Franklin Barbecue's line is as much an Austin institution as Franklin Barbecue itself. The line even had its own Twitter account at one point, and spawns an endless debate about how long is too long to wait for barbecue. When President Barack Obama skipped the line in 2014, the move made national news due to the line's reputation as both democratic and inescapable.
Except, really, anyone can skip the line, if they just think ahead: Franklin Barbecue thankfully takes preorders for its award-winning smoked meats. With some planning and luck, as well as a willingness to order a large amount of meat, that famous brisket can be yours with no wait at all. Here's a quick breakdown of the simple web-based process.
How to Skip The Franklin Barbecue Line
1. Put together your order: Franklin accepts preorders for any hot meats sliced and unsliced, from briskets, racks of rib, pork butts, to sausages, as well as travel-ready cooled and packed briskets and turkey breasts. The catch is there’s a minimum order requirement of five pounds of meat. Sides like potato salad and pinto beans can be also ordered by pints, quarts, and trays, plus miniature pies from Cake and Spoon (including that exclusive bourbon-banana). Every order comes with barbecue sauce, pickles, onions, and sliced white bread.
2. Pick your dates: Pick-up dates are available in three weeks for about a month when the restaurant is open (read: not on Mondays, since Franklin is closed on those days). Currently as of publishing, open dates range from Tuesday, July 9 to Sunday, July 28. Timed slots are every half-hour from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
3. Place your order ASAP: Enter in that credit card information to pay the $75 non-refundable deposit, and viola, the order is set.
4. Pick up your order: On the day of your selected pick-up date, head over to the East 11th Street building, walk past the (presumably) long line, and make your way through the parking lot to the back area. This is where Franklin’s dedicated pick-up trailer is. Go up to the window, pay for the rest of the order, get those coveted meats, and eat well wherever you so choose.
This post has been edited and updated to reflect Franklin Barbecue’s current ordering guidelines.