Franklin Barbecue

When preparing to move to Austin and researching their restaurants, I saw tons of articles and posts about how great Franklin Barbecue was, especially their brisket. As I said in the JMueller post, before moving here I’ve never had great brisket. I really enjoyed the brisket from JMueller, could Franklin really be that much better and live up to the hype? No…somehow Franklin actually EXCEEDS the hype. There aren’t enough words to describe how delicious the brisket was. Everything from the flavor, texture and appearance were perfect.

It doesn’t matter what day of the week you go, there will be a big line and at some point (around 2PM in their estimation) they will run out of meat. Franklin opens at 11AM, so Alison and I decided to get there around 10AM on a Sunday morning. Yes, there was a line already, but wasn’t too bad at that time. I’m guessing you have to get there around 9AM to be in front. Before they open, one of the workers comes by and asks what you plan on ordering so they know when they will run out and when to cut the line off.

We got to order around Noon, so it was 2 hours of waiting in line. But as soon as I took that first bite I knew it was worth it and I had already forgotten about the wait. We met pitmaster and owner Aaron Franklin, who you may know as one of the judges on Destination America’s BBQ Pitmasters. He was incredibly nice and Alison was super giddy to meet him. We were just going to order a pound and a half of brisket (we went with all fatty, no lean), but Aaron insisted we also get ribs. His exact words when we first turned down more food were “No, homey don’t play that. You’re gonna have a couple of ribs.” I’m glad he insisted on the ribs, because they were very tasty as well. Between the two of us, we pretty much destroyed almost two pounds of meat.

Kudos to Aaron Franklin and his crew, for the best ‘cue I’ve had thus far. I’m already looking forward to making another visit. I’ll still be making plenty of JMueller visits as they cook some damn good bbq as well and are located so close to me. Now I just need to find a great bbq place that also serves dinner since Franklin and Mueller only do lunch. No, haven’t been to Salt Lick yet, but will at some point in the near future.

Franklin Barbecue on Urbanspoon

Ted

The last movie of the week was Seth MacFarlane’s Ted. Originally I planned on finishing my movie week with Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, but unfortunately the movie times did not work out for me that day. So I called an audible and went with Ted. You probably know the Ted’s story by now, but if you don’t its about an unpopular boy who wishes his teddy bear was real. His wish comes true, Ted and John (Mark Wahlberg) become life long best friends. But there is trouble when John’s girlfriend Lori (Mila Kunis) wants John to grow up and not be with Ted so much. And of course during this time, shenanigans ensue.

The review for Ted is pretty simple, if you like Seth MacFarlane’s humor in Family Guy and his other animated shows, you will enjoy Ted. If you are not a MacFarlane fan you will think Ted is pretty stupid. I’m not as big of a Family Guy as I was during my college days, and I think South Park pretty much nailed FG’s weaknesses, but I still enjoy Family Guy from time to time. So I ended up liking Ted more than I thought I would. Not as much as the guy two rows ahead of me that was howling at every joke, but there were enough funny moments there for me to be entertained. I think Mark Wahlberg is only ok at comedic roles…well when he is actually trying to be funny, he is unintentionally hilarious in The Happening. Sam Jones (best known as Flash Gordon) was great in his brief and random role. I would have preferred if MacFarlane didn’t use his Peter Griffin voice for Ted.

Bottom line: If you like Family Guy go check out Ted, if you don’t like Family Guy skip it.

Moonrise Kingdom

I’m a big Wes Anderson fan, if I made a list of my favorite Directors/Writers he would rank pretty highly. I’ve liked all his movies, even Life Aquatic which lots of people hated. When I first saw the trailer for Moonrise Kingdom I immediately knew it would be a movie I’d see at the theaters. It’s not playing nationwide yet, but luckily Austin is one of the cities its showing in now.

Moonrise Kingdom is basically a love story about two kids who separately are not happy in their current situations, so they run away to be with each other. Sam is an orphan who no one likes, so he escapes from his Khaki Scout troop and Suzy is a girl with anger issues who their parents believe is “troubled”.  And of course when they run away, shenanigans ensue. There are some other side stories here too, but I want to keep this spoiler free so I won’t mention them.

As soon as the movie starts you can tell its a Wes Anderson film. It has that same trademark look, feel and sound that he is known for. I thought the score was really well done and I like how he incorporated it into the film. While its not knee slapper funny, it is a smart script and definitely has some laughs. It’s that typical Anderson dry sense of humor, and it works here. The cast was also great. It was the first movie for the two kids but they nailed their roles. Even though I haven’t really liked Bruce Willis and Ed Norton in a while, I thought they were great here. Willis was a great choice for an older cop on a small island town and Norton was solid was the scout leader. It’s a Wes Anderson movie so of course Bill Murray has to be in it. He basically plays another sad old man, but that type of role just works for him these days. Frances McDormand plays his wife, her bits with the megaphone were great. And along with the humor, this movie has heart too. You definitely root for Sam and Suzy even if they are runaways.

Moonrise Kingdom lived up to the critics praise in my opinion. Probably my favorite overall film I’ve seen thus far in 2012. It’s a must see for Wes Anderson films, but if you don’t like his style this won’t change your opinion.

And since I ranked Pixar movies yesterday, I’ll go ahead and rank Anderson films (which was also difficult, was torn between Moonrise and Rushmore for #2):

1. The Royal Tenenbaums
2. Moonrise Kingdom
3. Rushmore
4. Fantastic Mr. Fox
5. Darjeeling Limited
6. Life Aquatic

*I did not rank Bottle Rocket because it’s been a long time since I’ve seen it. I do remember liking it though, will have to re-watch.

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