When JP and I moved back to the US after living in Liberia, we became completely addicted to The Travel Channel’s Man v. Food. I don’t know if it was being away from Americanized cuisine for so long or the fact that we were living in a 500 sq ft studio apartment with a kitchen capable of no more than boiling water, but we zipped through all of the previous seasons in record time. One of our favorite episodes was (surprise, surprise) the Austin episode and Adam Richman’s trip to The Salt Lick.
Needless to say, it has been at the top of our Austin Bucket List since we arrived. Teamed up with our foodie-adventure partners in crime, Mike and Shelby (and another of their friends), we headed out to the Hill Country to the original of The Salt Lick’s locations – Driftwood. And it seemed like the entire population of Austin had the same idea…
As we came down over the hill leading to The Salt Lick, all we could see was a giant gravel parking lot completely packed with bicycles, cars, and people. All five of us instantly crossed our fingers that we weren’t going there. No such luck. Or actually, lots of luck because we just so happened to pull in right in time to snag a prime parking spot. And that was just the beginning of the amazing-ness of the night.
The Salt Lick is cash only, no reservations (for parties under 10), and BYOB. None of us owned a small cooler, so we put a few bottles of beer in our giant “icebox on wheels” and felt embarrassed about the size for the few minutes it took us to register our name with the hostess and realize that there were no available seats in the waiting area – except (drum roll please) our awesomely huge cooler!
An hour later, we got a table and placed our orders. Shelby and I opted for the turkey plate, while the three guys shared the all-you-can-eat family style option…plus an order of beef ribs and half a chicken.
As you can imagine, the BBQ meat and sauce was out of this world. But all five of us raved about the Cole slaw and potato salad. Neither were mayo-based, and both perfectly complemented the meat. We all cleared our plates…or three or four, in the case of the guys, and, despite happily sore bellies, opted for some home-made cobbler.
Best. Decision. Ever. I don’t know what it was about the cobbler, but instead of making us all more full, it actually cut the sharpness of whatever was in our tummies and made us all feel quite normal again.
JP and I have had some amazing BBQ (I mean, his family is from the birthplace of BBQ, Missouri), but I cannot wait to go back to The Salt Lick again…and soon!