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My Visit to Franklin BBQ

alelover

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Went down to Austin Texas Monday for work. Had to install some machines at a gun factory about 30 minutes north of there. Stopped by Franklin BBQ to check it out even though it was closed Mondays. After I got done early on Wednesday I was lucky enough to have time before my flight to go have lunch there. Only had to wait in line an hour. It was a beautiful sunny slightly breezy 83 degree day. Here are some pics.

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The next day. Pretty good line. Actually shorter than usual I heard someone say.

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5 stacks emitting the lovely thin blue.

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Once inside still a long line.

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Not too fancy here. Just a good old down home place.

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Half-pound brisket and pinto beans. Got to be the best brisket I ever had. Tender and moist as can be. Can cut it with a plastic fork. Although the bark was a tad salty. Not to much so though.

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Hope enjoyed my lunch.
 

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krj

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Jesus, I know that Franklin's does amazing Q, and I totally wanna try it and a hundred other places out. That said, I just cringe at the price per pound of some of these places. Don't misunderstand me, I know these places have overhead beyond just food costs. I know they have staff to pay, along with bills to keep the lights on, and obviously they are there to make some money. But damn. $25 per pound for brisket and $22 for pulled pork.

I figure a flat loss of 50% from raw untrimmed to final product, and even so I don't think I have ever had my cost for pork go over $3.00 per pound. I'm small time in a small population area, and just trying to get my name out there so I sell it by the pound super cheap at $7.00, which is probably gonna jump to $8.00. But at no point can I see myself, even if I eventually opened a restaurant, selling pork by the pound for anything more than $10.00.

Maybe it's just the part of me that wants people to have a good quality but affordable meal, and perhaps because of that I'll never be a millionaire from BBQ. And I guess I'm okay with that.


Anyway, sorry for my little rant. Food looks great and maybe one of these days I'll make it down to Texas to try a bunch of the great spots down there.
 

ammaturesmoker

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You missed out on the best ones sounds like. Valentinas and Terry Blacks are the best in Austin.
 

creek bottom

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Pretty cool. I'd love to get down there one of these days. I travel for work occasionally and I've to Houston and Dallas, but never to Austin. Some of the best Q in the country in those parts for sure...
 

HalfSmoked

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That a Boy Scott sure was a fine looking meal.

Warren
 

eddiememphis

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Don't misunderstand me, I know these places have overhead beyond just food costs.

But at no point can I see myself, even if I eventually opened a restaurant, selling pork by the pound for anything more than $10.00.
You would see your price add up very quickly. General rule of thumb is to triple your finished food cost, but this can be higher depending on many things, including the time to smoke the meat.

Around here (Denver), brisket is $16-$20 per pound.

Another factor is the celebrity aspect. If you are on television, you have to be good!

When you have are able, ride that popularity trend for all it is worth.
 

noboundaries

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Thanks for posting this thread alelover. Always fun to get a bit of the inside scoop. Yep, those prices are big compared to what I do in my backyard, but it was nice to see what they charge. The fact it's on butcher paper indicates the prices might change frequently.

I hate lines, so I doubt I'll ever go when there are so many other options in the area. Still, kudos for going, standing in line, taking the pics and sharing your experience. Except for my tastebuds, the rest of me feels like I've been there!
 

RiversideSm0ker

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I agree with many others. Thanks for sharing your experience. I probably would be too cheap to indulge at those prices so that may be as close as I will ever get. His food looks amazing in every video I have ever watched. I’m sure the experience was fun just being part of that crowd. Thanks again for sharing.
G
 

kelbro

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They use prime for their brisket. Adds up. Also, they charge what the market will bear. Look at the lines!

Stiles Switch there in Austin has some of the best beef ribs that I've ever eaten in a restaurant.
 

jcam222

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Man thanks for sharing!! Throughly enjoyed seeing your pictures and description. Hitting that area for a week long BBQ tour is on my bucket list. Definitely want to hit Franklins for brisket, Stiles for beef ribs and Kreuz market for shoulder clod.
 

nursewizzle

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Also, they charge what the market will bear. Look at the lines!
Right, sometimes a price has to be inflated just to keep demand down. Can you imagine how long the lines would be if the brisket was only $15/lb?
 

chopsaw

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I really enjoyed this post . I had sticker shock to when I first looked . So for under 20 bucks you had lunch at Franklin BBQ ? That's a no brainer .
Thanks for waiting in line . Liked the pics and seeing the prices / menu .
 

Fueling Around

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Yes, thanks for the post and photos. Doubt I'll ever get there.
Enjoyed everyone's comments, too.

Think you'll go back if get down there again?
 

tallbm

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Went down to Austin Texas Monday for work. Had to install some machines at a gun factory about 30 minutes north of there. Stopped by Franklin BBQ to check it out even though it was closed Mondays. After I got done early on Wednesday I was lucky enough to have time before my flight to go have lunch there. Only had to wait in line an hour. It was a beautiful sunny slightly breezy 83 degree day. Here are some pics.

View attachment 412262

View attachment 412263

The next day. Pretty good line. Actually shorter than usual I heard someone say.

View attachment 412264

5 stacks emitting the lovely thin blue.

View attachment 412265

Once inside still a long line.

View attachment 412267

View attachment 412268

Not too fancy here. Just a good old down home place.

View attachment 412269

View attachment 412271

View attachment 412272

Half-pound brisket and pinto beans. Got to be the best brisket I ever had. Tender and moist as can be. Can cut it with a plastic fork. Although the bark was a tad salty. Not to much so though.

View attachment 412273

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Hope enjoyed my lunch.
Oh man congrats on getting in and having the best brisket I've ever eaten as well.

The prices are high. Not to defend the prices but it helps to know how Aaron Franklin approaches his bbq.
He buys only Prime Briskets AND on top of that he only buys purely grass fed animals from one particular ranch in Kansas that raises cows of a special/particular breed and raises them a specific way which turns out maybe the best beef you can get. I think they probably massage and fondle the cows daily (consentually of course) and probably read them bed time stories hahahha.
I believe the same thing goes for the for the pork he buys. Specific high quality meat breeds that are cared for in a special way for better meat production.

Franklin goes all out on the wood he buys as well.
He also does NOT make sausage in house and the reason is because he cannot guarantee the source and quality of the casings and therefore just has sausage brought in.

The guy basically goes all out 110% on crafting so much of the food and product he produces. This is one reason for the quality and the high prices. The demand for such good bbq is so high that it helps drive the price up as well.

The best deal in the place is the Tipsy Texan sandwich. You probably get half a pound of chopped brisket in the sandwich alone hahaha.

Anyhow it's good to know a little bit of the behind the scenes info to know where the quality, the demand, and some of the pricing comes from. He covers most of this in his book which is surprisingly an amazing read on how he has come to craft his bbq and share some process and knowlege vs being a recipe book. Recipes are in there but I was shockingly surprised at how awesome it is for a read and I LOATH reading novels and most books for entertainment purposes lol.
 

phatbac

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That must of have been an awesome detour on a work trip! thanks for sharing with the group and the pics. if the best bbq you can eat like good brisket worth every penny in my book!

Happy Smoking,
phatbac (Aaron)
 

kelbro

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Man thanks for sharing!! Throughly enjoyed seeing your pictures and description. Hitting that area for a week long BBQ tour is on my bucket list. Definitely want to hit Franklins for brisket, Stiles for beef ribs and Kreuz market for shoulder clod.
You do need to plan side trips to Lockhart and Elgin.

Kreuz in Lockhart is a can't miss stop.

It's been quite commercialized over the past few years but Southside Market in Elgin has managed to maintain their quality. Great sausage and a sleeper on their menu is their pork steak.

Lots of choices in that area, most are really good. You have to be good to survive there. Us Texans are picky on our Q.
 

alelover

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I agree the prices are up there. Worth it though. Most of you explained why. He uses top quality prime meat from Snake River Farms. Quite a step up from a Kroger or Sam's Club brisket. Had lunch at Big Bob Gibson's in Decatur, Alabama yesterday and it was OK but nowhere near the quality of Franklin's brisket. Frankly, I make a better brisket than Big Bobs.
 

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