Foodie Review: Franklin BBQ (Austin, TX)

They call it a culinary religious experience in the heart of Texas. Since around 6am peopled lined up in the morning at Franklin BBQ to be amongst locals, tourists, and fascinated fans of BBQ.

They come for the best BBQ in Texas, or some say.

I got there around 8:30 and the line was already at the 2 hour mark at least according to a bearded man who boasted a belly providing testament he had quality checked many briscuits over the years.


There isn’t that much to do waiting in a long line. People talked for the most part. People brought their own coolers but for the most part everyone was chilled out. You can watch dozens of YouTube videos of this place, but the thing I found amazing was that people would wait so long for food in America. I asked people why and all they could say is “it’s good.”


The place serves around 2k lbs of briscuit daily and once it runs out, it’s gone until the next day. I think the limited supply factor and promise from the founder of the company that he would never expand or franchise gives the place a certain mystic. This is the same concept behind Black Friday sales. 


We arrived and sat down and I realized another factor. There is only one line where people order their cuts one by one. This makes it incredibly slow compared to anything. Chipotle could probably process a line 10x as fast, however there wouldn’t be the certain marathon feel of crossing the finish line. I mean, people spend on the upwards of 5 hours for their food, so some one on one time with the man cutting your meat is the least they do.


We sat down maybe 15 mins early as a person in our group did a big order instead of 5 seperate orders. It kind of comes out to family style but since we all order by the pound, it results in the same, in 1/5th of the time. The downside was the bearded belly manager eyed us 6 times and then actually asked where in line our food orderers were. It was kind of annoying, considering it was 105 degree Texas heat and the fact they purposefully have few tables to sit at.


It was the moment of truth. We got a bunch of briscuit and some ribs and some sausage. It came with bread and onions and pickles and we ordered potatoe salad.

What did we think? We all agreed the briscuit was awesome. The sauces they had on the table were great as well. The ribs were terrific too. When they smoke the meat, they truly seem to rely on salt and pepper. They made the baby back ribs at Chiles seem like chewy dog food that was nuked and lathered with sauce. 

As for the sausage, we were split. Some said it was ok, while me and my wife said it was pretty greasy, so much so that it was the only thing we didn’t finish. 

The briscuit and ribs were an A. The sausage was like a B- at most.

The line sucked. I would only do it once with that long of a wait. 

Now the black eye…The bathroom at Franklin BBQ is absolutely disgusting. It’s also right across the hall from the kitchen. Maybe they want to keep it in the same spot to keep the magic going, but at least tear down and remodel parts of it.

Foodie Review: Torchy’s (Austin, TX)


On South Congress Street in Austin, Texas you can partake in a variety of culinary delights. My meetup group decided to choose Torchy’s, a burrito/taco fast casual joint with the architecture of a Whataburger. 


At the door you can purchase a variety of swag. I particularly liked this version, but only if the signature sauce met the hype of image of hell in my mind. I mean, come on, the entire brand evoked hotness of food … supposedly. 


I ordered a grande burrito and a fountain drink. I almost ordered a glass bottle Coke just to fit in the local crowd. Austin is kind of like the Portland of the Midwest. Overall my bill was something like $10.


This is it, the grande burrito itself. I asked for the hottest sauce which they put on the side. The burrito reminded me a little of Freebirds, but the hot sauce was better. It was hot, but didn’t quite live up the hype of hell inside a tortilla. It was kind of like a branding over promise and under deliver, but it was tasty.

The folks I was with got the tacos and they said they enjoyed it. I looked around the table at the rest of the group and everything was chowd down so it had to be to everyone’s liking.

Foodie Rating: 8/10 Tortillas

Travel Blog (Vegas Adventure Part 9)


Above was a pretty darn tasty Korean Fried Chicken Burrito at the Venetian. When you play poker you usually get a couple bucks in comps every hour you play. Most properties have some sort of comp per hour system.

Thus far I’ve had 4-5 meals at the Venetian and paid zero, except some cash tips given to the hard working folks who wheel out the food.

The dish above was tomato, basil, chicken, mozzarella dish of some sort. I usually order this the most of any dish on the menu.

The dish above is a chicken and shrimp jambalaya. It’s was good, however there was maybe too much green peppers for a jambalaya.
The crispy caramel chicken is also good, especially considering that it is wheeled out to the poker tables. And especially with beers coming every 10 minutes, it is hard not to love playing poker at the Venetian. 

With the $10 parking fee at MGM properties, where else would I play? They are essentially taking away poker comps at MGM in a way. I usually would split time between Aria and Venetian, but it looks like the new awesome poker room at Encore will have to take that spot. 

Foodie Review: Nachos at the Bowling Alley


What do you do when you walk over at lunch for a quick bite at the bowling alley and they are so popular the wait is 25 mins for grill grub?

You order some nachos.

I was on the go, I didn’t have that kind of time to wait, so going to a tried and true staple takes me to my childhood.

I was a total weirdo as a kid. I would walk from my house at the age of 10 about a mile to the bowling alley after a quick stop in a store to buy a G.I. Joe. This is happiness at 10 back in 1989-1992.

I was a lone traveler even then. That was a different era when 10 year olds could roam around stores and go to bowling alleys by themselves and nobody gave a shit. Entertainment? Go play outside and come back when it gets dark, unless you are playing flashlight tag, in that case, it doesn’t matter.

In the summers, I would be all sweaty from walking, and would stroll in the bowling alley, walk up to the counter, and order nachos. I’m not sure what the culinary appeal of the bowling alley grill is. Usually teenagers man the counter and the grill itself appears to be from the Great Depression; it doesn’t matter. Day after day people stick their fingers in loaner bowling balls and then eat bowling alley finger foods like this. They drink beer, tell stories, and have a good time. These are my kind of people.

The bowling alley serves food for the common food palette. Ain’t no cheesecakes and lettuce wraps and prime rib being served here. Nope.

So as an adult with a career, why the hell do I stop at the bowling alley? It’s simple; it is sure the hell cleaner than any fast food joint. If I want a quick burger, they actually put a patty on the grill and cook it in front of my eyes. Burger King coats their patties in some weird “flamebroil” sauce and sticks it in a warmer. And when I say patties, the bowling alley uses real stuff from sysco or something. I have no idea what Burger King uses. I’m convinced the secret “flamebroil” sauce is actually leftover jet fuel from the NASAs space shuttle program. McDonald’s? Nobody knows what the hell is in that patty. Is it 50% grade Z meat mixed with sawdust? Who knows. What I do know is that it is essentially a microwaved turd.

Yes, I know. I should go to Five Guys and pay $17 for a meal. I’m on a budget as a penniless writer. $3.50 is more my price point.

I always feel sick 30 mins after eating McDonald’s. Always. Burger King I feel sick around 3 mins after realizing it was yet another fucking mistake to order a #1 meal. I tried their frap last week and felt sick after one sip of whatever the hell that was.

How many times have I felt sick eating at the bowling alley?

Zero.

Imagine that.

Foodie Reviews (Kentucky Fried Chicken, San Antonio, TX)

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You all are weird as hell. You really loved the Chuck E Cheese post? Well here you go, share this with your friends. I’m all about keeping things honest and real just like my movie reviews.

Why review a fine dining experience at a 5 star restaurant when you can eat an American classic. Colonel Sanders would buy a new white suit if he could see how far and vast his little chicken empire has expanded. I mean, there are over 19 thousand KFC’s keeping that top secret recipe under close guard every day.

I don’t know what this means. I noticed some people in Lithuania are loving the Chuck E Cheese experience, so maybe there is some new fad where people in other countries enjoy reading about our dining establishments the way our travel bloggers go to food markets and take a shit load of pictures and video footage of street vendors. Next time you watch the travel channel, notice the looks the locals give. They are wondering why the hell we even care about their food.

Think about it. This blog is less weird than stuff on the travel channel (disclaimer: My blog only recently began, there is no telling what the future might bring)

In any case, I picked up the “Big Box” meal (#10 for you fast food junkies out there). I didn’t just go to just any KFC, but visited one that doubled as a Taco Bell too. It doesn’t get more American than that if you ask me. Plus the synergy  of combining a bonafide taco factory with a fried chicken emporium would’ve made Oppenheimer proud.

For $7.99 plus tax, I was able to pick up a box full of 3 pieces of fried chicken, cole slaw, mashed potatoes w/gravy and a drink. I picked up two of them, because I eat like Jabba (or I got one for the woman I was with, you decide the truth).

So what is in the box?

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It was a “heart attack in a box” but tasty as hell, especially after a long day outside. We watched Game of Thrones and pigged out and I ate every damn thing inside.

The Colonel would be proud.

Foodie Rating: ?? (It doesn’t matter after a long day at the waterpark)