it sounds like I protested, but I certainly did not. We originally planned to go to The Salt Lick, and we may still, but a change of plans involving surprise concerts by indie rock super groups influenced us to try Franklin Barbecue instead.
I take it from Jessica that Franklin Barbecue is a newish place in town, part of a recent upsurge in trailer joints. Its popularity with your average barbecue-loving Texan and the hipster crowd is plainly apparent and 100% justified.
We arrived just before they opened but we were still not the first in line. A regular in line behind us proudly lamented that he used to be the first and only person before a quarter past eleven.
“I’d be here a good 15 or 20 minutes before anyone else at all showed up,” he said. When I asked, he told us his favourites were the brisket and the pulled pork, “but it’s all good. I’d get the ribs, but they’re messy and I have to get back to work.”
The friendly guy who took our order and served up our food asked if we preferred our brisket lean (as if). The cute guy taking our money wanted us to know which sauces paired best with which meats, “assuming you like sauce.” True to tradition, the brisket is prepared without sauce, but a selection of options were on the tables. The sauces were thinner and tangier than I expected, but all were delicious.
[Jessica: There were four sauces: three recommended for pork (hot, “pork”, and sweet) and one espresso sauce for the brisket. The pork sauces were thinner and tangier than I expected too, with “pork” being the most delicious and the perfect complement to the pulled pork and ribs. The sweet sauce seemed to be just a sweeter version of the “pork”, the hot sauce a hotter version. I gather from reviews online that the espresso sauce is their most famous, and it was good. It was closer to “normal” barbecue sauce with a little coffee flavor but not too much. The guy explaining the sauces to us rather modestly said it goes well with the brisket. It does.]
In order to try all the meats, we decided to share two plates: one with brisket and pork ribs, the other with pulled pork and sausage.
I haven’t much else to add other than if you find yourself in Austin be sure to find yourself at Franklin Barbecue. Take me with you.