Foodie Scandal

Major national newspaper enrages Texas barbecue devotees with its ignorant views

Major national paper enrages Texas barbecue devotees with ignorance

Franklin Barbecue
Wall Street Journal's epic barbecue failure. Photo courtesy of Franklin Barbecue

Hell hath no fury like a Texas barbecue lover scorned. Following the publication of a downright sacrilegious article about Austin barbecue in the Wall Street Journal, barbecue lovers took to Twitter and the comments section (oh, the comments!) to crucify writer Adam H. Graham for his sins.

The piece was originally published with factual errors and included a dish from chef Josh Watkins from The Carillon — despite the fact that he left the restaurant almost five months ago. But Graham made no greater mistake than saying Franklin Barbecue's brisket, "literally fell off the bone." The writer also picked the Salt Lick as his personal favorite over both Franklin and Micklethwait Craft Meats. Things just spiraled from there. 

WSJ Travel Editor Sara Clemence took to the comments section to address the outrage:

Hi Readers — Thanks for all your comments and attention to barbecue accuracy. Brisket is usually boneless — though not always. But you're right, Franklin Barbecue only serves it boneless; its barbecued ribs have bones.

This did little to curb incensed readers, some of whom questioned Graham's authority to be a barbecue reporter and a "Yankee." Said one commenter, "Know your stuff or stay east. You cant' (sic) grow up in [Massachusetts], get an education in [Vermont] then live in Zurich and make stupid mistakes like that." 

Needless to say, this did not sit well with local foodies either. Led by Austin food writer and former Austin American-Statesman critic, Mike Sutter, local barbecue enthusiasts openly mocked the piece, which we should note has since been updated, on Twitter.

If there is a lesson to be learned by it's this: If you're gonna write about Texas barbecue, you gotta get your facts correct. Better yet, just hire a local food writer.