The Salt Lick

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18001 FM 1826 Driftwood, Austin, TX, USA
The Salt Lick  - holding the beer
The Salt Lick  - so much meat!!!!
The Salt Lick  - View of downtown Austin across Town Lake
The Salt Lick  - the cook
The Salt Lick  - enjoying the bbq

The Salt Lick Austin Reviews

HCSmooth66 HCSmooth…
64 reviews
A great experience -- Bring your own Drink Aug 06, 2009
I wasn't sure what to expect on my trek down to Driftwood from Austin. I'd heard of the Salt Lick, and they even have a stand in the airport.

What an experience when I got there, though. As there tends to be anywhere in Austin we had to wait to be seated, but it did not matter at all. It was as enjoyable to sit outside listening to live music in the waiting area as it was to actually eat the food. I had a friend playing in the band the day I went, so there was some good music to be enjoyed. Driftwood is in a dry county, so you have to bring your own beer. So it feels like a picnic as you sit outside listening to music and drinking beer.

Walking into the restaurant area is an assault on the senses. The BBQ sauce slapped onto the sizzling meats is a delight to the nose. The rustic decor is a pleasure to the eyes. The sound of the sizzling meat is music to the ears. If your mouth isn't watering upon opening the door then you're no longer alive....or you're a vegetarian and are totally lost.

I tried to get as much meat onto the plate I ordered. It was all fabulous. I also highly recommend the cobbler for dessert. I have tried both the peach and the blueberry. You only live once.

Salt Lick is really off the beaten path if you're in the Austin area. The first time I drove out there I thought I was going the wrong way thinking there was no way there was a restaurant out where I was. They also sell some of their BBQ sauces nation-wide. I picked up some in Wisconsin at Whole Foods. I like the sauce, but it's all a matter of individual taste.
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
williamsworld says:
I was just here in March and really enjoyed it. I even bought the seasoning and put it on my own steaks. Good review.
Posted on: Aug 07, 2009
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trhoades trhoades
11 reviews
My favorite BBQ joint, at the foot of the Texas hill country Mar 31, 2008
Ask ten Texans what their favorite BBQ is and you'll get ten different answers. But you will definitely get an opinion. It's a very subjective question, kind of like asking a New Yorker what their favorite pizza is. I only know a few BBQs in the Austin area (Rudy's, County Line, Stubbs, Ruby's) but Salt Lick was always my favorite. Salt Lick is actually in Driftwood, Texas, a funny name for a town that is nowhere near the ocean. It's on what used to be a cattle ranch; and the property retains a lot of it's hill country character. It's a bit of a drive just to get to the place, and going on a Saturday or Sunday evening will probably give you at least an hour wait. But you can bring your own coolers full of booze, and just hang out in their picnic area until your name is called.

Sitting on their wooden benches is like praying at the altar of carniverousness (and I don't care if that's a real word or not). If you get seated inside, the smell of the BBQ'd meats with knock you over as you walk in the door. You will also see their BBQ pit where they slow roast their ribs and sausages over a low flame. You just can't describe how good the aroma is. Words don't do it justice. They have a few items on the menu but I always order the family style all you can eat. Once you do that, they will continuously bring every variety of BBQ they have along with warm potato salad, beans, pickles, and bread. And they just keep bringing it. Eat half your plate, they pile on more ribs, brisket, and sausage. Brisket is my favorite thing in the whole state of Texas, probably the one thing that you can't replicate anywhere else. It's smoky, tender, juicy, and ranks about a 10 without the sauce. Add their signature sweet BBQ sauce and it's easily a 12. One of my favorite foods in the whole world no question.

Now, not everyone likes Salt Lick. There are a few common complaints about the place which do have their own merits. First, it is a little commercialized. For example, it's clean, they actually have a website, a parking lot that holds 100 cars, a catalog, a gift shop etc. Plenty of Texans swear by little holes in the wall as their favorite BBQ. This isn't a hole in the wall, and the prices reflect that. Secondly, the sauce is very sweet. If you want super-spicy sauce, this won't work for you. They have a habanero variety but I've never actually tried it. Sauce and seasoning is hugely important to BBQ so it's best to find the one that meets your taste. Lastly, it's nowhere near downtown Austin. Salt Lick isn't a place you're going to stumble into at 4am after a night of hard drinking. You have to make an effort to go there, not a neighborhood place. You should set aside several hours for the experience, but you'll be glad you did.

The service is friendly and efficient. It's a high volume restaurant so expect big crowds, but with fast turnover. Bring a cooler full of beer, a bunch of friends, and a huge appetite. Also, bring cash, no credit cards allowed. If you have any room leftover for dessert, try the pecan pie. Just like the sauce, it's really on the sweet side. On my last trip to Austin for a wedding, I actually booked my flights at a time that would allow me to hit Salt Lick on the way out of town. It's that important.
View of downtown Austin across Tow…
TYoungTX says:
Good and very accurate review!
Posted on: Apr 02, 2008
sybil says:
sounds yummy!
Posted on: Apr 01, 2008
trhoades says:
Have not been to the Vegas location. Next time around I'll try it.
Posted on: Mar 31, 2008
yadilitta yadilitta
723 reviews
Jan 26, 2008
Wow! if you like BBQ, this is the place to go :) Their slogan says: BBQ like no other and they don't lie!

I eat meat, but I'm not a big fan of it, but this is an exception.

The Salt Lick is located in Driftwood TX, which is close to Austin. You have to drive almost 1 hour, but it's worth. Also you have to take your own beer. It's not allowed to sell alcohol in that county.

Ok, let's talk about the important: The Food! We had the Family Style - Per Person, which has beef, sausage, and pork ribs, served with potato salad, cole slaw, beans, bread, pickles, and onions. It's a lot of food which keeps on coming to your table until you say Stop! Well, I'll recommend not to waste your apetite with the sides and focus on the meat, hahaha. Also taking a walk after the meal is highly recommended.
so much meat!!!!
the cook
holding the beer
enjoying the bbq
mellemel8 says:
there is also a salt lick in vegas. i love there pork pulled sandwich :)
Posted on: Feb 13, 2008
Reephboy says:
Great review Yadi.
The Salt Lick is truly representative of the central Texas Hill Country.
I give it two YUMS up!
Posted on: Feb 13, 2008

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