Slideshow: What To Expect at Franklin Barbecue in Austin (Besides The Finest Barbecue in All The Land)

Get Everything
Get Everything
You've waited in line for over two hours to get the food. My advice is to load up. Barbecue reheats well, and the last thing you want is to run out of food and have to wait all over again.
The Line
The Line
I arrived a little after 9, nearly two hours before their 11AM opening. There were already a few dozen people in line, most of whom had the good sense to bring along folding chairs and reading material. By the time the doors opened, the line stretched all the way down to the end of the block and around the corner. I'd estimate around 120 barbecue fans all waiting for their share of the meat. If you snag a space near the front of the line, you have the advantage of getting sprayed with misters to take some edge off the heat. It's worth getting up a half hour earlier.
Wood
Wood
Cords of wood block your view of the smokers out back behind the restaurant, but rest assured, the smells and the lazy smoke rising from behing the fence assure you that the barbecue team is firing on all cylinders, getting ready for the day's rush.
Finally Inside!
Finally Inside!
Once you finally step in the door, you'll be greeted by air conditioning, incredible smells, and folks talking about barbecue and beard trimming (seriously).
A Two Meat Plate ($13)
A Two Meat Plate ($13)
Two meat plates come with your choice of brisket, sausage, pulled pork, ribs, and turkey. The peppery sausages are seriously juicy with a nice smoky tinge to them. You might think "why turkey?" when there's brisket to be had, but I implore you: give the turkey a try. Even without the last-minute, post-slice dunk in a vat of clarified butter, this is easily the moistest smoked turkey I've ever had. It eats like a ribeye steak with a great peppery kick. Excellent beans and a tangy cole slaw round out this plate.
Another Two Meat Plate ($13)
Another Two Meat Plate ($13)
Sweet, juicy, tender pulled pork and peppery pork ribs on this one. Of all the meats there, I'd say the ribs were the weakest—slightly too cooked for my taste. They fell off the bone with almost no resistance, and I like having the smallest amount of bite to my pork ribs. A tangy, mustardy potato salad rounds out your options for sides.
Pie ($4)
Pie ($4)
There are four pies on the menu, Bourbon Banana, Pecan, Key Lime, and Lemon Chess. When I asked which is the best, the cashier immediately answered with the lemon. Good choice. A tender, buttery crust with a tangy and not-too-sweet lemon curd filling. I'm frankly shocked that I managed to find space after the barbecue, but the pie managed to wiggle his way in there.
Big Red
Big Red
I hadn't actually had Big Red before, but I'm an instant fan. It doesn't have a particular fruit flavor other than "red," but its sweet, refreshing flavor goes perfectly with smoky, meaty barbecue. Seek it out.
The Sauces
The Sauces
There's the famous espesso-based barbecue sauce, along with a vinegar sauce and a hot sauce, but honestly, none of them are necessary. The brisket is juicy and flavorful on its own.