This week, Scott and his harem of hungries braved the line at Dallas' famed meat mecca, Pecan Lodge. While they were taking months off their lives, I was attempting a similar feat in Austin. Upon arriving in Longhorn Land with my dude and our dog, we resolved to do two things: eat tacos and spend a ridiculous amount of money at Franklin Barbecue. The former was easy, the latter not so much.
Following this detailed plan and you, too, can guarantee you'll be having Not Franklin Barbecue for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the next 48 hours and will arrive back home to the disappointment of everyone you've ever met.
Step 1: Go to Austin. Hell bent on getting our hands on what is supposed to be the sexiest, barkiest, porniest, smoke-ringiest brisket on the planet, we made a terribly ineffective plan to get up early and get our brisketless asses in the Franklin Barbecue line early Saturday morning. We even made the very responsible decision to forgo beer and any and all frozen, tequila-laden beverages on Friday night to avoid dying in line the next morning. Full of greasy deshebrada tacos, queso fundido and a gluttonous pile of fresh and floppy corn tortillas, our luxurious La Quinta digs beckoned and we fell asleep (one of us still sporting a single flip flop) with visions of burnt ends and endless high fives with all the Franklin patrons dancing in our heads.
Step 2: Wake up at a La Quinta on the very northwest side of Austin and search feverishly for any device that can tell you the cursed time because maybe just this once, the sun's position in the sky and subsequent bright-as-balls sunlight filling up your hotel room doesn't mean what you know it to mean. There's no way it's as early as it needs to be. You moron.
Step 3: Locate phone under the dog, punch your other half in the ass repeatedly until he wakes up so you can have someone with whom to freak the hell out because it's 10 a.m. and people have been in line for well over three hours by now.
Step 4: Ignore the storm of meat-flavored fear growing inside your heart as images of the SOLD OUT sign you saw on No Reservations dance around in your head. This can't be happening.
Step 5: Take dog outside and while in the elevator, discuss with him the importance of taking a fast and furious shit so Mommy and Daddy can go buy smoked meat (that we won't share). Have an adult hissy fit when the dog takes FORFUCKINGEVER to find the perfect spot to sully with his dog business.
Step 6: Return to the hotel room and drag half-asleep man and freshly shitted dog down to the car, praying to Bernie, the God of Meat, that the line isn't horrifying and they haven't sold out of meat, glorious meat.
Step 7: Scream at everyone turning onto 11th Street and feel the barbecue dementor suck all your joy away as you turn the corner and see the line not only snake its way down the ramp and in front of the building, but down the sidewalk, through the parking lot and up the block. Look into the eyes of your beloved and see only pain staring back at you. Pain that you share. Pain that comes from the knowledge that you will have to eat something else today. And that something won't be brisket.
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Step 8: Try not to be a total bag of assholes to the server at Kerbey Lane Café because it's so not his fault that you have to eat their food instead of a mountain of perfectly smoked beef. Feed the dog half of your food because life is sad and this is the best day of his life because he's a goddamn dog.
Step 9: Go to Amy's Ice Creams twice in 24 hours to help suppress all the feelings you're feeling in your feelings factory. So many feelings.
Step 10: Try again Sunday morning. Realize that line is twice as long. Decide to just go home immediately. Shake your fist at all the people in line who obviously have a much louder alarm clock than you do. And tents. They have tents. And chairs. Bastards.
Step 11: Stop at every H-E-B on the way back to Dallas to find Aaron Franklin's espresso barbecue sauce, find none. Buy several bottles of Whataburger Spicy Ketchup instead.