Aaron Franklin

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Franklin Barbecue targets first week of November for re-opening

Smokers sit in the burned out smokehouse of Austin’s Franklin Barbecue in early October. (Photo ©Gary Jacobson/Texas BBQ Posse) Call it serendipity. I stopped by Franklin Barbecue near downtown Austin this morning just to check on rebuilding progress since an August fire closed the place. And there was Aaron Franklin, red socks and all, talking barbecue to a couple in a big SUV. “They’re from Wisconsin,” Franklin told me, smiling, after he had finished. Yes, the most famous pit master in the world, even in the midst of major reconstruction, still makes time for his fans. The news from this…
 - 10/19/2017
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Franklin Barbecue hopes to re-open in ‘next two weeks’

Repairs at Franklin Barbecue appear to be progressing on schedule and the world famous Austin joint hopes to reopen for business in a couple weeks, Stacy Franklin says. We were in the neighborhood of Franklin on Wednesday and drove by to see how the rebuilding was going. There were workers on the roof, and it was evident that repairs were well underway. The place has been closed since a fire the morning of Aug. 26. Afterward, Aaron Franklin said the place would be closed for at least a month. “We are hoping to open in the next two weeks,” Stacy wrote…
 - 09/07/2017
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After the fire, could another trailer help reopen Franklin Barbecue?

For a barbecue lover, it might be the saddest sight imaginable: “CLOSED” the sign said. “We had a fire. We will reopen as soon as we can. – The Franklin Family” The sign, hand printed on butcher paper, was taped to the front door of Franklin Barbecue in Austin. Normally, at about noon on a nice summer Thursday, there could be dozens of people in line, ready to taste the best of Texas smoked meats. The original Franklin Barbecue trailer in 2010. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) But no one was in line during my visit. The joint has been…
 - 09/01/2017
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Texas BBQ revolution keeps spreading

  Call me clueless, but I hadn’t realized how far, and fast, the Texas BBQ revolution has spread. Some background: We’re heading soon on a cross-Canada train trip, so I was checking to see if there might be decent barbecue joints on the front end (Toronto) and back end (Victoria, B.C.) of the trip. Sure enough, Posse co-founder Chris Wilkins recommended Adamson Barbecue in Toronto, which has gotten some buzz from aficionados. Notice the lede photo on Adamson’s Facebook page, shown above. Can’t get much more Texas than that. And through a Google search I found Jones Bar-B-Que in Victoria.…
 - 08/01/2017
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Going forward, a delicate balance for Austin’s Hot Luck Festival

Prime rib galore roasting on spits at the Hot Luck Festival in Austin. Austin’s inaugural Hot Luck Festival of food and music in May attracted 6,500 “patrons,” according to a recent release from the organizers. “Patrons” is an interesting term. In broad form, it includes paying customers as well as those who don’t pay admission, such as guests, clients, sponsors and friends. At Hot Luck’s food events, based on my observations, there were a lot of non-paying attendees. In a follow up email, I asked Courtney Knittel, handling Hot Luck’s public relations, for a breakdown of attendance between the music…
 - 06/18/2017
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Why we wait in long barbecue lines

Diners stand in line as they wait to order on a recent Saturday at Cattleack BBQ in Dallas. The idea about barbecue lines started simply enough during our recent visit to Micklethwait Craft Meats in Austin. “Why would you wait in line at Franklin when you can get this so close?” Sherry Jacobson wondered as she ate some of Micklethwait’s brisket, every bit as fine as what you could get a few blocks away at world famous Franklin Barbecue. And there was almost no line at Micklethwait. So we assembled an email roundtable of the Posse, all line-standing veterans, to…
 - 05/17/2017
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Prediction: Franklin Barbecue won’t be No. 1 on Texas Monthly’s new Top 50 list

The BBQ world is anxiously awaiting the release of the 2017 Texas Monthly Top 50 BBQ list next month. If Blackie Sherrod were writing this column, he would call it Scattershooting while wondering if Geddy Lee still loves Texas barbecue. . . Sherrod, of course, was a legendary newspaper columnist. After he died last year, his obituary in The Dallas Morning News began: “Blackie Sherrod, the greatest Texas sportswriter of his generation or any other, now and forevermore, died Thursday afternoon at age 96.” Kevin Sherrington, a good wordsmith himself, wrote that. Sherrington tells me Blackie’s food tastes tended toward…
 - 04/12/2017
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Is 2M Smokehouse turning out the best barbecue in Texas?

Our lunch of brisket, pork ribs, sausage & turkey at 2M Smokehouse. The first thing you see in the pit room at 2M Smokehouse in San Antonio is, of course, the giant smoker. Built by Texas barbecue legend John Lewis, it is named El Mexicano. Next, you notice the big-screen TV, hanging on one wall. Not far away are two outdoor chairs, and a mattress propped against the wall behind. “Our landlord owns a mattress store next door so he gave us a good deal,” Esaul Ramos said. 2M Smokehouse is open Thursday through Sunday, so Ramos and his partner,…
 - 04/08/2017
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Inflation watch: Franklin’s barbecue and Austin home prices on same track

All sold out at the original Franklin Barbecue trailer in Nov. 2010. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) Posse co-founder Chris Wilkins sent me a photo the other day from a trip we made to the original Franklin Barbecue in November of 2010. It shows the front of Aaron Franklin’s little trailer in Austin and his barbecue prices at the time. “Sweet memories,” Wilkins said in his email subject line. Indeed. Franklin then sold his terrific brisket for $13 a pound. Now it’s $20 a pound, a nearly 54 percent increase. Ribs were $11 a pound then; now $17, also a…
 - 11/11/2016
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On an eating pilgrimage to Austin, a Californian meets Aaron Franklin and the Posse, and tastes ‘the love’ of Texas BBQ

Steven Hecht visits with La Barbecue pitmaster Dylan Taylor, 21, who was trained by the legendary John Lewis. (Photo ©Tom Fox) Posse Note: During our barbecue tour of Central Texas last weekend, we met Steven Hecht, born in Texas who now lives in California. He said that he’s a regular reader of this blog and he used it to plan his Texas BBQ tour. Of course, after learning that, we asked him to write about his experience. Here is his story: I just returned from my first BBQ Pilgrimage to Austin, Texas and it was a life-changing experience. My name…
 - 01/30/2016
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Famed writer John T. Edge pens an ode to barbecue in Parade magazine

In Sunday’s Parade magazine, John T. Edge, the noted Southern food writer, weighs in on the nationwide barbecue renaissance. (By the way, if you haven’t seen Parade in a while, you might be stunned to see it today. It’s a deathly shadow of its former self, with a much smaller format and far fewer pages – more like a pamphlet than a magazine.) Edge writes that Americans have “adopted barbecue as our national folk food. … The new question is, how high can barbecue go?” It will come as no surprise to anyone who’s read one of these rebirth-of-barbecue articles…
 - 07/22/2013
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Growing up with Aaron Franklin and other Posse tales that deserve a second look

There have been many meals & just as many stories to tell since our first BBQ tour in November 2009. (Photo ©Gary Barber) In the past, we’ve told you about our most popular blog posts and offered a readers’ guide to all the tours we’ve written about in our Barbecue Chronicles. Now, we’re going to give you a short guide to the other end of the Posse blog spectrum. These aren’t our least popular posts. We’ll keep those buried to protect the innocent. But for whatever reason, these posts didn’t receive the attention we thought they would. Maybe the headlines…
 - 07/18/2013
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Posse winner talks about growing up with Aaron Franklin and the future of barbecue in Texas

Aaron Franklin, right, and his bandmates in Those Peabodys. (Photo courtesy of Post-Parlo Records) Please pardon our tardiness, we’re a bit late with this post. Neil Gallagher of Bryan won last month’s Texas barbecue giveaway offered by FoodyDirect in partnership with the Posse. FoodyDirect, an online food marketplace, randomly selected his name from among more than 200 entries. When I contacted Gallagher, 35, to congratulate him, the conversation ranged widely, from his win to even pondering the future of barbecue in Texas. He said he grew up in Bryan with Aaron Franklin, now the reigning barbecue baron of the state.…
 - 06/18/2013
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Dallas BBQ history made at Daniel Vaughn’s book party with the first briskets ever cooked in Big D by Aaron Franklin

Aaron Franklin, center, works the serving line while Justin Fourton works his smoker “Lurlene.” (Jim Rossman photo) Friday was a historic night in Dallas barbecue. The book party for Daniel Vaughn’s Prophets of Smoked Meat at the home of Steve and Anne Stodghill brought together four of Texas’ best pitmasters: Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue in Austin, Justin Fourton of Pecan Lodge in Dallas, Tim Byres of Smoke in Dallas and Will Fleischman of Lockhart Smokehouse in Dallas. Steve Stodghill, a principal at the Fish and Richardson law firm, represents Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. Daniel Vaughn signing books (@harryhunsicker…
 - 05/18/2013
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Hipster pitmasters? Young guns of BBQ? Resurgence of Texas tradition? There’s a BBQ revolution happening and we don’t know what to call it

Pecan Lodge pitmaster Justin Fourton and his infamous “Slim Pickins” sign. (Photo ©Daniel Goncalves) As Posse member Jim Rossman and I ate at Pecan Lunch Thursday, we talked about how to characterize what’s happening now in Texas barbecue. Something big is going on and it needs a name. We had just heard BBQ Snob and new Texas Monthly barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn call it a “resurgence.” He referred to young pitmasters, like Justin Fourton at Pecan Lodge, adopting the old school ways and using only wood to cook for a new generation of barbecue fans. (Note: To hold our place,…
 - 04/08/2013
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The 10 top posts of all-time on the Texas BBQ Posse blog

Posse members toast at Loco Coyote Grill in Glen Rose during our Brazos & Beyond BBQ Tour. (Photo©R.J. Hinkle) We missed a couple of important Posse milestones recently. So, forgive us a few moments of backslapping as we catch up. The very first item on this blog was posted March 7, 2010, just over three years ago. It likely will never be a trivia question, like “what was the first video played on MTV?” (Answer: Video Killed the Radio Star by The Buggles.) But, still, it’s kinda sentimental to us. The item was about our first trip to the Central…
 - 03/22/2013
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The secret to avoiding those long lines at Franklin Barbecue in Austin

  The line was over 100 deep at Franklin BBQ on a recent Saturday. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) Even now, four weeks later, we’re still complimenting ourselves for our nifty navigation of the long lines at Franklin Barbecue in Austin during the Posse’s Best of Texas Tour. People can begin queuing up two hours before the joint opens and the number can quickly grow to a hundred or more. We took advantage of Franklin’s advance-order service and had Posse members and Austin residents Libby Jacobson and Mike Gagne pick up our food before the place opened for regular business.…
 - 03/05/2013
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Portraits of the great pitmasters, from Best of Texas BBQ tour

Herschel Tomanetz, Snow’s BBQ, Lexington. (Photo ©Daniel Goncalves) Check out this amazing set of portraits by Dallas-based editorial and commercial photographer Daniel Goncalves, featuring the pitmasters behind the BBQ we ate last week on our Best of Texas BBQ tour. Daniel and his wife Magda recently moved to the area from Jacksonville, Florida. His love for both photography and barbecue led him to get in touch the Posse, which is mainly made of photographers, writers and editors from The Dallas Morning News. We invited Daniel to come along and help us document the trip, while eating the best BBQ that…
 - 02/15/2013
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Lines, lines, everywhere we go there are BBQ lines

Long lines at Franklin BBQ in Austin, top, and Pecan Lodge in Dallas. (Photos © Daniel Goncalves) Aaron Franklin has made it cool to stand in a long line for barbecue. That has been the norm at his joint in Austin going back to its trailer days in 2009. Now, the phenomenon appears to be spreading, as we discovered on our recent Best of Texas BBQ Tour. When we left Stanley’s Famous Pit Bar-B-Que in Tyler about noon last Friday, three dozen people were in line and more appeared to be walking down the sidewalk to join the queue. This…
 - 02/13/2013
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See the latest & greatest photos of Franklin Barbecue in Austin

My Dallas Morning News colleague Guy Reynolds made a couple of trips to Austin to shoot photos for a page one story on Franklin Barbecue, which has attained cult status in an amazingly short length of time. Click here to see the slideshow of Guy’s work, behind-the-scenes photos of Aaron Franklin & crew from the early hours working the pits to closing time, and everything in between. Above is a photo of Aaron and wife Stacy relaxing in front of the little turquoise trailer that started it all. Guy describes how he shot the Franklin portrait on his facebook page,…
 - 06/09/2011

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