Looks like I am I am back on track with my blog posts for the last few days of our travels!
Today was our first day proper in Austin. Being a Sunday things seemed a bit quieter than I imagine they usually are. But we didn’t help, having a slow morning. I slept for about 10-11 hours which I never do, giving an indication of how little sleep I have had over the past few weeks. That, or how much I have done. A bit of both.
But we couldn’t sleep in too late, as we had to be up and about to go to one of my top of the list for Austin. “What is that?” I hear you ask. well, maybe just the BEST BARBECUE ON THE PLANET.
I say maybe, as Franklin Barbecue is now the stuff of legend. Growing from a small trailer, it is now a modest rustic eatery close to downtown Austin that has been lauded by everyone, famously by Anthony Bourdain in particular, and that is adored by locals and a curiosity for tourists. Only open for lunch 6 days a week, it;s opening hours are “11am to sold out”, meaning if you want what could be the best Beef Brisket in the world, you go early and line up.
So Kate and I thought we wouldn’t have to line up that early, so got there about 10:45am. Already was a queue a few hundred people long. One of the super nice staff told us we would be eating about 1pm, so a 2 hour wait. Some people debated the wait, others were working out if they would make their 2pm flight. Kate and I… we waited.
And holy freeze balls it was cold. It was about 5 degrees and it felt every bit of that. Everyone in line was collectively enduring the cold and super chilly wind for a taste of the mythical barbecue. It seemed people had already been there a while, all rugged up and with their own chairs to make it easier. But as I said to Kate, if we lined up for things at Disneyland, we are sure as heck lining up for this.
During our wait one of the nice staff bought us a sneaky sausage and man it was delish. That little taste kept us going.
Close to 1:30pm it was our time. The dude behind the counter gave us a taste of the brisket to help us make up our mind what we wanted. But it was already made up… brisket and pulled pork. So with a bit over a pound of meat we sat down to enjoy.
And holy cow. The brisket was one of the best things I had ever eaten. It is hard to know if it was the wait, the cold, or what, but I couldn’t believe how good it was. Kate was especially loving the pulled pork as well, but I was a brisket man.
Just after we sat down to eat the famous Sold Out sign went up. Some folk who didn’t wait nearly as long seemed to just make the cut, but I was happy we didn’t take the risk.
With bellies so full (mine more so than last night even) we wandered back to the hotel to rest for a bit. We were both in a bit of a food coma, so chilled for a bit. We knew we have tomorrow to see more of the city, so were in no hurry.
But it came time when it was best for us to walk it off a bit, so we wandered to a record store I was keen to check out, Waterloo Records. Alas they were closing early to stocktake, but I got a chance to browse a bit and pick up a nice limited Flaming Lips 7″, even signed by Wayne. Score!
Still so full from lunch, we wheeled in to the nearby Whole Foods Market. Like a supermarket but full of local and organic food and also build your own meal goodies, our brains exploded. The food choice all looked amazing and so much! All we could say was if this was our local supermarket we would eat like kings and queens every day. Kate built a salad that looked amazing (and tasted as such). We even picked ourselves up some treats and vowed to come back before we got underway with our roadtrip to San Antonio in a couple of days.
Stocked up we wandered back. Things were still pretty quiet on 6th. Seems as if Sunday night is the one night to rest for everyone. OK by us, as we enjoyed the stroll back to settle in for the night. I was a bit bummed the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, which I was keen to visit didn’t have much on. There was a Nic Cage mystery movie marathon that would have been ace, but sadly we had missed the start (we were indulging in BBQ meat at the time) and didn’t have 10 hours spare to enjoy it. There was also only Hobbit 2 which both Kate & I swore we wouldn’t pay money to see, so we gave it a miss. And it was a bigger bummer that we were missing (by one day!) what we would have loved to see… Monty Python and the Holy Grail Quote-a-Long… apparently complete with coconut halves for all.
Oh well. You can’t have your brisket and eat it too (or, actually you can). Mmmm… brisket.
Edit: Check out Anthony Bourdain’s visit (I assume this video will play outside the US). Mmmmm… http://www.travelchannel.com/video/austins-franklin-barbecue