In this conversation, Dave Chang focuses on how Franklin has become a shokunin, or master craftsman, for barbecue. In addition to the usual barbecue talk, Chang also asks Franklin a lot of questions about the hospitality that Franklin shows everyone that comes to Franklin Barbecue and how hard it was for him to step away from being in the restaurant almost 22 hours day.
In 2009, when Aaron Franklin and his wife, Stacy, opened up a barbecue trailer on the side of a highway in Austin, Texas, they had no idea it would snowball into one of the most popular barbecue restaurants in the nation. But Franklin Barbecue wouldn’t have become what it is without Aaron’s unwavering commitment to hard work and dedication. A decade removed from the Austin institution’s humble beginnings, Dave speaks with the world-class pitmaster from the Uber Eats House during SXSW about transfusing love and care into cooking, making an intentional effort to maintain work-life balance, and growing the restaurant through failure.
– Bill Addison’s fifth annual list for Eater is now out and includes 2 barbecue restaurants: 2M Smokehouse in San Antonio and Franklin Barbecue in Austin; Franklin is one of only five restaurants (barbecue or otherwise) that have made his list all five years
– Whole hog barbecue is making its way to Texas
Carolina-style whole-hog barbecue is also making inroads in the self-proclaimed capital of Texas barbecue, Austin. Chef Evan LeRoy of LeRoy & Lewis Barbecue uses a trailer-mounted, whole-hog pit to offer pulled pork on his regular menu.
In perhaps the most ambitious implementation of Carolina-style whole-hog barbecue in Texas, chef Ted Prater of Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden in Austin is building a self-contained smokehouse with custom-built pits dedicated to cooking whole hogs. It’ll be ready in December.
– The owners behind Sauceman’s in Charlotte have sold the lot their restaurant sits on and are looking to relocate in Southend
– A short photo post on B’s Barbecue in Greenville
– From this month’s Garden and Gun, former Charlotte Magazine editor Michael Graff recalls the ribs he grew up on in Charles County, Maryland
– Dr. Howard Conyers spoke at his undergrad alma mater, NC A&T, yesterday on how science influenced his love of barbecue
– The more you know
– Damon Stainbrook, a former French Laundry sous chef, has opened his second Pig in a Pickle barbecue restaurant location in the SF area and is smoking onsite over California white oak
– I continue to love how Dave Grohl’s fallback profession is seemingly “Carolina pitmaster”
– Update: no longer a fallback profession:
– Operation BBQ Relief has made its way to Wilmington and Fayetteville in the aftermath of Florence
– Sounds alright to me!
– The Takeout stumbles upon the fabled “short, fast-moving line at Franklin Barbecue phenomenon
– Midwood Smokehouse is a Charlotte restaurant that has expanded to the ‘burbs
– Chef Ford Fry picks three barbecue restaurants in Atlanta – Fox Bros BBQ, Das BBQ, and Community Q
– Catch replays of the first show of “TrueSouth” from John T. Edge and Wright Thompson all this week on SEC Network
– TrueSouth even brought up Rodney Scott last week to Bristol to treat ESPN to a pig pickin tailgate
The Hot Luck Festival was started by Aaron Franklin, Mike Thelin (co-founder of Feast Portland), and James Moody (owner of Austin’s Mohawk), and this year’s edition took place in Austin over Memorial Day Weekend. Farideh Sedeghin of America’s Test Kitchen gives you the lowdown in this video.
Join MUNCHIES Test Kitchen Director Farideh Sadeghin as she eats her way through Austin, Texas’ Hotluck music and food festival. This casual event is a hodgepodge of everything locals and visitors alike love about the city—good music, fun people, and the best barbeque known to man.
– Sadly, the NC Historic Barbecue Trail joint Jack Cobb BBQ and Son in Farmville is closing on August 18
– All aboard the barbecue train!
Fans can hop on the BBQ express for less than $100 a person and travel through spectacular mountain views. Passengers onboard will get their own basket of Southern-style barbeque goodness with hand-pulled pork slider, a couple pork ribs, and chicken drumstick accompanied by baked beans and house-made coleslaw.
And, of course, no respectable Southern barbeque would forget to warm up some apple cobbler for dessert.
– Both Speedy and Monk are quoted throughout this article from Million Mile Secrets on Best BBQ in USA: 25 Joints You Can’t Miss
– James Beard-award winning writer Adrian Miller is writing a book on black-owned barbecue joints and has started his research
– You can walk in or fly in to Stanton’s Barbeque in Bennettsville, SC near the NC/SC border
– A short review of Prosser’s Bar-B-Que, a restaurant with a barbecue and seafood buffet in Murrells Inlet (near Myrtle Beach)
– Mighty Quinn’s, who has expanded to 15 locations across the world, has launched a franchising program in aims of becoming the “Chipotle of barbecue”
– Good to know if you are making this drive:
– Aka “the dream”
– Speaking of Texas barbecue, if actor Ike Barinholtz didn’t know about Barbecue Twitter before, he sure does now (click on tweet to read the literally hundreds of replies)
– The pilot for Daniel Vaughn’s barbecue tv show “Smokelandia” will air on Cooking Channel on Wednesday, June 27, at 7:30 p.m. Central Standard Time; Sam Jones BBQ is one of the three joints featured in the pilot which hopes to be picked up for a full season
– The story behind the longtime Stamey’s Barbecue which has been in Tyro for 45 years; owner Dan Stamey is the son of the original owner of Smiley’s and may be a distant relative of Warner Stamey of the Stamey’s in Greensboro
The idea for the restaurant came when Dan Stamey picked up a newspaper and saw a building available for rent at $250 per month. At the time, he was working part time at another barbecue restaurant and working other odd jobs. His father, Herman “Smiley” Stamey, was the original owner of Smiley’s Barbecue on N.C. Highway 8.
– Almond Farm in Millingsport will host its first Blackberry Festival and will also sell barbecue as a benefit for 4-year old Tate Whitley, who has leukemia
– You never hear much about Sam’s but it needs Austin’s help
– Anthony Bourdain never visited the Piedmont Triad, but Triad City Beat imagines a “Bourdain Trail” in Greensboro, High Point, and Winston-Salem that includes Mr. Barbecue
– Photographer Wyatt McSpadden has taken some great shots of Franklin Barbecue through the years, from its early years in 2009 through the 2015 cookbook and the 2017 fire and the resultant reopening
– Buxton Hall’s Elliott Moss on 3 barbecue rules that were meant to be broken
– (Carolina BBQ-flavored) Utz is better than nuts:
– So Aaron Franklin doesn’t actually eat Texas barbecue and might actually prefer Carolina barbecue?
“I don’t really know. I don’t eat barbecue,” he says. I laugh nervously, but Franklin doesn’t waver. “I don’t eat that stuff, but I love to cook it. If I’m in a special place like up in the Carolinas hanging out with Sam Jones (whose family has been in the BBQ biz for more than 70 years), I’m absolutely going to get a pork sandwich. If I’m hanging out with Rodney Scott (a world-renowned BBQ chef from Charleston), I’m absolutely going to get some of that pulled pork. Time and place, but as far as scenes and stuff, I don’t really keep up with it. My concentration is right here.”
– Austin 360’s response: On Carolina Barbecue and Aaron Franklin’s Texas cred
– The Houston BBQ Festival was last weekend and The Smoking Ho has photos
– WNCT continues their Hidden Gems Barbecue series with Hardison’s Carolina Barbecue in Jamesville
– High Point gets an Indian barbecue restaurant, BBQ Nation
– Travel Noire’s 19 Great Black Owned Barbecue Joints Across America includes a few Barbecue Bros faves
– Tarheel Q gets a write up in the Lexington Dispatch after changing owners last December
Leon said there is some pressure with running a barbecue restaurant in Davidson County due to the county’s barbecue reputation. He added that if the restaurant does a poor job, it not only reflects on the restaurant but the other restaurants as well, because Lexington barbecue is a style and one restaurant’s success means success for the others in the county.
– OH NO
– Big news!
– More coverage on Noble Smoke from the Charlotte Business Journal
– The LA Times has an easy guide to pairing beer with barbecue
– Re-opened yesterday
– A Texas man is the first pitmaster to make Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list
– More coverage from TMBBQ on Grant Pinkerton
– An Austin rag “takes the temperature” of the barbecue scene in Brooklyn and with one exception finds that it doesn’t quite add up to Austin
– Everyone has a dark past, and NC barbecue is certainly no different; it had a beef phase
– A promising new barbecue joint has opened up in Manteo on the Outer Banks, Carolina Bar-B-Que Company
Behind the smokehouse, owner Mike Weaver raises an axe in an arc over his shoulders. The blade comes down sure and fast and cleaves a broad section of pecan trunk in two. This is barbecue at its most basic level, starting with the wood. Weaver is in his element, living his dream, but it was a long time in the making.
– Virginia is still at it:
– The story of how a Benson, NC man went from a NC State Barbecue Camp to a state whole hog champion in about 18 months
– The Greenville-Pitt Community Visitor’s Bureau continues to advertise the Pitt County Brew and ‘Cue Trail
– Wisconsin-style barbecue? Really?
“It’s going to be tangy with a little bit of sweet, but not mustard tangy, not Carolina barbecue,” Stahl said. “I focus on my rub. I use European spices that reflect my Czech and eastern European heritage. I personally don’t like sauce on my barbecue. I put a lot of work into the smoke and rub, so I don’t think it needs that much sauce.”
– Franklin Barbecue remains in Bill Addison’s 38 Essential Restaurants in America
– Great story on Stan Hays, the man behind Operation BBQ Relief
– Good use of Twitter’s new 280 character limit or great use?
– RIP to the original Riverside location of 12 Bones; it is survived by the Arden location and a new Riverside location down the street coming in January 2018
– Operation BBQ Relief has been helping out for weeks for Harvey and is now live for Irma
– I’ve never been here but its unfortunate when a joint open this long closes: Lewis’ Barbecue (not to be confused with the Texas joint in Charleston by John Lewis), a 70 year old barbecue restaurant in Clinton has closed
– Shots fired at NC barbecue from a San Antonio journalist
Several years ago, a free afternoon during a work-related trip to North Carolina called for an obvious mission: Seek out the finest examples of the barbecue the locals hailed as the world’s best, and gorge accordingly.
But upon completion of this task, which unfortunately involved the ingestion of sad piles of shredded pork doused in a sauce consisting primarily of vinegar, one question lingered over the entire experience.
How can a state love something so much and yet still be so bad at it?
– Per Stacy Franklin, Franklin Barbecue is “hoping to open in the next two weeks” from a Texas BBQ Posse post from 9/7
– More Texas: Goode Co. BBQ in Houston (a joint that helped influence the Charlotte restaurant Midwood Smokehouse) celebrated 40 years of being open recently
– Matthew Odam recently unearthed a series of barbecue reviews from 1978 from recently passed Austin columnist John Kelso
– Always good to refresh the ol’ knowledge tank