The best BBQ joint I’ve been to is in Driftwood Texas called “The Salt Lick.” My wife, daughter and I flew from Spokane Washington to Austin during spring break. Why? To find lots of good places to eat particularly, BBQ places. And where else can you do that but in Texas. We got into Austin about 5:00 pm, kind of tired and already hungry. After stopping at the hotel, we decided to hit The Salt Lick first. A short (30 min.) drive from Austin if you following directions and not try to find your own way! Needless to say, we arrived about 8:00 pm! Pulling into the front drive was exiting and aromatic. You could smell the smoke coming from the pit. A rustic place out in the Texas county side with rolling hills and beautiful oak trees. As we drive between the banquet facility and the main part of the restaurant, we see lots of folks enjoying themselves in the warm evening air out on a rock patio. Many were sipping on a cold beer. I slowly pull past this scene and proceed to the parking lot. Once we get to the outside reception area, I put our names in and then ask if my daughter could get a quick dinner role as she was starving. A six year old’s patients can wear thin when hungry. After explaining the long flight and the wrong turn the hostess said “oh sure not a problem just go over to the restaurant and ask a server to get what ever you like including drinks.” I said great and we headed over with our combination buzzer and light display for notifying us when the table was ready.
Walking into the front door was a dazzling show of grill masters cooking over and open pit BBQ about eight feet in diameter. The aroma of the ribs, roasts and steaks was overwhelming! Next to them were more people with cleavers whacking away at cuts of cook meats for patrons sitting near the pit. The waitress asked us what she could for us. “How about a dinner role for my daughter and a glass of Chablis for my wife and could you tell me what kind of local Micro brews (being from the Northwest) you have on hand?” “I’m sorry we don’t have any,” she replied. Well what do you have I asked? You don’t understand sir we don’t have any at all! Now I’m starting to think something’s drastically wrong here so I said Miss I’ve come a long ways and we’re kind of dry and all I want is a cold beer and a glass of wine. Then she looked at me and said “well I guess you don’t understand it’s a dry county we don’t serve alcohol.” But what about those people outside drinking beer,” I said? Well they brought their own the waitress said. Wow, I never heard of such thing in Washington, I thought to myself and then began to laugh.
We were seated on long picnic table in the screened in area. The servers were most gracious in their service. The menu included individual meals or family style huge helpings of beef brisket, sausage, pork ribs, served with potato salad, coleslaw, beans, bread, pickles and onions. In addition, on the menu, was chicken and it stated, “When is season.” We laughed and asked the waitress if it was chicken season! She looked at us as if we were crazy and said “well yes it is.” The BBQ sauce at The Salt Lick is not a tomato-based sauce. It has a sweet tangy with a hint of mustard sauce. Try the Habenero sauce if you go. It’s not as hot as you might think but it brings out the beef taste out of their brisket.
This place is worth the effort to get there. We would drive 150 miles out of our way to re-visit “The Salt Lick.” I only wished we lived closer. http://www.saltlickbbq.com/ 18001 FM 1826, Driftwood, Texas 78619. 512-858-4959 Monday thru Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 10 p.m.