We headed to Austin on a warm Sunday morning and met our cousins -- and chief travel and social media partners -- Mark and Crystal to get our BBQ groove on. Because we had media passes, Michael and I were able to enter the Fest an hour before the general public. That meant one thing: make an immediate beeline for Franklin BBQ's booth to beat the inevitable long lines! Austin-based Franklin BBQ is the consensus #1 BBQ in Texas, so its very popular. Weekend lines can exceed 3 hours at the restaurant, but we only had to wait about 45 minutes to get our hands on some of Franklin's amazing BBQ via the Fest!! Owner Aaron Franklin was on hand and amazingly friendly, taking time to chat with everyone and pose for pictures.
Franklin's offered Fest attendees generous samples of their luscious smoked brisket, tender pulled pork, and juicy sausage. Franklin's brisket is hands down our favorite of all time - fall-apart tender and incredibly juicy! While we waited in the comparatively short line for our Franklin's BBQ, we purchased one of Aaron Franklin's BBQ cookbooks Aaron Franklin graciously agreed to autograph the book for us. Naturally, I had to commemorate the moment with a picture of him and Michael -- and the signed cookbook.
There are so many great BBQ joints in Texas, and we had a blast checking out all of their offerings. From lamb chops to smoked pork ribs...and even a few fun surprises...we had a great foodie adventure sampling the wide variety of smoked meats available at the Fest. With gorgeous afternoon views of downtown Austin as a backdrop, hungry attendees lined up to sample some amazing Texas BBQ! Two of our favorite offerings came from Austin's Stiles Switch BBQ and Killen's BBQ in Pearland -- just outside Houston.
Stile's Switch offered something we don't commonly see here in Texas: smoked chicken legs topped with yummy Alabama white BBQ sauce. This tangy mayo-based sauce is totally different than what we typically see here in Texas, but it was an unexpected surprise we all enjoyed! Killen's offered generous portions of their delicious brisket and pork ribs. The ribs were especially delicious -- lightly sauced and falling off the bone. That is true BBQ nirvana, folks!!
Another of our favorite Central Texas BBQ joints is Snow's BBQ in tiny Lexington -- about 30 minutes outside of Austin. They're only open on Saturday -- until the BBQ runs out -- so you have to get there early to ensure you get to sample some of feisty pitmaster Tootsie Tomanetz's delicious brisket, ribs, and smoked turkey breast. Luckily, the TMBBQ Fest is in the afternoon -- so we didn't have to wake up at dawn to enjoy delicious Snow's BBQ this time!
|Photo provided by Texas Monthly BBQ Fest|
Disclosure: Texas Monthly BBQ Fest provided The Weekend Gourmet a pair of media passes to facilitate coverage for this year's event. All opinions expressed are solely my own.