Back in December of 2014 I did a BBQ crawl in Austin hitting up Franklin, LaBarbecue and John Mueller Meat Co. It was a fantastic trip with a lot of great BBQ, but I spent almost as much time waiting in line as I did actually driving from Allen to Austin, TX. I started with the Franklin line, arriving just before 7 AM and was 5th in line. I spent the time watching movies on the iPad and chatting it up with those in line around me. It reminded me of a tailgating like atmosphere, but I knew this would probably be one of the few times I would devote this much time waiting on BBQ that I wasn’t cooking myself. The next morning I got to John Mueller Meat Company before they opened so, luckily, I didn’t have to wait in a line longer than 15 minutes, but when I got to LaBarbecue, I spent a little over an hour waiting for food. I always say while most men spend their lives waiting on a woman, I spend mine waiting on BBQ, but over 5 hours of waiting for 3 places is honestly ridiculous. While I enjoyed my meal, I knew it would probably be possibly my first and last time at Franklin and LaBarbecue.
One day, a few months after I had gone to Austin, I saw a tweet from LaBarbecue that gave me hope to have them again. They take preorders and the best part, you can skip the line!! I was celebrating more than any man should over BBQ and thought maybe; just maybe Franklin did this as well. I immediately went to Franklin’s website and they DO take pre-orders. The first Monday of every month you can email them at 9 AM Central with your order (5lb min) for the following month. Email your order and what days you are available and wait to hear back to see if your order is accepted. Four months came and went and my order was never chosen, then back in July, it happened, my order was accepted!! I had instructions that my order was for August 30th and I had to pick it up between 10:00 AM and 10:30 AM and failure to do so would result in me losing my order. Now all I had to do was wait almost 60 days!! With 4 of my friends in tow we left Allen at6:30 AM and after some unexpected traffic and pit stops we made it to Franklin by 10:10 AM. I felt like the President bypassing the endless line and went straight up to the butcher block and announced I had arrived for my preorder. They slice your preorder upon arrival and I had my food in less than 10 minutes and was out the door. I’ll say that again, I was in and out of Franklin with 7 lbs. of food in less than 10 minutes!!! I couldn’t believe it! The only rule to pre orders is it must be to go, they want to give table priority to those who waited in the line and I TOTALLY get that. We loaded up our food and went to a nearby park to enjoy our bounty.
Since I can’t go to Austin and just eat at one BBQ place, I made a pre order with LaBarbecue as well. Their process is a little easier. You can email them at any time and just let them know the date and time and you will be arriving and then walk right up to the pay window bypassing the line. Like Franklin, they cut your order upon arrival and I had my food in about 10 minutes. Since LaBarbecue is a food truck, you can eat at one of the various picnic tables around, but they do package your order to go as well.
My trip was short and sweet as I did just a daytrip and honestly was so excited I didn’t get to take many pictures. I’ll be back for sure now that I know pre ordering is a thing. While this is a fantastic way of getting Franklin BBQ, I’m not totally hating on the line. It was a nice experience that I’ll remember as a positive one as everybody was super friendly and the wait kind of went by quicker than you think. I think every BBQ lover should do it once, but nice to have the pre order for return visits!