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“Very Good BBQ” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Cranky Frank's BBQ

Cranky Frank's BBQ
1679 Hwy 87 South, Fredericksburg, TX 78624-5068
(830) 997-2353
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Ranked #20 of 113 Restaurants in Fredericksburg
Price range: $0 - $10
Cuisines: American
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Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Local cuisine
Dining options: Lunch
Cypress, Texas
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Very Good BBQ”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2014

We went here on the recommendation of a friend. He hyped it up pretty good, so I figured we had to try it. I don't think the place lived up to the hype, but we were very pleased. We arrived around 2:00 pm for a late lunch. They were almost out of sausage and chicken for the day. So, I suggest you go earlier if you're picky about what you want to eat. I enjoyed the potato salad, cole slaw - and even the sweet tea. Give it a try if you're in town.

  • Visited March 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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93 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    46
    29
    12
    3
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Wasilla, Alaska
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Not fancy digs but, good bbq”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2014

The barbecue was tender, we ordered a brisket plate and a rib plate, both melted in your mouth. All the sides you can eat... way too much. Beans were good, coleslaw excellent.

Visited March 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Loved the BBQ”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2014

My husband and I enjoyed this little bbq joint in Fredericksburg. We enjoyed the meats we choose and liked the idea your sides were done buffet style. Got there before the lunch crowd but before we left it was getting busy. Only opened till 3 or when they are out of meat.

Visited February 2014
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Brady, Texas
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“A big disappointment considering some of the high ratings it received”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2014

I was told this was the only good barbeque joint in Fredericksburg and wanted to try it. After several attempts on different visits to Fbg I finally caught them when they were open (noon to 4) and was ready for a treat. Anyone who has eaten a lot of Texas BBQ will be sorely disappointed. I've been at it for over 80 years. The brisket sandwiches were what I might expect in some fancy Eastern US restaurant that specializes in French, Italian, or Chinese food but has "barbeque" on the menu for someone who doesn't like the other selections.

Most Texans want pit barbeque that's been cooked slowly with mesquite, oak, hickory, or in a pinch pecan. It should be slowly smoke cooked for many hours, preferably overnight, and basted to prevent dryness. It should be so tender you can cut it with a fork or eat it without teeth. It should have a pink or red rind about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Old timers sometimes laughingly refer to this as the "snot rind." The flavor should be so good sauce isn't needed and could even detract. But if you do like sauce, it should complement the meat and not be sweet or bland, as is Frank's. A sandwich is traditionally made using plain sliced bread or perhaps a hamburger bun. Some great places serve it on a piece of brown or butcher paper, and you eat it with your fingers on slab tables. Barbeque joint decor doesn't matter but the best barbeque is usually found in dumpy looking establishments, as every Texan knows.

The brisket at Cranky Franks was of decent quality and moderately tender, but dry. The bun was some kind of fancy-pants, overly puffy-thick, sweetish, custom thing that in my opinion detracted from the meat flavor. The sauce they doused on the bun (without asking, BTW) was among the worst I've ever tasted; sickly sweet instead of somewhat acidic like good BBQ sauce should be.

There wasn't an overabundance of meat on the buns either, but the price was pretty high. Needless to say, I won't be back.

Can't say much for the two BBQ joints in Brady or Cooper's in Mason either, although they are slightly better. So far the Hill Country winner for me is a little dump called Chewey's in Eden. (No relation to the ones in Austin with the same name that are also highly rated). Excellent tasting slow smoked Q with terrific gratis beans at a low price, even considering the high price of beef due to the drought. Chewey's is about one short block past the traffic light, heading west, on the right. They're closed on Tuesdays but, unlike Frank's, keep more normal hours. You can get BBQ cabrito there on Saturdays I'm told although I don't care for it.

  • Visited February 2014
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anna, TX
Top Contributor
106 reviews 106 reviews
75 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“A legend only in the mind of Texas Monthly”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2013

I've eaten a lot of Texas BBQ and I've also cooked my share of it too so I feel I can weigh in without prejudice but Cranky Frank's let me down. No way this should be in the Top 50 as listed by Texas Monthly. The BBQ was OK, but nothing beyond that - very tender but also very lacking in smoke and flavor. Friendly staff, generous portions, and that wonderful no frills BBQ joint feel. The sides were OK. Set your sights low so you won't be as disappointed as I was.

  • Visited December 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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