How to get Austin, Texas' most famous barbecue without waiting in a 3-hour line

If you’re even remotely interested in barbecue (and really, who isn’t?), you’ve probably heard of legendary Franklin Barbecue in Austin, Texas.

Franklin, which is regularly named one of the best barbecue spots in the U.S., is best known for its moist brisket. It’s also well known for its hellish line. The barbecue joint opens daily at 11am (except Mondays, when it’s closed) and the line starts forming in the early morning hours. It’s not unusual for diners to wait up to five hours for food.

Last year, the restaurant shut down a burgeoning cottage industry of “professional” place holders. There’s even a (not very active) Twitter account dedicating to tweeting out line pics.

Sound daunting? Fear not: There’s actually an easy way to eat at Franklin Barbecue without waiting on the dreaded line.

Just place a preorder, pick up your meat, and go to town. Here’s the deal:

  • Franklin takes orders six weeks ahead of time. A new day of advance orders opens up each day.
  • There’s a 5-pound minimum and 30-pound maximum. That includes sliced meats, side dishes, and desserts.
  • Preorders require a $75 deposit. Most meats are $19 per pound (brisket is $22, and sausage is $14).
  • You must pick up your order within a 30-minute time window. There are even special parking spots for pickup.
  • Preorders can’t be eaten on the premises. But that’s OK, because with 5+ pounds of meat, you’re going to want to invite a whole bunch of friends to your feast.

You can find the preorder form here.

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