A few days ago the idea of barbecue for lunch came up but was ultimately discarded for something else that I can’t even remember. But that idea of barbecue stuck with me, lurking in my subconscious, gnawing at the very essence of my decision-making being — until this day! — when it punched through and exclaimed “Mike, you want barbecue right now!” If this all seems a little dramatic, welcome to my life when it comes to deciding what to have for lunch.
Now let’s go on an adventure. A brief timeline of events began with seeing a “the Franklin BBQ line is short!” tweet, which was followed by La BBQ tweeting that they have lots of ‘cue and no line. This led to me getting in my car thinking “I’ll just cruise by Franklin to see how short this line is.” Be still my heart! The line is short! I quickly parked and hopped in the short line, despite my car telling me it’s 29° outside. I stood under the awning thinking “this isn’t so bad!” until one of the Franklin-ites came out and said “Man it’s cold! You’ll get food in a little under 90 minutes.” So I left. But instead of heading to La Barbecue I remembered I also craved a moonpie (ugh, I know) and made my way just down to the road to Micklethwait Craft Meats. (By the way, MCM homemakes everything, including moonpies.)
I got to the window only to find that someone bought all the moonpies! You know those cut-scenes in movies where the hero finds himself responding to a situation in an incredibly amazing way, only to be shaken back to reality and realizes he was dreaming? Let’s just say I thought I had saved the moonpie day when actually I simply ordered a brisket sandwich to go. For me the meat was sliced/chopped a little thick, which made it a bit difficult to eat, but the brisket itself deserves a gold medal. The housemade sesame bun couldn’t have been better either.
Afraid that my lonely sandwich wouldn’t be enough food (it was) I stopped on my way back at a new food truck called Belly Up to get a small addition to go. They specialize in pork belly, so naturally I ordered a pork belly slider called the Lone Star — chipotle braised pork belly, creamy avocado dressing, slaw. I don’t know if it’s possible to really mess up pork belly, but I can say that I devoured it. Great flavor from the sauce and super texture on the pork belly.
Maybe it was just a slow day at the trailer, but the awesome person at Belly Up also sent me on my way with a free portion of the El Capital rice bowl — tender pork, grilled pineapple, pickled red onions, cilantro, fried egg, and brown gravy. By the time I cracked open the egg it was a lovely over-medium that ran through the pork and rice. The pork was just as good as the slider, the grilled pineapple rocked, and the rice was sticky, though maybe a bit too much so. The only negative I can say is that it may have been a bit salty from the brown gravy. Thanks for the free sample, Belly Up!
And yes, I ate all of the above without hesitation. For those unaware what an Iron Lunch is, it harkens back to days of yore when I would eat an insane amount for lunch (and second lunch, breakfast 1, breakfast 2, afternoon snacks 1-3, and dinners) while training for the Ironman. Although my half-hearted training for the upcoming Austin Marathon is nowhere near as calorie-demanding, I’m still finding myself with some pretty large plates of food in front of me. Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time for some pizza.