This really became a mini tour, but darn it was incredibly fulfilling and a flipping awesome weekend! Also, this might be the best damn birthday i've ever had..but more on that later.
Our next stop brought us to the highly revered and coveted, Franklin BBQ
I told the wifey last night, "I really think I want to be first in line tomorrow". She encouraged me to go for it, so she dropped me off at 6:50am. When I showed up, I was confused as nobody was there, but there were 4 chairs with signs on them that read "John's Sunday Morning Front of the Line Chair". After talking to one of the pit bosses, this joker apparently drops off chairs at 3 or 4 am, and shows up before they open. I moved his chairs back, told myself "it's my birthday, I do what I want", then took over the #1 spot. Please note that most people were pretty pissed, and this entitled fella didn't show up until 10:00am...with a party of 13!
I kept myself busy shooting so the time flew by!
Them hipsters are cray about their bbq!
Around 9am, photographer by the name of Brian Finke
arrived with his assistant to do a shoot for National Geographic. At about 10:30am, the General Manager (partial owner) Benji steps out and asks me how I was doing and where I was visiting from. We chatted and I told him it was my first visit, and this was a birthday present to myself. lol I pointed to Brian and asked him if he was waiting for Aaron to show up. He said, "no, Aaron has a newborn at home, so Stacy made Aaron take the day off." I honestly was really bummed and told him about a Twitter convo Aaron and I had a lil over a week ago.
We laughed about Aaron's man brain and I asked later if they allow people to see the pits. He said, sure, I'll take you back right now. Since they're closed tomorrow, there was no meat besides sausage on.
I forgot his name, but after he tended to the fire, he asked me if I wanted to see the sausage on the pit. You know what I said!
Benji told me that they cook 65 briskets every day. That would have been a site! This was a huge freaking pit!
So I thanked Benji multiple times for the quick tour and went back to get in line. I told my wife a lil later "I just want to warn you, I'm going to order a lot of damn meat. I want lots of leftovers!" She smiled and pretty much already knew what was coming as I had a huge grin on my face. So they let us in and I begin to place my order. I asked for a 2 lb end cut of the point (note sliced) and wanted it wrapped in butcher paper. I proceeded to order 1.5 more lbs of point, 1/2 lb of flat, 1 lb of ribs, 1 lb of pulled pork, 1 lb of turkey, 2 sausage links, a Tipsy Texsan, and a pint of beans. I get to the register and the girl asked me for my drink order. After giving it to me, she asked "can we get you anything else today?" I said no and started reaching for my wallet when she said "Your meal is on us today, Happy Birthday!" OMG, my mouth dropped and I started fumbling all my words when I asked are you serious. Benji is right behind her and they both were smiling and incredibly delighted to see my reaction. After trying to recompose myself, I shook both their hands and thanked Benji and her a million times. Benji told me "you're welcome, it's Aaron's fault, he should have been here" and started laughing. 100% without a doubt unexpected, and my wife will attest that it was the first time she's seen me at loss for words in 12 years.
Point brisket (9 out of 10), Flat brisket (10.5 out of 10), Pork Ribs (10 out of 10), Sausage (9 out of 10), Turkey (9 out of 10), Pork (8 out of 10).
Tipsy Texsan - Great sandwich, but not recommended with a feast like this as the bread understandably got soggy.
This was a super easy wait, almost like tailgating. I would do it again, but still would limit to once every few months. For the record, we probably left with about 6 pounds of food so I know what we're having for dinner this week!