What does a day of work at Franklin Barbecue look like?

How do things at Franklin Barbecue look like at the other end of the line? Bon Appetit deputy editor Andrew Knowlton set out to see just what goes into making his favorite barbecue when he signed up for a 24-hour shift (nothing on pitmaster Aaron Franklin’s reported 76-hours) at 11th Street’s crowning glory.

You may or may not be surprised by how much of his day comprised of mopping up brisket fat. You can watch the full video above, or check out some of the more notable moments in his shift below:

via YouTube
via YouTube

How does a meat master start his day? At 6 a.m. and with a shot of espresso made with a machine handily located in the back of the restaurant. A pitmaster, and a barista. You’re full of surprises, Aaron.

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via YouTube

Most of the early morning is spent prepping the meat that will be put in the smokers for the next day. Those briskets aren’t going to trim, season and wrap themselves in foil.

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via YouTube

A little before 9 a.m. orders are taken straight from the line. At this point those first in line have been waiting nearly five hours and have consumed probably as many beers. This is also when a lucky group is appointed the “last in line” status, dependent on how much food those ahead have ordered.

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via YouTube

After the doors open it’s time for everyone’s favorite part: eating meat! While Knowlton gives brisket slicing a shot, a craft Franklin makes look effortless, he winds up butchering the job (literally) and giving out free meat as compensation for his rough cuts.

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via YouTube

The restaurant’s close in the afternoon kicks off a long couple hours of cleanup. What’s greasier than a slice of fatty brisket? The mess it makes everywhere.

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via YouTube

A day at Franklin ends a lot like how it starts: plenty of preparation. Later in the night sauce is made by mixing ingredients in a dozen 5-gallon buckets, more meat is seasoned and “tucked in” for the night (wrapped) and wood carts are restocked. It’s an end to a good, smoky day, that blurs right into the start of another. And you thought waiting in line was hard.

Check out more Franklin Barbecue content here:

New York Times gets in line for Franklin a little later

The best barbecue in Austin, according to Matthew Odam

Photos of Texas man holding ‘You belong’ sign outside mosque go viral

“This happened because I needed to do something, and I had nothing else that I could do,” Justin Normand of Dallas told the Dallas Morning News when they asked him about a sign he was recently photographed holding outside of a mosque in Irving.

The sign reads, “You belong. Stay strong. Be blessed. We are one America.”

Normand, who runs a sign shop in Dallas, said he was inspired to make the sign to “share peace” following this year’s election. In a Facebook post Normand wrote that the act was about, “washing my brother’s feet. This was about my religion, not theirs.”

Normand also admitted to the Dallas Morning News that he doesn’t normally wear a cowboy hat, but felt it helped better identify him as a part of Texas the local Islamic community needed to hear from. Normand is a Presbyterian.

Matthew McConaughey still at it with the good deeds, offers UT students safe ride home

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Matthew McConaughey on stage during the Jack Ingram & Friends ft. Eric Church at ACL Live on April 14, 2016. (Suzanne Cordeiro for American Statesman)

Imagine the look of surprise when a Longhorn orders a safe ride home after a long night of studying and Austin’s most famous resident shows up in a golf cart.

Matthew McConaughey volunteered with Meals on Wheels on Thanksgiving, but decided to keep rolling on the good deeds this holiday season by helping out his alma mater.

The Texas Ex joined student volunteers in the SURE Walk program to give those staying late on campus some company on their way home.

The Student Government program, in which “SURE” stands for Students United for Rape Elimination, offers Longhorns who don’t want to walk home alone a male and female companion to walk with. Since its inception, the program has expanded with the help of various other student organizations to multiple locations across the 40 Acres, and even acquired some wheels to transport students faster.

SURE Walk operates from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Sunday and “SURE Walkers” can be requested by phone or email. For more information, check out the SURE Walk Facebook page. 

Central Texas Food Bank receives angry letter: ‘I don’t understand who these poor folks are that need food’

The Central Texas Food Bank serves more than 40,000 people in a week, but it was one person Monday who reportedly took issue with the charity’s insistence on providing “these poor folks in need” with sustenance.

The Central Texas Food Bank located at 6500 Metropolis Dr. in east Austin, TX. RALPH BARRERA/AMERICAN-STATESMAN
The Central Texas Food Bank located at 6500 Metropolis Dr. in east Austin, TX.
RALPH BARRERA/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

The food bank received a “disturbing” letter Monday in response to a Thanksgiving direct-mail campaign asking supporters to donate any food they had. According to Paul Gaither, the food bank’s marketing and communications director, the letter was sent using the food bank response envelope provided, but with another stamp, no return address and a fake name.

According to Giving City Austin, the letter read:

“Dear Foodbank:

I don’t understand who these poor folks are that need food. I assume they consist primarily of illegals, who came to Texas for ‘free stuff.’ And of course, our Africans, who find work too much trouble, especially when they can collect the equivalent of $40,000 a year on welfare, and other ‘benefits’ offered to the unfit, the lazy, and the under-educated… and, of course, the drug addicts.

I suspect that most who need food are marching around whining that the congenital liar, Hillary Rodham Clinton, lost the election. Too bad; how sad.

I also wonder if your organization is one of those Phoney-Baloney, so-called ‘charities,’ designed primarily to provide a good living to its organizers.

In short, no way.

Citizen Robespierre”

After the story was posted on Giving City Austin, it got shared on r/Austin, where some users posited that the letter-writer was trolling the food bank, citing the letter’s proper punctuation, over-the-top views and the fact that the real Robespierre was famous for his advocacy for the poor, as evidence.

“The lack of empathy was disturbing,” Gaither told Giving City Austin. He also said letters like the one received Monday were common, but that the negative attitude expressed “seem to be a more widespread attitude” recently.

According to Giving City Austin, the Central Texas Food Bank “serves about 46,000 people a week in 21 counties, via 250 partner agencies (like food pantries, soup kitchens), as well as through its own mobile pantries that distribute to areas where fresh food is less available for sale.” Ninety-three percent of the population the food bank serves is not homeless.

“We serve people in need and we’re not going to turn away anybody,” Gaither said.

 

 

I-35 southbound shut down north of Rundberg

Police are routing southbound traffic onto Rundberg Lane
Police are routing southbound traffic onto Rundberg Lane

The southbound lanes of Interstate 35 has been shut down north of Rundberg Lane due to a collision, according to Austin police. All southbound traffic is being rerouted to the Rundberg exit.

The Statesman will provide updates as the situation unfolds.

White nationalist Richard Spencer to speak at Texas A&M next month

Richard Spencer, a white nationalist and a leading voice of the so-called alt-right movement, is scheduled to speak on the campus of Texas A&M University next month, the Battalion reported Wednesday.

But university officials sought to distance themselves from the appearance, saying in a statement on Wednesday that “private citizens are permitted to reserve space available to the public as we are a public university.”

Spencer, who heads a think tank called the National Policy Institute, has defined the alt-right – short for “alternative right” – as a set of ideologies with a core belief in white identity and a racially homogeneous society. Critics of the movement says its rhetoric is racist and advocates white supremacy.

The profile of the alt-right movement has been elevated ever since President-elect Donald Trump named former Breitbart CEO Steve Bannon his chief strategist. Bannon has described Breitbart, a conservative news outlet, as “the platform for the alt-right.”

Spencer, who will be speaking at Rudder Auditorium at 7 p.m. on Dec. 6, gained wider notoriety this week after video from a national alt-right conference showed supporters raising their arms in an apparent Nazi salute after Spencer told the crowd, “Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory.”

Trump, in an interview Tuesday with the New York Times, disavowed the alt-right group in the video.

According to the Battalion, white nationalist Preston Wiginton, who attended A&M briefly from 2006 to 2007 and has brought other white nationalist speakers to the university, organized the event.

A&M University spokesperson Amy B. Smith, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Texas A&M, provided a public statement that sought to clarify that Spencer was not invited by the university.

“To be clear, Texas A&M University – including faculty, staff, students and/or student groups – did not invite this speaker to our campus nor do we endorse his rhetoric in any way. In fact, our leadership finds his views as expressed to date in direct conflict with our core values,” the statement said.

Say goodbye to UT’s burnt orange shuttles this week

UPDATE: Hopefully you got to take one last, bumpy turn on one of UT’s burnt orange shuttle buses (which have been around since 1998) before Cap Metro officially retired the last one Tuesday. According to the Daily Texan, the upgrade to “high-tech” blue buses was completed last week.

The color change of the new buses is intended to “help eliminate confusion for passengers between UT Shuttle buses and normal local Capital Metro buses.”

EARLIER: If you’ve spent any length of time on the Forty Acres, you’ve likely spent some time on Forty Acres — the shuttle bus route, that is.

(Brian K. Diggs/American-Statesman file photo)
(Brian K. Diggs/American-Statesman file photo)

The University of Texas at Austin’s network of free campus shuttle buses is one of the largest systems of its kind in the country, with 10 routes and more than 5.2 million passengers each year, according to UT Parking and Transportation Services. But one of the shuttles’ other chief distinctions, their signature burnt orange paint job, is going the way of the dodo this week, according to Capital Metro on Twitter.

Don’t worry; the shuttles aren’t going away entirely. Capital Metro started phasing out the burnt orange buses in April, according to the Daily Texan. The public transportation agency is replacing them with new buses that match Austin’s standard branding and colors. According to the Texan:

“The current fleet of UT shuttle buses have been running since 1998, according to according to Hanna De Hoyos, Capital Metro communications specialist. Capital Metro has been planning on replacing the shuttles for the past five years but has been delayed.”

On Twitter, Capital Metro encouraged fans of the school-spirited bus lines to share their pictures of the old shuttles before they’re all gone. So, in the spirit of hyper-specific nostalgia and autumnal color schemes, start posting.

And don’t forget about this meme, of course.

A meme from the UTexas Memes Facebook page

Austin reacts to Police Chief Art Acevedo’s new Houston gig

The news this morning that Austin’s police chief of nearly 10 years Art Acevedo would be leaving his post to fill the same position in Houston was unforeseen by many Austinites.

Austin police chief Art Acevedo, announces that Patrick Eugene Johnson, 59, is being charged with attempted aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, for throwing rocks at moving vehicles on highways and interstates around Austin for the last two years. Acevedo is surrounded by members of the organized crime division which helped investigate the crimes and determine the suspect. LAURA SKELDING/AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Austin police chief Art Acevedo, announces that Patrick Eugene Johnson, 59, is being charged with attempted aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, for throwing rocks at moving vehicles on highways and interstates around Austin for the last two years. Acevedo is surrounded by members of the organized crime division which helped investigate the crimes and determine the suspect. LAURA SKELDING/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Many took the opportunity to wish Acevedo luck on his new endeavor and look back on memorable moments shared with the chief. Others pondered the reasons behind his decision to leave, including, “It was because they got rid of Uber, huh?”

Scroll through what people are saying below:

https://twitter.com/EvilMopacATX/status/799284563482726401

PHOTOS: Look back on Police Chief Art Acevedo’s time in Austin

READ: Police Chief Art Acevedo built résumé, community ties in Austin

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Live coverage: Sex abuse trial of former state psychiatrist Charles Fischer, Day 16

USE THIS PHOTO LEDE Dr. Charles Fischer, left, sits at the defense table with his attorney Chris Gunter, right, during his sexual assault trail in Judge Karen Sage's 299th District Court Wednesday October 26, 2016. RALPH BARRERA/AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Dr. Charles Fischer, left, sits at the defense table with his attorney Chris Gunter, right, during his sexual assault trail in Judge Karen Sage’s 299th District Court Wednesday October 26, 2016.
RALPH BARRERA/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

The sex abuse trial of former Austin State Hospital psychiatrist Charles Fischer continues Tuesday in Austin with closing arguments. Follow live coverage from American-Statesman reporter Andrea Ball below.

George W. Bush adopts new, furry family member

Former President and Texan George W. Bush has something new to occupy his time that isn’t painting portraits of dogs. It’s an actual dog. A puppy, in fact.

Former President George W. Bush on Sept. 30, 2016 during Warrior 100K bike ride at his Crawford ranch. GEORGE W. BUSH PRESIDENTIAL CENTER
Former President George W. Bush on Sept. 30, 2016 during Warrior 100K bike ride at his Crawford ranch. GEORGE W. BUSH PRESIDENTIAL CENTER

The Bush family famously cared for two black Scottish Terriers (Barney and Beazley) during their time at the White House, but both have since passed away. Freddy Bush officially became the new member in the Bush family after George and wife Laura made a visit to the SPCA animal shelter in Dallas and found themselves unable to resist. The 43rd president of the United States shared a picture of his new puppy on Instagram, noting in the caption that even his cats “Bob and Bernadette are finding Freddy’s charm futile to resist.”

Bush also mentioned that Freddy was officially adopted last Tuesday, or, in case you had forgotten, Election Day 2016. Seems everyone has a different way of dealing with the stress that has accompanied this election season.

Some just cuter than others.