Detouring For BBQ Outside of Austin: Licking Lips at The Salt Lick

Austin's Salt Lick | OneTravel, photo: Suzy Guese



From Austin, the road into Texas Hill Country quickly fades from city living to country quiet. As I drive up and down hilly roads with just ranches in between, I know that I’m not in weird Austin anymore. The heavens begin to grumble as they turn shades of gray. The sky lights up every so often when lightening strikes, but I’m on a mission for barbecue. One of the Austin area’s most famous spots for barbecue might have you risking your life through summer thunderstorms to reach her, but one bite of brisket and a whiff of the barbecue pit will make defying death worth it at the Salt Lick.

What’s the Story:
The Salt Lick traces it roots back to Bettie Howard in the mid 1800s. The fourteen-year-old orphan from Mississippi promised to have children with a local man if he would marry her and take her to Texas. He obliged to her deal and they headed off for the Lone Star State. Bettie used to barbeque meat by searing it and then slowing cooking the meats while on the wagon train. Eventually, her great grandson Scott Roberts would take over those ideas for grilling, notions his father borrowed from Bettie when Salt Lick was born in 1967. Scott’s father Thurman came up with the idea for The Salt Lick, beginning with just a barbecue pit. He would start cooking the meats on Thursday and sleep by the barbecue pit’s side until all the meats had sold. His method grew in popularity, eventually becoming The Salt Lick, a full-blown barbecue institution.

What’s The Beef?:
You will find several different meats up for eating on the Salt Lick pit. Combo plates of brisket, pork ribs, sausage, turkey and chicken are all offered. If you have more than enough of an appetite for one plate, you can order the mouthwatering meats family style, an all you can eat serving of plate after plate of barbecued meat. If you aren’t full enough, the sides of coleslaw, beans and potato salad come with most plates. All of the meats are served with a choice of sauces. The most popular meat and arguably the best offering at the Salt Lick is the brisket. The brisket is dry rubbed, seared on high heat and then barbecued in a sauce, creating a buttery, melt in your mouth sensation after just one bite.

Where?:
The Salt Lick hides away not so quietly in Texas Hill Country. Just 30 minutes from Austin, the barbecue bonanza is a short drive to the town of Driftwood. You will easily spot it from the road with the assistance of signage, but the massive line of cars turning off an otherwise lonely Texas road might be a better indication. The setting is what also makes the Salt Lick special, surrounded by rolling hills, century-old oak trees and wildflowers. You almost feel like you have crashed a big family reunion out on a Texas ranch.

Know Before You Go:
Being such a staple in the Austin area, you might think the Salt Lick has succumbed to new ways of doing business. The good news is that it hasn’t. Only cash is accepted and you have to bring your own booze if you want an adult beverage with your meat. Beer and wine is offered at the next-door tasting room of the Salt Lick Cellars, but if the rain is pouring, you might want to make friends with a nearby table that brought a giant cooler to avoid the elements.  Even on Monday night, The Salt Lick will be packed so try to arrive by 7PM to score a seat for meat.


Have you been to the Salt Lick outside of Austin?

 

Photo: Suzy Guese

 

Follow us on Twitter for more great dining tips for travelers! 


Post your Comments












Book with OneTravel

  • Flights
  • Hotels
  • Cars
From:
To:
Click here for calendar
Time:
Click here for calendar
Time:
Adults:
Seniors: (65+)
Children:(2-11)
Infants on lap:
Infants on seat:
Class:
Save on Bookings with 3+ pax
or hotel stays of 3+ nights
this month withSM25

RecentPosts

  • Blogger Interview: Mostly About ChocolateComments: 2Rating: 0 / 0

    2
  • By:Chris Osburn, last post 26 Aug 2014
  • Mostly About Chocolate is a blog that is (yep you guessed it) mostly about one of the world's most favorite treats. The long running blog is a project of devoted passion for Judith Lewis. If you're planning any trips (just about anywhere) and would like to include a few chocolate escapades, her blog is an excellent resource to keep in mind. And if you're a chocolate lover coming soon to London, Judith has some especially delicious news for you! See for yourself at mostlyaboutchocolate.com....read more

  • 5 Tips To Easily Transition Your Summer Suitcase For Fall TravelComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0


  • By:Suzy Guese, last post 25 Aug 2014
  • As travelers begin plotting their fall travels, the contents of the suitcase shift toward less straightforward ground. To ensure that you don’t pack white pants for your fall getaway or perhaps a parka for unseasonably balmy temperatures on your autumnal trip, you can easily transition your summer packing list into fall getaway ready....read more

  • In My Bag: Ann’s Timeless TreasureComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0


  • By:Jen Westmoreland Bouchard, last post 22 Aug 2014
  • In this blog post series, I interview world travelers about objects that came home in their bags and what those objects mean to them. This week’s post features Ann Lonstein, a woman of the world and travel writer. You can read more of Ann’s work at everyjourneytraveled.wordpress.com or in her recent chapbook entitled Everything is a Journey....read more

  • Oops! How To Say You’re Sorry in 12 LanguagesComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0


  • By:Suzy Guese, last post 22 Aug 2014
  • Being a traveler can have its downfalls, like when you offend someone in another language and have no idea how to apologize. To avoid offending those as you travel or to make up for a mistake, here’s how to properly say, “I’m sorry” in 12 different languages. Manners can go a long way in any language....read more

  • New Distillery Tours in LouisianaComments: 1Rating: 0 / 0

    1
  • By:Chris Osburn, last post 21 Aug 2014
  • Thirsty for a taste of something local in Louisiana? Two new distilleries in south Louisiana have recently started to offer tours of their facilities along with onsite tastings of their products made with Louisiana ingredients, and a third distillery is under construction with the promise of plenty more tours and tastings to come. Here's a look at this newbie trio of Lousiana distilleries bringing traditional spirit production back to the Deep South....read more