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Dec 11, 2010 12:28 PM

BBQ in Austin better than Lockhart?

I can't believe I'm even thinking this might be possible, but a week ago I ate at Franklin BBQ--definitely on par wit the Big Three in Lockhart, possibly that brisket is better--I can't believe I'm saying this--also their pork ribs and pulled pork was amazing, also fall off the bone tender and well spiced--I guess I've just got to keep going back

BTW, for those who haven't tried it--3421 N I-35, northbound I-35 access road just past Dreamers, get there by 11am (open Wed-Sunday), to avoid the really long lines, they usually sell out by 12:30, which means if you can't get there by 11:45, yr usually out of luck--incredibly good BBQ, read the reviews others have posted here before...

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  1. I will check it out. All the reports have been off the charts old school Texas Q. Cheers

    6 Replies
    1. re: JackWood

      amazing how tender all the meat is--I'd be raving about it if it was just about the pork ribs--I neglected to mention above that they have 3 kinds of sauce available on the tables, the most notable one being the dark "espresso" BBQ sauce--personally, BBQ sauce is a side issue when it comes to Central Texas style (side dishes are entirely irrelevant)--but once again, it's the brisket, with that thick layer of dark dry rub spice charred on the outside of tender succulent meat--my first bit of it partly tasted, I shit you not, reminiscent of of chocolate cake fresh out of the oven--along with the expected flavors of smoke, juicy beef, delicious fat, and the dry rub--amazing alchemy...

      1. re: taliesin15

        Have you seen their gift certificates? They're really quite nifty. Little brown cardboard certificates folded up into a teeny brown paper sack and tied with a little white butcher yarn. Love them....

        They are also helping me with a care package of their awesome bbq and sauce to send to California next week.

        These people rock. Can't wait until they find a brick and mortar location.

        1. re: amysuehere

          Man Up is reporting Franklin's is opening in the old Ben's Longbranch BBQ spot in about a month:

          Very, very good news if they increase the volume of people they can serve.

          1. re: Carter B.

            Oh, hell yes. Even more convenient.

            the Lockhart and Luling joints have been unimpressive for at least the past year if not two. I always have to stop but haven't found them great in a long time. Maybe Franklin sucked up their mojo.

            1. re: achtungpv

              Less convenient for me, but still a better drive/wait than anywhere else.

              1. re: achtungpv

                I have to agree with this. Franklin's is where I take out of towners for the best brisket I know of, not Kreuz's or Smitty's.

      2. interesting news about Franklin moving to Ben's Longbranch former location--speaking of one of the only places around that did BBQ Mutton, Sam's BBQ (which still does mutton, of course) has started making some of their own sausage--last time I was in there I tried a Turkey sausage that was amazing...
        Now if only someone could do something like Black's Pork Jalapeno sausage--they ruined it about 6 years ago when too many Mama's Boys were crying that it was too spicy for them, and started adding chunks of Velveeta or something to them--anyway, the good version was made better by longer cooking time, so that it was very concentrated in flavor, and not really juicy---almost like a slow smoked dry sausage--amazing...

        2 Replies
        1. re: taliesin15

          I especially like that my last two late night visits to Sam's were accompanied by praise from the staff and the customers. "Look at that boy eat! Dayam!" What can I say, I'm hungry when I'm tipsy. Ain't no thing. By the end, I think they were placing some form of bets on me. I recommend you go there and tell them you're friends with "Heavy T," they'll know who you mean.

          Haven't had the sausage, but the mutton keeps me going. Missing Ben's though; loved bringing work folks for lunch and blowing them away. "You like Rudy's and the County Line? Come with me."

          1. re: taliesin15


            That sausage you're dreaming of still exists. Just ask for the "worry link".

            Any old school pit boss will give you the dry sausage you need.

            You may want to head down to Eureste's in Waelder, it's now called Waelder Grocery but on a recent barbecue run to Lockhart, Luling and Waelder they put out the funkiest, best sausage of the multi-stop trip.

          2. My first trip to Franklin's BBQ on a business trip to Austin from Houston yesterday/today.. When I arrived yesterday at 2pm,, nothing left but crumbs! The owner mentioned I should plan my arrival at 1030a the following day as thats when the line would form.. Running late today,, I made it by at 1130a.. Was in line for about 45 minutes and then was treated to the very best bbq brisket I've ever had and the best texas hospitality you'll find anywhere. Nothing left to say except how great the two young dedicated owners (husb/wife?) are to produce the most amazing bbq at such an affordable price.. I wish I lived closer!

            11 Replies
            1. re: bornie

              It sounds fantastic and I would love to try it, but a 45 minute wait at lunch hour is just not doable, esp. since the trip would take me at least 20m each way. Are they open weekends?

              1. re: danny_w

                Yes - Saturday and Sunday. Closed Mo and least that's what I remember from a few months ago.

              2. re: bornie

                I wonder if the new restaurant will help with moving the line along? I hope so cause I get a Franklin urge during the week but don't have time for a 2 hour lunch.

                1. re: achtungpv

                  hopefully they'll have some food remaining after noon! I don't understand why they don't prepare more food if they end up running out every day. either that or raise the prices a bit. I guess restaurants and good business sense just don't mix for the most part...

                  1. re: chrisdds98

                    from what I understand, it's more about lmited space on the smoker than bad business sense.

                    1. re: Madcap

                      does not apply to raising the prices. he'll still sell out and make more $$

                      1. re: chrisdds98

                        Maybe he considered that if he raised his prices a lot, people wouldn't stand in line (or even show up) for his BBQ?

                    2. re: chrisdds98

                      His business sense must be pretty good as folks stand in line for upwards of an hour in blazing heat or freezing cold for his product.

                      I can't think of another restaurant in town that can boast that their patrons converge on their doors prior to their opening and wait patiently hoping against all hope that they won't sell out of food before the eaters can at least get a taste.

                      How many cart owners vaulted from cart to brick and mortar status in the short time that Franklin has been open?

                      Part of the reason for his wild popularity is the ratio of price to quality. We've discussed value before on the board and the sagacity of Franklin's price point is writ large in his vast clientele.

                      Good price, not the cheapest, not the most expensive and top notch brisket are the engines that drives this man's business.

                      He now has extra pit space so he sells out an hour later than he used to and does it without sacrificing the good will he built up in the community.

                      A risk any restaurant owns when they raise prices.

                      Anyone that wants good brisket without the wait can always run by Ruby's on 29th. It's good quality and the price is high enough to prevent the hordes from forming when they open their doors in the morning.

                      1. re: scrumptiouschef

                        Agreed. This is by no means a "cheap lunch". I think the price point is dead on and an increase would not be a good idea, especially in this economy.

                        1. re: scrumptiouschef

                          I'm loving Ruby's more and more, I had just yesterday a lunch (1/4 lb pulled lamb, small sausage / cabbage soup) that was about 7 bucks before the tip. That lamb is a fantastic treat and paired with the soup is a relatively cheap (for Ruby's) and satisfying meal