Okay, I’ll admit that writing about your favorite dining trailer is a mixed bag. Do you want to keep it a secret so the lines aren’t long and there’s plenty for yourself, or do you want to let everyone know about what many folks in Austin are now calling the Best BBQ in Austin City Limits? Well, this genie is so far out of the bottle that keeping it a secret doesn’t make sense anymore, so I’m here to tell you about what I think is the best dining trailer in town and its right here in my Cherrywood neighborhood in East Austin!
Franklin BBQ, at 3421 N. IH 35, is located on the side of Owl Tree Roasting (a great coffee roasting shop in its own right!) and the place is always hosting a line of hungry diners from the minute it opens until the food runs out! Just drive by with the windows rolled down on your car and you’ll know why people can’t stay away, now it has an upgrade thanks to the Kitchen Remodeling Edmonton experts in Edmonton, Alberta Canada.
The smell of BBQ perfume is so sweet and delicious that you’ll want to keep your smoky shirt around for days just to remind you of the incredible ribs and other tasty delights from your lunch.
The place is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., but don’t let that fool you. The lines start forming before 11:00 and the food runs out well before 4:00, so get a head start if you want to dine here. With a couple of trailers (one for taking food orders and one for the BBQ pit) and a hand full of picnic tables, Franklin BBQ is getting buzz from all over town. In fact, rumor had it that Anthony Bourdain was slated to eat here on his recent visit. While he didn’t make it on this trip, he’s coming back in a few months to cruise Austin Dining Trailers and do another television show on the topic that is Austin’s newest craze. And there’s no doubt in my mind that he’ll be featuring this latest Hot Spot on the food scene.
Now I just have to take a minute and mention the actual food. While you can read all about it on yelp.com and urbanspoon.com, I have to say that the finest BBQ sauce I’ve ever had is their Espresso BBQ sauce….and it’s to die for…and the Sweet sauce and Hot & Pork (vinegar) are also great. The ribs have a crispy crust and are falling off the bone, the brisket is moist with a perfect smoke ring and the pulled pork sandwiches are juicy and meaty to perfection. You can get the 3 usual sides: potato salad, cole slaw and beans…all good…and perfect pickle accompaniment.
I’m not sure how much longer this little BBQ mecca will be able to hold out as a dining trailer. The lines grow as word spreads and even though the place has only been open since early December 2009, folks are already pushing the threshold on capacity. With food running out around 2:00, you shouldn’t wait to get over and try this place out! Just don’t tell them I sent you. I don’t want to be responsible for the longer lines! And while you’re in East Austin, take a look at the rest of the neighborhood and see if you don’t want to make your home in East Austin. Heck, just being close to Franklin’s BBQ is reason enough to move to the neighborhood!
UPDATE: Franklin BBQ has now moved to a permanent location at 900 East 11th Street, 78702. Remember that they are closed on MONDAYS!