Franklin BBQ Takes Manhattan

Aaron Franklin, who was attending the Second Annual Eater Awards, was smoking briskets at New York City's barbecue joint Hill Country.
Tue November 15, 2011 11:00 pm
Robert Sietsema | Village Voice

Long lines out the door? Check. Running out of meat within three hours? Check. Just another night for Aaron Franklin of Austin’s Franklin Barbecue, except it happened on W. 26th St. in New York City.

Fresh from his brisket People’s Choice win at the Texas Monthly BBQ Festival (hey man, nice shirt!) Franklin took Manhattan as part of the hullaballoo around the Second Annual Eater Awards , which were Monday night (click the link to see who won from Dallas, Houston and Austin).

But first, on Sunday, Franklin cooked for the public at the Lockhart-inspired barbecue restaurant Hill Country.

The Village Voice ’s Robert Sietsema, who’s lived in Texas and is no stranger to the good stuff, was impressed.

The blackened beef cuts turned out meltingly tender and smoky as hell, with a texture somewhere between brisket and pot roast. The flavor was unforgettable and my companions and I wrapped up slices glistening with fat in white bread with raw onions, pickle chips, and jalapenos, which is the usual method of eating it, and washed mouthfuls down with Shiner Bock beer.

All that despite Franklin not using his own brisket (Franklin told the Voice that Hill Country’s was fattier) and being “shocked” by Hill Country’s smoker. “It looked like a big oven,” he said.

In fact, while Hill Country uses post oak in its smoker, wood is not the actual fuel source, which is why Texas Monthly contributor Daniel Vaughn (a.k.a. “ BBQ Snob”) snarked in a tweet, “Now he’s cooking w/ gas!”

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