Brisket, Pork Ribs, Pulled Pork
Bourbon Banana Pudding Pie from Cake and Spoon
Texas Pecan Pie from Cake and Spoon
Generally the sort to over-plan and over-research my dining agenda I have to admit that the line at Franklin Barbeque surprised even me, the first folks in line having arrived at 6:45am…over four hours before Aaron Franklin’s shrine to smoked meats would open its doors. Having sparked a fan frenzy no less than Ansel’s Cronut and even a cottage industry of vendors selling sodas and renting chairs to the line it was just after 9:00am when I arrived at 900 East 11th and taking a seat with my laptop on the cracked pavement I waited with perhaps 200 others – the “sold out” sign hung just after 10:00am, well before a customer had even walked through the door. Clearly an ‘event’ as much as a restaurant it must be said that both the pitmaster and his team have done a remarkable job with their success as quantities are estimated prior to opening and orders are streamlined as best as possible by the smiling staff, but as with anything prepped to order the line of the shabby-wooden shack moves slow – my $25 tray of food finally procured just after noon, the turkey unfortunately gone by 11:35. At this point facing not only the expectations of its name but that of such a wait it was with the fabled brisket that I began and with a thick smoke ring plus ample juice beneath just salt and pepper I must say the flavor was immense, but so was the fat – a thick layer rendering part of the slice nearly inedible and a damned shame compared to the melting ribbons at Pecan Lodge and La Barbeque. Moving next to two pork selections, the pulled version underspiced and forgettable compared to the good stuff in KC but the ribs proving excellent as meat slipped off the bone unaltered by sweetness allowing the smoky pork sapor to shine, it was with dessert that I concluded and saving my thoughts on the outsourced options from Cake and Spoon to another review I’ll simply suggest you not skip the Banana Pudding, available only at Franklin – itself perhaps worth at least an hour-long wait, but not three…much like the ‘cue.