Things Americans willingly wait in line for: rides in Disney theme parks, Black Friday sales, the latest iPhone, Aaron Franklin’s sublime array of smoked meats. I’d argue the latter leads to the greatest rewards. Texas barbecue functions as a ferocious, intensely observed sport unto itself; who crafts the most rapturous beef rib or the snappiest sausages fuel constant debate. What isn’t disputed is how Franklin raised the discourse around barbecue when he and his wife, Stacy, stoked the first pit at their barbecue trailer in 2009. (The business moved to its current midcentury modern digs in 2011.) His brisket alone altered my brain chemistry, and did the same for a lot of other souls, forever changing our expectations of that Lone Star staple. A spread of brisket, ribs, pulled pork, potato salad, and pinto beans still merits the wait, which every omnivore should brave once in their lives.
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