But now Austin’s Franklin Barbecue has truly arrived, inspiring a Twitter parody account that proclaimed pitmaster Aaron Franklin to be “Barbecue Jesus.”
The account’s inaugural tweet reads, “Blessed art those who stand in line at @FranklinBbq. Their patience shall be rewarded.”
Sacrilicious, as Homer Simpson might say.
As of early Thursday morning, there were 64 more tweets of similarly biblical-themed meat talk, including references to “John Mueller the Baptist,” Franklin’s former employer (and now competitor) John Mueller of JMuellerBBQ), and “BBQ Moses” Robb Walsh, author of the book Legends of Texas Barbecue.
There’s also a firm slap at popular Texas barbecue chain Rudy’s: “Forgive those that go to Rudy’s, Father, for they know not what they do,” reads one tweet.
At his Scrumptious Chef blog, RL Reeves Jr. makes a list of people who could be the account’s ghostwriter, including Franklin himself, Mueller, Full Custom Gospel BBQ blogger (and Texas Monthly contributor) Daniel Vaughn, “the guy from Man Up Texas BBQ,” and the author of this very post. (Editor’s Note: It’s not him, or he would be ethically prohibited from writing this and be assigned to writing more tweets.) Notably absent from the list was Reeves himself, though he did allow it might be “some Internet wag.”
On his actual Twitter account, Aaron Franklin himself went with Drew Thornley of Man Up Texas BBQ, who is widely understood among the BBQ Twitterati to be the person behind @ATXMeatBandits, an account that purports to be by the thieves from this past summer’s Austin sting operation, which ensnared Sam’s BBQ, as well as two other local restaurants.
Thornley has never admitted to playing any part in that account, which is why Franklin is unconvinced by his denial this time: “Just a guess but @barbecue_jesus must be @ManUpTexasBBQ Drew.”
But Daniel Vaughn, aka @BBQSnob, offered a backhanded defense of his blogging competitor: “Not sure about it. @ManUpTexasBBQ wasn’t nearly as witty as @barbecue_jesus when they were doing @ATXMeatBandits.”
Perhaps the secret will reveal itself before the joke gets old. Or by the time Franklin is open for the dinner crowd.