You didn’t realize you were looking at a food blog, did you?
Well, for folk who have been here long enough, you learn that I write about whatever the heck I feel like at the time, and right now, it’s great BBQ food.
When I travel, I do an immense amount of research on the food I consume, because I figure if I’m going to visit an area, I want to get the best of the best of what a place has to offer.
My research in Austin led me to Salt Lick which is in the town of Driftwood, about 30 minutes from Austin proper. It’s out on a road in the middle of nowhere with a full vineyard, a picnic ground, huge parking lot, beautiful wooden westerny atmosphere, and a giant fire pit in the middle of the restaurant where they smoke, cook the food.
We opted for the “family style all you can eat” option, which proved dangerous as they kept bringing plates of food. It contains brisket, pork ribs, and sausage. As sides, we also ordered Turkey and Chicken to try the full experience and range of meats.
The brisket was “so-so”. It wasn’t bad, but I’ve had better. Just wasn’t as flavorful or as “falling apart” as I’d like it. It was a leaner cut rather than the fattier that you can get.
The pork ribs, however, were some of the best I’ve experienced. Very flavorful all the way around, great rub on it as well as the meat itself was wonderful. It didn’t need BBQ sauce to be fantastic. Sausage was up there as well, which reminds me of a Smoked Dakota I get back home from a local butcher. The poultry meats were excellent also.
I wasn’t sure if it was worth the drive out to nowhere, but we were extremely satisfied with what we got–great atmosphere (about the best you can get) and incredible food.
Moreover, I have to note that I got one of their Tempranillo wines from their vineyard. I love Spanish grape varietals for obvious reasons, and the Texas version crushed it. It has peppery flavors with some blackberry/cherry. Not too light, but not extremely full-bodied either, perfectly in the middle. It’s one of the better Tempranillos I’ve had in the last couple of years. I’d rate it a 92 point if I had the option. It’s that good.
Still, the Pork Ribs won the night. I highly recommend just getting the all you can eat if you go there. Top notch. I was told their secret there is they cook it for less time than is traditional at higher heat (for approximately 2 hours), which locks in the flavor of the meet a little better than most places.
We did desert also and that was too much for me. Excellent cobbler — but I warn you, you will not have room if you’re eating all the meats!
Service wise, we had the best time too. The fellow’s name was Philip and he was about the nicest, most helpful and informative person I could have hoped to have had. He said he actually had a hand in picking the Tempranillo grapes. Nice to know they keep it all within the family.
A great way to start the week, I wonder if there’s anything else that can top this? I’d give it 4 of 5 stars overall.