Published: March 18, 2014
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Ever since hearing that Franklin’s BBQ in Austin Texas was named the best BBQ Joint in America by Appétit magazine, having some delicious barbecue at Aaron Franklin‘s now legendary BBQ in Austin Texas has been on my BBQ bucket list.
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I had a chance to visit Franklin’s BBQ in Austin Texas and I also had a chance to talk to Aaron about his epic rise to the top of the barbecue and food pop-culture. Before I get to the review of Franklin’s BBQ in Austin, I want to share with you a little background about Aaron.
Aaron Franklin’s parents owned a barbecue stand in his native Bryan, Texas, so it could be said that making good brisket was in his blood. But barbecue runs thick in the veins of every Texan, and when Aaron began experimenting with brisket and a backyard smoker a decade ago, it just so happened that with him it ran thicker than most. Aaron also worked for John Mueller at the cash register before opening his own barbecue joint.
With the encouragement of friends, Aaron and his wife Stacy debuted Franklin BBQ in late 2009 on an East Austin parking lot. From the walk-up window of a travel trailer turned brisket stand, patrons quickly noticed the Franklins were selling the best barbecue around. By spring, the line of admirers snaked around the block, and the press followed.
Despite all of Aaron’s great achievements in such a short time in the barbecue restaurant world, Aaron remains extremely humble and when I asked him how does it feel that people pay other people to sit on a line and wait close to two hours to get his food his response was simple: “Its America, and if people want to do that then cool…”
There was been much talk about whether or not Franklin’s BBQ marketing strategy is not to produce enough barbecue so that there will always be someone wanting to come back, until they get a little taste of heaven, and the response that I got was a bit shocking. Aaron answered the question by saying: “I rather have people come back and wait on-line than produce a bad quality product. It is all about having quality over quantity….” Aaron does have a plan to elevate the long lines, he plans on adding the ability of having people pre-order their food and just come and pick it up at this restaurant instead of waiting four hours in lines.
Obviously, the food is what makes or breaks a barbecue restaurant, is there enough smoky flavor? Does the brisket have the perfect amount of bark and does the brisket taste like beef brisket? What about the beef ribs? I will say that if you are looking for world class quality barbecue then Franklin BBQ is the place to get it. I loved how the brisket tasted and how there wasn’t an over powering amount of pepper which worked perfectly with both of Aaron’s barbecue sauces his Espresso and his own Texas style sweet and spicy barbecue sauce.
Aaron also makes his own beef-pork sausages which are just as good as his brisket and beef ribs. I have tried my share of Texas sausages and Franklin BBQ’s sausages have the perfect amount of spice. Believe it or not, the brisket and sausages was the only food that I got to try because that is what was left. Maybe next time I will get a chance to try the beef ribs! I had a chance to sit down and eat with Aaron, and watch is reaction when he was eating his own barbecue masterpiece. While eating I can only imagine what was going through his head. What was his own taste buds saying to him? Did his barbecue meet his own high standards? I am sure if it didn’t he would figure out what to fix for the next time. While eating one of his own sides, he wasn’t happy with the product so he asked his manager to come by and give it a taste, they both looked at each other, shook their heads and realized that tomorrow’s service would have to be better.
So, whats next for Aaron Franklin? Is he going to be opening more restaurants? Appearing on more barbecue television shows? While, I think Aaron doesn’t even know the answer to those questions, he did tell me that he is working on a barbecue cookbook and expanding his YouTube video series but whatever he does people will keep on flocking to his Austin joint and wait in line for hours because his food is just a little piece of heaven!
Also of Interest:
- Master of the Pit: Aaron Franklin from Franklin BBQ in Austin TX
- Top 10 BBQ Meccas Across America
- Don’t forget to become a Fan of Grilling with Rich on Facebook!
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