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Franklin BBQ and Snows in Lexington

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13 replies to this topic

#1 SpaghettiWestern

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Posted 20 June 2011 - 06:40 PM

I have not been to either one and i would love to know the differences between them.
does anyone have any pictures of both?

So.... what do you think?
would LOVE to hear what you have to say.

when i get back into town..... this is gonna be a major BBQ road trip. lol


#2 jsmeeker

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Posted 20 June 2011 - 06:43 PM

Franklin is awesome. Seriously. It's totally lives up to the hype. Best brisket ever. Really. Snows? Less so.. The brisket was good. Ribs? Not good at all. Sausage? Very average to less than average.

But go to both. I have some pics around. Let me find 'em.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

#3 avaserfi

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Posted 20 June 2011 - 07:00 PM

I was going to go to Franklin this Saturday for lunch. There was a 200 person line by 11:30am so I went elsewhere. Another time...
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#4 Rico

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 04:53 AM

Well, first off, I'm going to say that there really must be something wrong with me, because everyone who seems to be in the know says Franklin is the best in Texas, and I just ... well, I'll go ahead and say it: I don't get it. To me, I'd go to Black's in Lockhart, given the choice. I mean, if Franklin were in Dallas I would go there all the time - it is without question good barbecue, it's just that on our barbecue trip, it didn't bowl anybody over.

Anyway, here are some photos. They're not fantastic shots, but I think they'll show that you're not going to lose either way.

Franklin lean:


Franklin fatty (bottom right; I know, I could have taken a better one):


Snow's - I remember it being good - looks a little dry in the photo, though:


#5 bmdaniel

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 05:00 AM

I think Franklin (the one time I had it), was as good as anything I've had - the problem with barbecue is that there is so much variability, even within the same establishment. For example, I've had brisket at Lockhart Smokehouse in Dallas that is as good as what I had at Franklin (or what I've had in Lockhart proper), but on average, it is not quite on that level.

I agree with the comments that Snow's brisket (again, only had it once) was of that caliber as well, everything else mediocre.

#6 jsmeeker

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 11:21 AM

I was going to go to Franklin this Saturday for lunch. There was a 200 person line by 11:30am so I went elsewhere. Another time...

The only way you are gonna get any is by waiting. You either show up really early and get up near the front of the line, or you show up close to opening time and get behind everyone that is already there.

When I went, we would up getting there at about 9:15 AM on Sunday. We thought they opened at 10:00 AM for some reason. But they opene at 11:00. We were he first ones there. We waited around for a while, but it wound up working out well. Got right in. First to get our meat. Sat down and one of the tables large enough to accommodate our group, chowed down on the meat, and left. We were outta there but 11:30. :)

For the record, here is my write up on Frnaklin. Below it are comments on other places I went to on that trip (pack in early April)

Franklin BBQ comments with photos.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

#7 Kent Wang

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 12:48 PM

I've been to Franklin and thought it was pretty good. Snow's twice, once was bad, once was a bit better than Franklin.

But I think Franklin has changed quite a bit since I went there about a year ago.

Louie Mueller and the Lockhart places still my favorite.

#8 SpaghettiWestern

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 05:25 PM

WOW ! thanks for all your comments.

Rico I do like your pics ... the brisket looks like the way i like it done.
i read somewhere that they are looking to expand so they can keep up with the orders and stay open at night.
that would be great.

i have to say also that i do LOVE Blacks in Lockart alot. usually they get it done right 99% of the time i go there.
so....i am looking forward to having the time to get to Franklins later in the summer.
to me ..... brisket is KING. lol

thanks for all your comments.

#9 DTBarton

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 01:36 PM

We have just completed a 3 day trip to the Austin area that included 5 barbecue places. Wanted to add our impressions to the mix.

We went to the big three in Lockhart last Tuesday. Black's first. The brisket was dry, the sausage was very good. Two kinds of beans, both were very good, as were the jalapeno corn muffins. The other sides we tried were not very good (deviled eggs and slaw) Smitty's market second. Wow. The brisket was fantastic, moist, tender and flavorful. Hands down the best sausage by a pretty wide margin, beautiful texture and a great smoke ring, not red all the way through. Beans were nice, not as good as Black's. Very good cole slaw. We tried a couple pork ribs. They were very nicely cooked, but no rub or anything on them, so a little plain. Kreuz market last. After all the accolades, we were pretty disappointed. As an aside, we ate limited quantities at each place, so we weren't stuffed at Kreuz. Everything we tried was off puttingly salty. Brisket, sausage, beans were all salty. Maybe we caught an off day. So, we thought Smitty's was the best overall by a pretty big margin. One note, all the sausage we tried was original, if they offered flavors, we didn't try them.

Yesterday walked from our hotel to Franklin. Got there at 10:30, about 60 people ahead of us in line. Got served a little before 12:30. The brisket was fantastic like Smitty's, I'd rate them equal. The sausage was not bad, much more of a garlic, kielbasa type flavor, but not close to Smitty's. Pork ribs here are very good with a nice peppery rub on the outside, best pork ribs in Texas (that we tried) by a wide margin. Cole slaw was great, beans were very peppery and our serving had more brisket than beans, so kind of hard to evaluate. Franklin cuts all the meat himself, that's why it takes so long. Maybe he could apprentice a couple of other meat cutters to speed things up. He really cares, though. As I watched him cut our brisket, he discarded a couple of good sized pieces that didn't feel right to him. I talked to the head guy at Smitty's, and he said he tells his cutters that if it's not tender like it should be, don't serve it. I like that dedication. I think if I lived in Austin, I'd swing by Franklin once in a while at about 1:00 PM to see if I could grab some BBQ without the long wait, and have a backup lunch plan if he's sold out.

Today, we tried J. Mueller's on South 1st street in Austin. having had a lot of brisket, we went for sliced pork shoulder and sausage. Pork was very good, but not over the top. Sausage was OK. Potato salad was good. After we ordered , the girl cutting the meat gave us brisket samples that were great, she was kind of saying you should go there for brisket, I think. Also, people rave about the short ribs at Muellers, but alas, they were sold out. Everything at J. Muellers was very peppery, including the sauce. I'm OK with that, but if you don't like a lot of pepper, it could be too much.

So, overall I'd give Smitty's first place in a close battle with Franklin, the sausage wins it for them. Franklin's pork ribs were very good, but this being Texas, you get more points for brisket and sausage. Muellers gets third over Blacks in fourth, the dry brisket did in Blacks. Kreuz fifth for over salting everything, a surprising result. It would be interesting to do it again sometime and see if these results are consistent or how much they change from day to day.

Edited by DTBarton, 25 October 2012 - 01:42 PM.

#10 radtek

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 05:19 PM

I went to a funeral in Giddings last week and on the way back was tentatively considering (trying to convince myself) making the detour through Lockhart to hit at least one of the joints there. I was close but it was about 6:30 PM- even though all 4 places say they are open till 8 PM I was leary of hitting a BBQ joint that late in the day. It was a Monday so Austin was out of the question. Not about to hit that traffic nightmare after a long sad day.

So I went home and made chili instead. Would it have been worth it to go Lockhart that late in the day?

I hear Franklin's and Mueller's are both phenomenal.

Rico- Real Ale Pale Ale is a great choice in beer. Pairs nicely with que. I like their Rye even better.

#11 patrickamory

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 05:07 PM

In all my many trips to Austin, Lockhart and environs, I think Smitty's is the most reliably great (going back to when it was Kreuz's).

That said, I have never been to Franklin's. J. Mueller is my go-to in Austin, I'm not an early riser. It is all about the moist brisket there.

#12 DTBarton

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 12:17 PM

When I talked to the head guy at Smitty's (Smitty, I presume?), he said they almost never run out of food, so he'd be a good bet to be open the advertised hours. He kind of took pride in that, realized that some folks traveled a ways to eat there and he didn't want to disapoint them.

#13 patrickamory

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 12:30 PM

The Schmidt family owns both Smitty's and Kreuz Market. The place currently known as Smitty's was the original Kreuz Market from 1900 until 1999. The patriarch had left the building to one branch of the family, while another branch owned the rights to the name and the business. Disagreements over rent and renovations escalated over the course of the '90s, until the Kreuz owners moved to the new location, while the building owners continued to do business in the original one. The two branches have now repaired the feud.


#14 Baselerd

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 07:54 AM

Franklin's is awesome, albeit slightly overrated. You'll have to wait in line for a long time usually, and I've always felt Salt Lick was better anyway (and all you can eat).