“Buy Local” Spotlight: Salt Lick BBQ

If smoked meat is your idea of heaven, the Salt Lick BBQ is the place!

If you are lucky enough to live in the Austin area or the hill country around Austin and find yourself craving smokey meat, you owe it to yourself to visit the Salt Lick in Driftwood. It is the mecca of smoked meat and sweet, spicy sauce. And I love the atmosphere almost as much as the food. You can easily spend an evening sitting on the patio under the live oaks sharing cold beverages, local music, and great friends. It’s like hanging out at a neighbor’s house, if your neighbor had an enormous patio surrounded by hundred year old live oak trees right next to a world-class barbecue restaurant. A girl can dream, right? And like your friend’s house, you’ve invited to bring your own beer. Because the restaurant is located in a dry county, they allow guests to bring in their own beer. I recommend Shiner and/or a 6-pack of Dr Pepper. It’s a Texas tradition.

The altar of smokey meat at the Salt Lick BBQ in Driftwood

There are many things I love about the Salt Lick. One is that they offer to serve you from a menu, or you can order “family style” and they’ll keep bringing food to your table until you beg them to stop. Another is that it’s built into an old rustic ranch-style farmhouse and the furniture and atmosphere reflect that old western charm. I love that the meat pit where all the action happens is inside the restaurant so you can drool over it, and they’re gracious enough to let you walk right up to it or around it to see the glorious piles of smokey meat and take pictures. I’m enamored with the sesame
scented coleslaw, the potatoes served in the shape of someone’s gloved hand, and the warm bread, sliced onions, and salty pickles that dot the table. I love that the worn farm tables look like something out of my great-grandmother’s barn. But nothing, and I mean NOTHING surpasses the meat at the Salt Lick. There’s not a bad batch of meat on the menu. The ribs fall off the bone, the sausage is flavorful, and the brisket is perfectly tender and wears that pink smoke-ring of perfection we Texans crave. The only thing that will keep you from stuffing yourself like a Thanksgiving turkey is the need to save room for cobbler. Your choices are peach and blackberry, both served with Blue Bell vanilla ice cream (on request). And since they’re both too awesome to choose one over the other, I recommend you get both. Just ask for extra spoons and be prepared to share. After a big meal, four people can easily share one serving of cobbler. If you’re dead set on only ordering one, I highly recommend the blackberry.

My dinner - the sausage and brisket plate. I wish this photo was scratch-n-sniff.

Before you leave, hit the small merchandise corner by the front door. They have great t-shirts and hats, but my favorite “take aways” are the sauces. They have really, really good sauce. Cross my heart. They also sell excellent dry rubs for the home chef. If you’re too far to visit but too fascinated to pass it up, they have an online store. If you’re close enough to visit, then by all means do. Pick a nice evening with cool temperatures and a great breeze. Stock an ice chest with cold beer or sodas for the kids. Throw a deck of cards or a board game in the car in case you decide to hang out in the courtyard before dinner. Skip lunch or eat light before you go, and don’t forget to wear your stretchy pants.

For more information on the Salt Lick BBQ including directions and the online store, visit their website at http://www.saltlickbbq.com/

Disclaimer: NanaBread is not tied to the Salt Lick BBQ in any way, even though she’d like to tie herself to one of those farm tables and stay until they run out of brisket and cobbler. She has never been compensated for providing feedback on the restaurant or their products. Ever. She just loves the place and can’t keep her big mouth shut. Big surprise.



Filed under "Buy Local" Spotlights, Food & Recipes, Things I Love

22 responses to ““Buy Local” Spotlight: Salt Lick BBQ

  1. Katie

    This is supposed to be day 1 of my diet and here I sit salivating at my desk reading your post. To you I say Danke schön! I have never been to Texas (other than a layover at airport) but I think I may have to leave Sweet Home Alabama and make a road trip up to Driftwood.

    • Sorry, Katie. It was not my intention to sabotage your first day of dieting. Please don’t lick the computer at your desk. Employers tend to frown on that, and it just looks weird. You SHOULD consider a trip to Austin, Texas (and Driftwood for the BBQ). Austin’s a great city, and a lot of fun. Their motto is “Keep Austin Weird.” You have to love a town with a motto like that. A long weekend would give you plenty of time to take in the sights, the Sixth Street area (for nightlife), and the many, many great restaurants. My son-in-law moved to Austin from Alabama, and he LOVES it there! Until then, I say “U bent van harte welkom” (via Google Translate), and so sorry about the temptation thing. I’ll work on posting a recipe for raw veggies and low fat dip soon. Maybe.

  2. I absolutely love barbeque. Mmmmm. And just the name “Salt Lick” is genius if you ask me! Wish I lived down there so I could visit this restaurant!

  3. Pat Counts

    We have eaten there and order the sauce from time to time. Yes, it is the best! Pat

  4. OMG!!! I just love it!!! I like to eat…. I’m from Brazil and we love beans, and sauce, and etc. Wish I lived down there so I could visit this restaurant!


    • It really is fantastic Texas-style BBQ. I also envy your location in Brazil. If there’s one thing this meat-eater loves, it’s a good churrascaria! Thanks for commenting, Olie.

  5. Salt Lick is fantastic! I go every time I visit Austin. Brisket sandwich with a Shiner.

  6. Amen and Amen! We live in Austin and ALWAYS take visitors there to sit on the patio and sip Shiners and listen to local music before sitting down to family-style bliss at a big wooden table!!! And leftovers from that feast go on forever… Luv ur post! (Found it on FoodPress)

    • I’m so excited you found me! I checked out your blog, and I love it. I love the nesting doll header. The Complete Package went through Moscow on a business trip earlier this year and brought me an authentic Russian nesting doll set. It is totally awesome. I’m one of 5 daughters, and our mother is the center of our universe, so I love the family aspect of your blog. And last, but not least, it’s always a pleasure to connect to a fellow Texan. Thanks for your comments. Maybe I’ll run into you on the patio at Salt Lick some day.

  7. Buying local is definitely a MUST. I really love this post and the pictures of the BBQ is making me so hungry right now lol. Love it!

    • Thanks, Babygirl. I think my next Texas product to highlight should be Tito’s Handmade Vodka. It’s made in Austin. It’s really, really good…and I’m not really a vodka drinker. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! -NB

  8. reversethis

    I love Salt Lick. Lucky me they just built one in Round Rock so I can stop by when I’m visiting my parents in North Austin OR when I’m at my apartment by UT :o)
    It’s been a while, actually. I think it’s time for me to stop by again.
    Great post!

    • Thanks for the great comments. I have a few friends who have tried the SLBBQ in Round Rock, but they all swear the original in Driftwood is still the very best. If you’re bored some Saturday, go out there with an ice chest and a car full of friends and enjoy an evening under the live oaks. It really is special. My biggest question would be this – do they have cobbler in Round Rock? That would be a deal breaker for me!

  9. Wow thats one hell of a barbecue!!!

  10. Seeing this brings back memories of my honeymoon. We got lost a few times trying to find Salt Lick but the extra miles we drove was more than worth it.

    • That’s so sweet. I’m glad I was able to bring back wonderful memories for you. The Complete Package and I have been married for 28 years. We may just have to renew our vows at 30, and celebrate at the Salt Lick. It’s about 3 1/2 hours from our home, but it would still be worth it. Thanks for visiting and commenting, Wendi.

  11. Pingback: My Favorite BBQ Joints – Jamie Deen « Kevin's BBQ Joints Blog

  12. Pingback: “NanaBread’s Head” Turns One Today | Inside NanaBread's Head

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