Franklin BBQ: Austin Bucket List for 2015

Yes, you can simply bypass the line and pick up an order of 5 pounds or more if you are willing to wait.

2015 Austin Bucket Lists

We say it all the time, but we do truly believe it: Austin is an amazing place to raise a family. With this in mind, we’re on a mission to go discover all the things which make our town special. To help get out more without getting overwhelmed, we came up with the Austin Bucket List project. Each year, we pick 10 things we’d like to do in Austin — with or without our kids. That sounds doable, doesn’t it? Then, we document our adventures here, with the idea of getting each of you inspired to do the same.

What’s an endeavor like this without a few friends along for the ride? We asked our blogger friends in Austin who’d like to join us on the Austin Bucket List project, and we were thrilled to have several takers. Last we heard from Lisa, she and her fam got a bird’s eye view of UT. This time, she got her brisket on with a taste of the good stuff from the most-revered barbecue joint in this city. Here’s what she had to say:


One of my Bucket List items for this year has been the same as it has every year since I moved here in August of 2012: Eat at Franklin BBQ. Even beyond Austin and Texas, Aaron Franklin’s brisket is the stuff of legends, whose reach extends even to the mountains of Northern Nevada. When we decided to move to Austin from Reno, we were told almost daily to eat at Franklin and report back if it’s as good as everyone says.

Three years later, and the legend still eludes me.

Twice I have missed out on events where Aaron was hosting a BBQ dinner. One was at BlogHer Food and the other was at something tied to the Austin Food & Wine Festival.

Two other times, I’ve gotten as far as parking the car near the Franklin BBQ East 11th St. outpost only to be told that the line was closed.

At  9am on a Sunday.

The line at Franklin has turned into quite the social scene, since patrons have to spend many hours together waiting to taste the world-famous smoked meats.
The line at Franklin has turned into quite the social scene, since patrons have to spend many hours together waiting to taste the world-famous smoked meats.

As much as I believe that waiting in line at 6am until the window opens is a rite of passage for that delicious Best-in-Texas barbecue, I just don’t have the time. Or the energy.

Nor do I have the extra funds to pay for a line sitter.

I had heard horror stories of ordering Franklin BBQ in advance. I was told that you had to be online at midnight on the 1st of the month and you need to have specifics on what you want to order AND be able to pick it up whenever they called you to tell you it’s ready. This seemed way too daunting to even attempt so I never bothered to try it, or even look to see if this was true. It just added to the myth and legend of Franklin BBQ.

Turns out, ordering in advance is pretty simple. You place your order on the 1st Monday of the month at 9am. It’s a minimum of 5 pounds. You still don’t get to choose the date for pickup, but you will at least know when it is.

Just don’t be surprised to see this:

Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 3.17.03 PM

My husband knew about the pre-orders. He knew about it and never shared it.Advertisement
We are now divorced.

Just kidding; we are still happily married, despite the oversight.

He informed me of Franklin’s pre-order system three days before he was scheduled to pick up a delivery for an event at his office. AT HIS OFFICE! Why not order a little extra for his wife and only child?

He kind of snorted at me when I suggested that he save me some. “Honey, it’s a lunch for 25 people who have never had Franklin. I doubt there will be anything left.”

It was one thing to not tell me about the pre-order occurring when it did. It was another issue completely in the days leading up to Dr. T’s Big Braggy Barbecue She-Bang…he told EVERYONE WE KNEW about his impending Franklin lunch.

Yes, you can simply bypass the line and pick up an order of 5 pounds or more if you are willing to wait.
Yes, you can simply bypass the line and pick up an order of 5 pounds or more if you sign up online.

The morning came upon us. As he got dressed, I noticed an extra spring in his step. I have never been more jealous in my entire life.

From Franklin’s pickup, he texted me: “Aaron and I made eye contact!” I said it didn’t count as anything unless Aaron invited us over for a private lesson in smoking brisket.

I grumbled about that Franklin lunch all day. My co-workers thought it was hilarious, because they believe that there are better places for barbecue in Austin. I don’t disagree; it’s just that I really wanted to finally try Franklin!

I had a typically busy work day and came home exhausted. There, wrapped in foil, was a generous piece of brisket and a pork rib.

So I finally finally got to try Franklin, and I didn’t have to stand in line!

The verdict: even though it had been refrigerated, there is definitely something special to Franklin’s brisket. The texture was less tough than others and the seasoning was spot-on.

Was it the best brisket I ever had? No. That honor still belongs to my husband, during his soon-to-be-legendary Smoker Sundays.

And I didn’t have to wait in line.

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.livemom.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/lc_headshot.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]After growing up in Pittsburgh and bouncing around The West, Lisa Caldwell settled in Austin in 2012 with her husband and daughter with the dream of eating tacos for the majority of her meals. In her spare time, she writes at Hip-Baby Mama.[/author_info] [/author]

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Lisa Caldwell
About Lisa Caldwell 16 Articles
After growing up in Pittsburgh and bouncing around The West, Lisa Caldwell settled in Austin in 2012 with her husband and daughter with the dream of eating tacos for the majority of her meals. In her spare time, she writes at Hip-Baby Mama.

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