Old School BBQ
Just want you to know it’s going to be a drive.
To a BBQ joint?
Salt Lick tl;dr
Even prior to coming to Austin, one of the things I constantly heard regarding restaurants to eat at in Austin is that Salt Lick is one of THE places to go to get the best bbq.
Literally Great Food in the Middle of Nowhere
So while in Austin and while we had a car (you’ll need one to get there since it’s fairly far off in Driftwood), we decided to take advantage of the opportunity and pay a visit to Salt Lick. As you drive up just look for the bright outdoor lights in the sea of darkness and the nicely lit sign with “Salt Lick Bar-B-Que” on it.
Once inside the parking lot is fairly large so parking shouldn’t be an issue. When you make your away inside past a lot of cute outdoor seating, a hostess will gladly walk you past the giant barbecue and directly to a table. If the place is packed, don’t worry, the staff is very efficient and the food will come out quickly. Just be sure to come hungry, very hungry!
Since it was our first time at Salt Lick, we decided to go for the family meal were we got a bit of everything to try including ribs, brisket, sausage, a semi mashed potato type dish, coleslaw, bread and a side of onions and pickles. If you’re wondering what the onions and pickles are for, for me personally, I used it to cut the heaviness of the meat.
For $19.95 each you certainly get a lot of food! Not only that when you finish your first round, they ask you want you want for a “refill” and you can another hearty portion of all 3 meats again or just pick and choose whichever you like the most. Wash it all down with their sweet tea (unlimited refills) and you’ll need to wish your driver lots of luck to get home because you’re most likely going to pass out in the backseat from food coma!
In terms of the meat itself I found the sausage very tasty, the ribs were my favorite (moist and packed with flavor) and unfortunately the brisket was my least favorite. After having Rudy’s moist brisket for lunch, this couldn’t compare. For the first round we had the regular leaner brisket which I found OK, but a little on the dry side. For the second round we requested a fattier cut of the brisket but while more moist than the previous round, it just lacked flavor.
If I were to do it again, I’d definitely focus on the ribs and sausages, those are the clear winners out of the 3, plus according to John Michael, the sausage gets even better the next day and the ribs were just as tasty! On each table there is also a choice of 2 of their Salt Lick Barbecue sauce. One was “spicy” which wasn’t that spicy for those of us used to having our food with a kick and the original house barbecue sauce which was on the sweeter side.
All in all it was a great experience and I’m glad I got a chance to see what the fuss is all about. In the future would I go all the way out there again? Not sure, maybe. I think I’d want to try out other local joints considering the distance (especially if you don’t have a car) and options available. Plus if I don’t get it at the actual location, at least I know they have an airport location inside the AUS airport where I can get my Salt Lick Fix.
F8T Tip Don’t ask for the medium fat anything…. Either go for the lean or the fatty.
Ever eat anywhere that didn’t quite live up to the hype?