June 24, 2015

bbqThere are a lot of barbecue joints in Austin that are well-known, but few make more headlines than Franklin Barbecue. Known for its super-long lines, authentic Texas-style brisket and visits from President Barack Obama, Franklin Barbecue is a place many in the Austin culinary arts scene are familiar with.

Barbecue pitmaster Aaron Franklin, for the most part, has kept his restaurant within the confines of the Lone Star State. However, in a recent announcement, Franklin Barbecue said it intends to open a pop-up restaurant in Chicago so that Windy City residents can get a taste of what Texas barbecue is all about. Franklin was just in Chicago for the James Beard Awards in May where he picked up the award for best chef in the Southwest region. In a category where avant garde techniques are usually honored, the fact that his barbecue rose above the rest says something about how great this smoked meat actually is.

Bringing great brisket to Illinois
Foodies trek from all over the country to stand in line at Franklin Barbecue, sometimes for five hours or more, according to the Chicago Tribune. Some of the most famous dishes here include sausages, smoked beef ribs and, of course, Texas brisket. The news about the Chicago pop-up came from an email written by the Land and Sea Dept., a restaurant group known for some of the most popular eateries and watering holes in Chicago’s hip up-and-coming restaurant scene in Logan Square. Chicago locals are known for having quite the discerning palate, garnering attention for having some of the best restaurants in the world. As such, Franklin has quite the task in impressing Chicagoans’ taste buds.

Thankfully, Chicagoans won’t have to wait in line all day to enjoy his mouthwatering barbecue. From July 2-4, tickets can be purchased to attend the event, which will feature food and beverages. However, the meat-heavy courses will cost each person $100 a pop, according to Zagat. Signed copies of Franklin’s book “A Meat Smoking Manifesto,” will also be on sale – a perfect gift for any culinary student. We can’t think of a better way for the Chicago area to ring in its Fourth of July celebrations – is there a more American food than delicious barbecue?

This isn’t the only time Franklin has garnered press attention for his culinary prowess. His flagship Austin location has been lauded by Anthony Bourdain’s hit show “No Reservations,” and has also been featured in Southern Living, GQ, The New York Times, Food and Wine and Bon Appetit. If you’re taking Austin culinary arts courses and you haven’t been to Franklin Barbecue yet, you might want to take a day off and get in line to sample this regional treat as soon as you can.

All about about Texas brisket
Of course, like any authentic cooking style, barbecue is very much a regional cuisine and can vary dramatically depending on the state you’re visiting. However, much of the barbecue we know and love is a Southern cooking tradition and relies on “slow and low” open pit cooking. In Texas, where cattle is king, it should come as no surprise that beef brisket is a local specialty.