In this great country of ours, one could eat a different sandwich every day of the year—so that's what we'll do. Here's A Sandwich a Day, our daily look at sandwiches around the country. Got a sandwich we should check out? Let us know. —The Mgmt.
I arrived at Franklin BBQ in Austin at 9:30 a.m. It opens at 11 a.m. It's regularly sold-out of barbecue by 1 p.m., sometimes earlier. I was a woman on a mission, along with about 50 other people who quickly filled the porch behind me.
I'll quickly dispense with the questions you're asking yourself. Yes, Franklin BBQ is worth a ninety-minute wait—though I suggest you get there early enough to snag a place in the shade. And yes, the Tipsy Texan sandwich ($6.50) is worth ordering, even though it's difficult to save room for anything other than Franklin's ribs and brisket.
"To be honest, it's not really about "saving room" when you're at Franklin."
To be honest, it's not really about "saving room" when you're at Franklin. Everything is so good that you'll find room, despite inducing physical pain.
The Tipsy Texan, for instance, is a wonder. I watched as owner Aaron Franklin himself sliced a huge piece off a hunk of glorious brisket. Then he chopped the beef into glistening, bite-sized chunks. While I restrained myself from jumping over the counter, Franklin put this pile of moist brisket on a piece of butcher paper and slid it to his second in command. The brisket then went onto a large white bun that already contained a base of purple coleslaw and thinly sliced pickles. Slices of sausage get laid atop the brisket (meat on meat!), and finally the top bun secures it all in place.
This sandwich tastes like everything that is good. The moist, smoky brisket is some of the best, if not the very best, you'll ever have. The slow cooked sausage is marbled with fat. Briny pickles and tangy, creamy coleslaw cut the fat. Even the bun was somehow above average: mildly sweet and soft, unobtrusive but good enough that you'll eat it even when there's no filling left.
900 E. 11th, Austin, TX 78702 (map) (512) 653-1187 www.franklinbarbecue.com/