Texas has a barbecue joint known as much for the line of people waiting outside as for its tender brisket.

At Franklin Barbecue in Austin, people start lining up around 5 a.m., waiting six hours, chatting with others in line until the restaurant opens at 11 a.m.

This barbecue place is such a big deal that entrepreneurs like Desmond Roldan are cashing in on its fans.

"People know me. I'm a big deal," he says, chuckling.

For years, barbecue hounds planned their visits to barbecue joints with the precision of a Special Forces operation.

Why? Because they knew there was a narrow window when the smoked meat would be at its juiciest, smokiest best. Once the window had closed, a platter of would-be sublimity typically deteriorated into a pile of dried-out disappointment.


Once considered a down market cut of beef, the humble brisket has reached new heights in popularity. With that popularity comes higher prices, add a drought-stricken beef market and prices fly still higher. 

Drought conditions are forcing ranchers to thin their cattle herds, and that means there’s a shortage of brisket, the front-end cut of beef that’s emblematic of Texas barbecue.

Texas Monthly barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn tells Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson that higher commodity prices have even forced one best-in-state barbecue restaurant to close down recently.

Joey Palacios / Texas Public Radio

A San Antonio sausage company will be right there, along with other Texans, celebrating today’s inauguration of Republican Greg Abbott as governor. 

Kiolbassa Sausage will be on the plates of Texans attending the outdoor barbecue on the grounds of the State Capitol in Austin. It sits on San Antonio’s west side, on South Brazos Street and is a family business that’s been around for 65 years.