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Franklins vs Saltlick: can only do one...can't choose on my own

Am visiting my brother in Austin next weekend and have been told by everyone I've ever met that I have to HAVE to drive out to Driftwood for the original Salt Lick BBQ. We've had the airport Saltlick, which was miles ahead of anything out here on the east coast, so I can only imagine the magnitude of bliss at the Real Deal.

However - when I asked my brother if I could borrow his car to drive out there he said, why? Go to Franklins...its right around the corner. But you'll have to get in line early and wait.

So I started reading up on Franklins and its pretty highly regarded in its own right! We only have time (and stomach space) for one proper BBQ meal, so please help me make this decision:

Salt Lick? Or Franklins??

Help! And thanks.

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  1. This falls under the category of no-brainer. Franklin.

    1. If you want a fun, somewhat touristy experience, head out to Driftwood.

      If you want the absolute best BBQ in Austin (and certainly a contender statewide), it's Franklins hands-down.

      4 Replies
      1. re: jwynne2000

        Franklin's 'cue is some of the best in the state, and you'll wait an hour or so for it unless you arrive at ten thirty a.m. Salt Lick is good, and I agree with jwynne2000, it's a nice experience with a good scenic drive. i think their pork ribs are usually spot on, and brisket flavorful, but no comparison to franklin.

        1. re: slowcoooked

          If you do go to Salt Lick, focus on "burnt ends" brisket, baby back ribs, and smoked turkey. Avoid the sausage and the chicken. Don't get the "all you can eat" option. Their normal ribs are spare ribs - the baby backs are special order. You'll have a much better experience by strategically ordering. Their sides are actually better than Franklin's, Their normal coleslaw is really good (no mayo at all). Their potato side is very good. Beans are simply just beans - unremarkable. There are two special sides - scalloped potatoes and grean bean casserole that are definitely worth ordering.

          If you stick to this program, you'll have a good meal at Salt Lick. But you have to stick to it and pay for the special orders - Baby backs, burnt ends brisket, smoked turkey, coleslaw, potatoes, green beans, special potatoes. It's hard to pass up that sausage craving, but you will be wasting precious stomach-space. Their cobblers are fantastic.

          Personally, I'd go to Franklin's on any normal day because I live here, the brisket is heavenly, and they have an espresso bbq sauce. However, if Ihave people coming in from out of town, I'd take then to Salt Lick and force my will upon them during the ordering process.

          1. re: rudeboy

            Can you get baby back ribs at the Salt Lick on days other than Sunday? I thought they only had them then (same with the scalloped potatoes and green beans).

            1. re: m3lissa

              Oh, I'm not sure. I was there on a sunday. All items wer printed on a permanent menu - a special menu. Maybe they just whip it out on Sunday?

      2. Salt Lick has the better atmosphere but foodwise, Franklins is quite a bit better, especially the brisket.

        1. I think it comes down to whether you want to bbq for brunch or dinner.

          1. Salt Lick has better atmosphere, (far) better sauce, and better sides. For meat itself, Franklin's is better. All things considered, I'd pick Salt Lick (I'm a sauce guy), but meat purists would probably enjoy Franklin's.