Yet another in the recent rash of food trailers in Austin, Franklin BBQ has been gaining some notoriety for their outstanding brisket and unique styles of sauce. I was in the area on Sunday morning and decided to give it a shot, feeling it would be far enough removed and still too early for the SXSW fiends. Incorrect, as I waited in line amongst the hungover chatter of the middle-aged white-collar hipsters that ooze into this town.
It’s some sick sort of inverted voyeurism to listen to the excited glee of the Californians and New Yorkers as they treat the town you live and work in as a festive novelty they have come to explore.
“Oh my! This trailer is so quaint! Do you think they serve armadillo or roadkill too? I’m being witty about Texas!”
“I was at Emo’s, talking to my contact down there at Emo’s. You know, downtown, big venue? Anyway, this guy I know at Emo’s says this is the place. Maybe I’ll call that guy, who I know personally and who is associated with Emo’s, and ask what I should get.”
“I wonder what this ‘Tah-po Chi-ka’ drink is? Do you think we could put vodka in it? Let’s take some back to the bay area, they would love to see something like this!”
The wind was cold and harsh, the scenesters indecisive and multiplying, but the two laid back meat mongers moved with a quick and comforting efficiency between the smoker, register, and prep area, letting you sample different parts of the brisket and cutting just the sections you desire, patiently allowing you a moment to gaze longingly into the distinct and beautiful smoke-ring, the likes of which I had never seen. I ordered damn near a pound of brisket, both of the leanest and fattiest sections, as well as the Tipsy Texan, a pile of chopped beef and sausage between buns, the only named sandwich on the menu.
The official sandwich was nothing amazing, strikingly bland and really only saved by excess application of their amazing “Espresso” sauce and surprisingly sweet “Hot” bbq sauce. With my sandwich desire unquenced, I shoved the fatty sections of brisket between bread and devoured, saving the lean sections for isolated appreciation.
The brisket is the main attraction here, and while not the best I’ve ever had, it is easily up there as the best you can find in Austin. The sliced white bread and buns hardly do it structural justice, so I might have to bring my own. A Bring-Your-Own-Bread kinda thing, have them lay out long slivers of juicy brisket in a baked pepperjack cheese sub roll. With roasted green chile. And a touch of bacon.