In fact, many BBQ places in these parts proudly serve their meat on butcher paper, and the only utensils allowed are the two located at the end of your arms. Sides are simple, and the BBQ is washed down with Big Red soda. If you ask many people around here to name their favorite BBQ, three words are likely to come from their lips: The Salt Lick. Located in tiny Driftwood, just outside Austin, people drive from miles around to eat some of their delicious BBQ. This weekend, we were among them!
When the weather turns warm, we do a lot of weekend BBQ roadies. It's nice to put some good music on the iPod and hit the road! We've eaten at most of the legendary central Texas BBQ joints: Luling City Market, Snow's, and the holy trinity in Lockhart: Smitty's, Kreuz Market, and Black's. All of them are wonderful, so we visit them for different reasons. However, many locals put The Salt Lick at the top of the BBQ heap, not only in Texas...but in the entire United States. It's not just Texans who claim this. Man v. Food has visited, as well as Rachael Ray's Tasty Travels. The Travel Channel recently ranked The Salt Lick as the #1 BBQ restaurant in America.
Some dear friends visited us from Portland this weekend. One of the things they miss most about Texas is the BBQ, so we decided to take a lovely drive into the Texas Hill Country and have a BBQ feast! We arrived and walked by the huge smoker full of BBQ as we were seated. Talk about whetting your appetite! As wonderful as the meat smelled? We knew it would taste even better.
Some of our group ordered the family-style all-you-can-eat dinner. I have a smaller appetite, so I opted for the kid's plate. Only in Texas is this much food considered a small portion! My plate came with smoky pinto beans, German potato salad, tangy cole slaw, three slices of brisket, a meaty pork rib, and three slices of smoked pork sausage. Their brisket is so tender that you can cut it with a fork, and the rib? The meat falls right off the bone! The sauce is tangy and spicy...and perfectly compliments the smoky meat.
The one good thing about not gorging myself too badly on BBQ? I still had plenty of room left for some warm blackberry cobbler topped with vanilla ice cream. Michael and I shared this, and it was so good! The blackberries were slightly tart, the topping was soft and warm...and the ice cream? Well, it's not real Texas cobbler unless it's topped with a scoop of slowly melting vanilla ice cream!
Needless to say, The Salt Lick is a very popular destination. That means there can be a long wait for a table on the weekends. Luckily, they've made it nice to sit outdoors while you wait...taking in the sights and listening to some live music until your table is ready. They even sell cold beer and lemonade to help you stay cool! Bummed right about now that you don't live within driving distance to try The Salt Lick in person? Lucky for you, they have an online store where you can order their BBQ and have it sent right to your front door! Western attire is totally optional. Contrary to popular belief, we Texans don't all wear boots and cowboy hats. I've never owned either, and I listen to very little Country music ;)!