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Apr 22, 2011 06:06 AM

Franklin's vs Snow's?

Yes, I did just ask that question, sorry BBQ connoisseurs, I HAD to go there and would really like to find out your opinions. How is the number one BBQ mentioned in Tx Monthly, Snow's, compares to Franklin's, an Austin treasure?

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  1. I vote Franklin as I think the brisket is slightly better. Wrapping in butcher paper as opposed to foil is the difference, the bark on the fatty brisket I've had at Franklin has been better than fatty brisket at Snows. To me Franklin and Louis Mueller have similar styles of brisket, with lots of salt and pepper for a stark black bark.

    I'll also say that even though it is completely irrational, I cannot stand that they use electric carving knives at Snow's. Brisket aint that hard to cut.

    Supposedly once the brick pits are done at Franklin, he should be able to bump up to 1800#'s of meat for capacity. Should be interesting to see if the quality maintains.

    3 Replies
    1. re: bbq1995

      Can you expand on why wrapping in butcher paper is better? I know that's one of his "secrets" but never really understood why.

      1. re: achtungpv

        Seem to have found the answer here...

        "The major end result is a better texture of barbecue, very moist and tender but unsteamed. The butcher paper seems to breath, keeping the brisket or ribs from drying out while shielding the meat from too much smoke."

        1. re: achtungpv

          Yeah. Seems to keep the smoke out, but lets the meat breathe so it doesn't steam and so the bark/crust/whateveryouwanttocallit isn't soggy.

    2. The definitive statement on Franklin BBQ is in this video:

      "Yes! The cole slaw is amazing!"

      Given their current attendance, Snow's is difficult to enjoy. Franklin is nigh impossible. :)

      7 Replies
      1. re: tom in austin

        That video is pretty awesome. Even Hitler knows the Salt Lick ain't worth the time.

        1. re: tom in austin

          That probably made my year. 'Sure there are never more than 5 people at Bananarchy'.
          did you do that? :)

          1. re: NWLarry

            Heh. I can't claim credit. A co-worker showed that to me. I just thought it was amusingly apt.

            1. re: tom in austin

              my co-worker also shared it with me. too funny.

          2. re: tom in austin

            Hitler is wrong, I thought the cole slaw and potato salad were mediocre at best. I went for the first time today expecting to be blown away by the brisket. It was very good but some parts were too salty. I've had better brisket at smittys and blacks but it was still very very good. now the ribs on the other hand were out of this world good. the espresso sauce was very nice as well. I've got a feeling Aaron will be selling out for several years to come no matter how much he charges

            1. re: chrisdds98

              Chris, I agree with you. Probably the best brisket in town, but I've had better outside of Austin.

              Side note: there are a number of funny Downfall videos, if you want to spend Sunday afternoon chuckling to yourself.

            2. re: tom in austin

              To give a serious response, not just to post a video of Hitler humorously yammering about Franklin:

              Franklin is pretty good. Probably my favorite brisket within the city limits. Reminds me of Black's, but I haven't ever eaten them back to back or side by side, so that impression is fraught with peril.

              Snow's is something else completely. Their brisket is the earthcrusher. This is what I've longed to attain in my backyard, what I've long sought in my meandering journeys in a spiral around Austin.

              Comparing them isn't fair, in my opinion. I like Franklin. Really great local joint. Lots of Austin flavor. Keep it up, y'all! Keep Austin weird, whatever that means! And who can fault the tasty smoked beef? But Snow's is in another orbit altogether. Again, in my opinion. I've long since learned that Texan barbecue proclivities are well beyond reason or judgement, lest you want a buck knife in your spleen.

            3. This is probably not a fair comparison, but the only time I've had Snow's brisket was at the Texas Monthly BBQ cookoff last summer. And it was the height of mediocrity. I'm 100% sure that if one goes to Snow's on their home turf, using their regular pits and with the time to get it right, they're great. But Franklin BBQ is so good, I don't think I'll ever drive to Lexington at 9 am to find out.

              2 Replies
              1. re: heyzeus212

                One comment - I was 'behind the table' with my cousin from Stanley's pit BBQ and our feeling about snows and about most of the briskets there was that they were hindered by everyone having to play 'an away game'. Small portable pits were used by everyone and I think that generally impacted quality of everyone's product quite a bit. That being said, it was really cool seeing Ms. Tomanetz getting a lot of respect. For fun... here's some pics.


                1. re: cpencis

                  Snow's is worth it to experience if you have never been. Waking up early and arriving early for Saturday morning brisket and tour of their pits is a great morning. No doubt. Brisket is superb. And very friendly and welcoming vibe. Having said that, I agree that electric knife needs to go away. But the brisket is fantastic.

                  Franklin is simply superior brisket in my opinion. The bark is beyond description. You simply have to taste it yourself. And the different sauces and sides are more interesting at Franklin. Espresso sauce, yum. So, in a nutshell, they both exemplify great truly great renditions of TX BBQ.


              2. I feel like The Man and I need to give Franklin another try because my one experience (about a year ago in the trailer) was meh. And the sides were straight out of a food service bucket. To be fair, I really don't care about sides, but still, meh.

                Snow's however, well, that was transcendent. The fat cap had a flavor that can only be described as heavenly. I think I swooned, for real. And the pork shoulder was the surprise hit of the trip. The most moist, tender piece of smoked meat I've ever put in my mouth, and I'm from North Carolina. They slice it instead of pulling it and I want to eat it every day.

                All of that is to say my vote goes to Snow's.

                1. Why? I feel like you're just asking to provoke an argument.

                  Despite the inconvenience associated with each, they're both stellar. We're lucky to have 2 such world-class establishments nearby.