Waiting in line at Franklin BBQ (doing what has to be done)

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Fatty brisket, ribs and sausage at Franklin’s BBQ

Franklin BBQ is legendary. It is supposed to be the best barbecue in the country. Aaron Franklin started his company as a food truck back in 2009 and moved into a brick and mortar building in 2011. Every day, without fail, he sells out of his amazing brisket.

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The doors open at 11am…the line starts as early as 6 am! People bring chairs, books, coolers and make waiting for 3-6 hours as much fun as possible.

This was on our list as the one “must do” thing in Austin so we bought an inflatable cooler, a 6-pack of local beer and woke up at 7am yesterday to brave the line.

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The line already forming!

We arrived around 8:30am and I felt pretty good about our spot. It was just around the corner from the doors, about 40 people back. We started chatting to the people next to us, and ended up spending the whole time talking to them. One of the girls used to live in Portland, the other girl is moving to Seattle so much of the focus of conversation was on the Pacific Northwest.

Around 10 am a server came by to ask us what we thought we would order — their way to gauge how much brisket they will sell since that’s by far the most popular item. Then another server followed letting us know we’d most likely be eating by 1-1:30 pm. (So 4-5 hours of waiting!)

Luckily our new-found friends were very entertaining. I even took a walk with one of the girls to the Quickie Pickie to re-stock on beer and buy a few breakfast tacos for the wait.

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The new friends we made in line — these guys were super fun to talk with.

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Migas taco and a cold IPA. Breakfast of champions!

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If you look past the green construction fence you’ll see the line just keeps going and going.

Around 12:30pm (ahead of schedule!) we were inside the doors.

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Old school menu

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Then we were up to the front:

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The menu: we opted for a brisket and rib plate, a pulled pork sandwich and a sausage link.

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The good stuff! Fatty brisket cut to order.

Then, around 1pm (right on schedule — they have that timeline dialed in!) we feasted:

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Now that is a sandwich!

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Brisket and rib plate, side of sausage, slaw, potato salad and the ubiquitous white bread.

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Bourbon Banana Cream Pie (at Franklin’s, made by Cake and Spoon)

So was it worth it? Hell yes. Would I do it again sometime? Undoubtedly. The brisket was incredible. In fact we just polished off the last of it for breakfast today and it was still incredible. The fat just melts, the bark is thick and the flavor is all smoke and love.

If you end up in Austin, even for a day, make yourself happy — go to Franklin.