Another year for the mighty Texas Monthly BBQ Fest. No other festival brings the big guns all together in the same location like TMBBQ fest does, and this year the event felt bigger than ever even though general admission tickets were still available up until the event. Austin had received a round of flooding just days prior but the weather cooperated and the event was held under beautiful blue skies.
VIP tickets had sold out quickly and while the line stretched long at opening time even those who arrived just before the noon opening were inside the gates within the first 15 minutes. Many/most chose to head straight to Franklin Barbecue’s canopy to grab a sample early.
Meanwhile the general admission folks had begun lining up nearly three hours before their 1 pm entrance time. By my estimate around 600 were ready to go when their gates opened.
Lines built rapidly at most vendors but moved quickly. My first round included six samples, and my second included three. After that I was much more laid back in consuming samples but by the end of the day had missed out on some of the more popular places due to my leisurely pace. By 3 pm about five places had run out of barbecue but to TMBBQ’s credit Franklin was equipped with a large amount of meat and was still serving as well as the majority of participants.This was one hungry crowd.
Also pluses were the desserts, samples of moonshine, and plenty of free cold water.
Some others have posted some great pictures and lists of the best bites. Those lists almost seem cut-and-pasted but I can vouch that I agree with them, at least for the samples I tried.
My memorable bites:
Brisket cookie from Freedmen’s
King Ranch chicken sausage from Freedmen’s
Fried boudin ball from Stiles Switch
Pulled pork and tortilla from Stiles Switch
Pumpkin spice sausage from Miller’s – light seasoning and tasty
Of course brisket and more conventional sausage was available from many, and I enjoyed quite a bit of it!
See Y’all next year