For starters, I grew up in Santa Maria, California, creators of the tri-tip bbq. We took a cut of meat that no one else in the country used, and created a delicious, juicy Spanish-style meal. Traditionally, tri-tip is grilled over red oak wood, but can still taste wonderful over coal or flame grills.
If you’ve seen the movie, Sideways, the restaurant, the Hitching Post, makes one of the best Santa Maria style bbqs. Unfortunately, with this certain cut being rare to find in other states, it is by far the most under rated glorious piece of meat the backyard griller should know. With that said… Texas BBQ. What can I say about Texas BBQ?
Rise and shine, my cousin, Adam woke me up with the words, “Kana, get up I’m taking you to the best bbq in the world.” How could I argue with that even if I did want 4 more hours of sleep? We headed to the most popular bbq spot called Franklin Barbeque. To my surprise, Anthony Bourdain’s crew was filming part of their show there. (Hopefully you’ll see us in line when the episode comes out!)
We got there around 10:30am and the line was throughout the parking lot. This wouldn’t be so surprising other than the fact that the place didn’t even open until 11:00am. So there we were standing in line.
The way this place worked was they start smoking and grilling all their meats early in the morning only having enough for about 2 hours. A server walked down the line getting a tally of what customers ordered so she could calculate at what point in the line they would run out. Luckily, it didn’t cut us off. Unfortunately, it was overall a 2 hour wait.
When we finally got through the doors, the smell of the bbq was AMAZING. It instantly made my mouth water and it didn’t help that the anticipation and wait almost drove me to starvation. I ordered ribs, 3 different cuts of brisket, beans and cole slaw.
I have never had brisket before, but understand the difficulty of cooking it to achieve the tenderness. It’s like an art and Franklin’s was the artist. The brisket was extremely tender with a just the right amount of smoky flavor. The ribs were my favorite as it fell right off the bone. It was juicy and tender just like slow cooked ribs should be.
Overall, it was a great experience, but I probably wouldn’t wait 2 hours again unless I was taking some extreme brisket lovers to this place. In all honesty, I favor the flavor and texture of Santa Maria style tri-tip over the best brisket in the world.