Thursday, March 18, 2010

Saturday, February 11, 2010: Franklin Barbecue (Austin, Texas)

After being blown away by the brisket at Franklin Barbecue with Brad and Daniel (who were equally impressed) on the first Sunday of the new year, I was anxious to see if the others in the crew would be feel the same way, once they partook of the beef at Austin’s newest, hippest BBQ trailer. So, a couple of weeks before Franklin played host to Gettin’ Sauced!, we took a party of 21 there for a Saturday lunch. As it turns out, Brad, Daniel, and I weren’t alone in our assessment:

Mark’s up first: “Brisket: Every bit as good as Snow's. Didn't dare dilute the naturally juicy flavor with sauce. Best of 2010? Sides: Had bites of several and they were all high quality. Atmosphere: A trailer and covered bench seating out in the open with a cool breeze blowing - ideal. Service: Very friendly and jovial, and willing to help u find whatever u need for a great, casual BBQ experience. They seem truly grateful and humbled by the new-found success. Overall: I've never given an overall perfect score, but I can't imagine anything better. Only complaint might be that there's no chicken, but chicken's not an essential BBQ item anyway.”

RP, a big enough man to see the error in ever doubting my BBQ picks, writes, “What a find this little BBQ trailer was, just off the interstate, slightly north of UT. For authentic, urban BBQ, on a nice sunny Austin day, it just doesn’t get any better than this! Atmosphere and hospitality, while not really traditional by country BBQ joint standards, was still very cool and cordial. Brisket: Never again will I question Drew and B-Rad in their ability to judge great brisket…those southern boys shut my mouth with Franklin’s moist-flavorful brisket…this was definitely some of the top brisket of all times! Pulled Pork: Really good and flavorful, but not the most moist and meaty I have had. I put it just a half step behind the Lick’s later in the day. Pork Rib: Good, but not quite falling off the bone great, like the Lick’s. Baby Backs: They said it was their first effort at these, and I think they will get better with time…based on how they do everything else! Slaw: nothing to write home about on the slaw, but decent enough.”

Todd was a happy camper: "Ahh Franklin BBQ, you lovely little trailer. Franklin recently came on the BBQ circuit thanks to two trailers and a parking lot off I-35 & Concordia. This place is legit. Aaron, the proprietor, has some great recipes for brisket and pulled pork. I might be making a bold statement here, but I think Franklin has the best pulled pork in Austin (however, not to the detriment of the brisket)."

Rebekah, “not one to rate or make BBQ,” said, “I just want to go on record and say that the brisket at Franklin was BOMB DIGGITY...and you can quote me on that! :) Good find.”

Dana just rated the brisket, saying that “the rest was forgettable. Although the espresso sauce was bazaar.”

Ryan: “Atmosphere. I’m a sucker for trailer eateries. I’m happy they serve Big Red there too. Tater Salad. A little overly mustardy, but tasty: Beans. Good, but reminded me too much of canned Ranch Style Beans. Brisket. I had a few pieces of both the “moist” and “lean.” While this usually means you get either fatty brisket or dry brisket, both stood out well in their own right. Never thought I would ever try, much less endorse an ‘espresso bbq sauce,’ but it was damn good. Moist, flavorful and obviously a good grade of beef. It looked right, smelled right, felt right, and doggone it, it tasted right: Pulled Pork. Great flavor, tasty ‘Pork’ sauce on the table, but a little on the dry side, which is surprising when eating so early at a BBQ place. I can understand dry meat at 3:00 in the afternoon, but not in the a.m. Nonetheless, it still retained some moisture and I ate it all up.”

John T., continuing with his unique scoring categories, writes, “Overall: Fan, great place to relax on a pretty day and experiecne the weirdness of Austin. Noise on I35 a bit much, but still a uniquely Austin place worth a visit with down right friendly folks. Brisket: Fan, Very moist and quality meat but lacked the flavor I desire. Pulled Pork: Huge Fan, moist, very flavorful, by far a must on your visit! Ribs: Not a Fan, There are too many other places I just like better.”

Chris finishes us off: “Brisket: I'd rank Franklin's brisket higher than Louie Mueller's and below only Snow's in terms of quality and taste. It was phenomenal, melted in my mouth, and the right consistency. Seasoning was perfect too. Pulled Pork: Really really moist and delicious. Great taste and flavor throughout and was cooked perfectly. Sauce: Wasn't a huge fan of either sauce, but the meat was so great it honestly didn't need any sauce to complete or accentuate the taste. Atmosphere: Weather was perfect, crowd was perfect, and the trailer just adds to how laid back everything feels. Plus it's kind of a tight area, which I feel makes it more quaint and a good setting to enjoy some BBQ. Easily the best bbq I've had in the Austin city limits. Great hospitality, great crowd, dog friendly and perfect weather.”

Mark’s scores – Brisket: 10; Sides: 9; Big Red: 10; Atmosphere: 9.9; Service: 10; Overall experience: 9.8

Russell’s scores – Brisket: 10; Pulled pork: 9.89; Pork ribs: 8.64; Baby-back ribs: 8; Slaw: 6; Atmosphere & service: 9.85; Overall experience: 9.96

Todd’s scores – Brisket: 9.79; Pulled pork: 9.93; Atmosphere: 9; Service: 9.74; Overall experience: 9.88

Ryan’s scores – Brisket: 9.9; Pulled pork: 9.1; Beans: 7; Potato salad: 7.75; Atmosphere: 9; Overall experience: 9.6

John T.’s scores – Brisket: 8.5; Pulled pork: 10; Pork ribs: 7; Overall experience: 8.5

Lacey’s scores – Brisket: 10 (“Wow!!!”); Pulled pork: 9.91 (“Can I get another Wow!” – Indeed you can: Wow!); Atmosphere & service: 9.59; Pork ribs: 8.01 (“Could have done without it.”); Sauces: 9.57 (“Loved the espresso!!!!”); Overall experience: 9.5

Chris’ scores – Brisket: 9.91; Pulled pork: 9.82; Sauce: 7.2; Atmosphere: 10; Overall experience: 9.85

Dana’s scores – Brisket: 10; Overall experience: 8.5

Overall Man-Up Score: 9.44875

Franklin Barbecue on Urbanspoon


JPa said...

wow.. lots of 10's!!!!

Drew Thornley said...

Well, as I wrote after the first visit to Franklin, looks like his brisket is the one to beat in 2010.