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Apr 2, 2004 11:18 AM

Austin Rocks!

  • f

Thanks to rudeboy and the others for their help. This town rocks! I had to limit my choices to barbeque because---well, because I felt like it. Had the beef ribs at Ironworks along w/sausage and brisket. The sausage and brisket were nice and smoky and probably would have been good enough on their own, especially with the punchy sauce that came with. The beef ribs, however, were outstanding. Sweet, meaty, nice smoky crust. I went back for seconds and the guy hacked me off a couple huge ones with an extra slab of burnt end. Righteous. The next night, I went to the Continental Club down on Congress for Hippie Night. Had a blast--great folks, great music, great..ah..spiritually up-lifting activities. Went to Artz Rib House afterward. Not all that great, but I'd been having such a good time I didn't care. The next morning, a friend of mine took us waaay out in the hill country to a place called The Salt Lick. If there is a benchmark for Texas barbeque, The Salt Lick has to be it. This place has the best chopped beef sandwich and brisket I ever locked a lip on. Melts in your mouth. The sauce is not hot, but piquant with vinegar and just sweet enough to detonate that mesquite smoky beef-bomb of flavor. Both the slaw and the potato salad are dry as a bone, the perfect foil for all that snappy succulence. With a few ice-cold Negro Modelos--man! I bought a five-pound brisket and two bottles of sauce to take back to DC, which I hugged close to my chest throughout the flight.

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  1. "Salt Lick a benchmark for Texas BBQ?" Uh, probably not. Sorry you got taken to the local "tourist traps". Your friend should have taken you to the real deal in Lockhart, a thirty minute drive southeast of town. There are THREE BBQ joints there (Black's, Smitty's and even Kreuz) that serve FAR superior meat compared with Salt Lick. Salt Lick is not considered a "Top 10" BBQ place by any Austin locals with knowledge of the area's small towns like Taylor, Elgin, Lockhart and Luling. And the only reason Iron Works exists is because of the Convention Center next door. They can't even cook with hard wood because of city ordinance. Better luck next time on getting some "true" Texas BBQ.

    6 Replies
    1. re: John Kelso

      Well, f*** me! I guess I've been had. Next you're gonna tell me the weed I smoked behind the Continental wasn't any good, either. Oh well...there's always next time.

      1. re: flavrmeistr

        You weren't "had", you just weren't around hangin with any Texas BBQ experts. I was just trying to steer you down the right path next time. Check the sites below for more info. and feel free to mail order from Black's BBQ. Their stuff ships great!


        1. re: John Kelso

          I would argue this is the best barbecue in Texas. Check the photos of the grub and get realllly hungry!


          1. re: Rick Perry

            Next on the hit parade, amigo.

          2. re: John Kelso

            Well, you're right about that as my lovely hostess on this occasion was (is) a back-sliding vegetarian from South Austin. The chickens in her backyard are strictly pets. She does, however, confess to having an unseemly jones for The Salt Lick's chopped beef, which is why we made the trip out there. It was far from disappointing. She did mention Luling, Lockhart, etc., but I was lucky to make my plane as it was. So much Q, so little time. I plan on trying all the rest as circumstances permit.

        2. re: John Kelso
          ann richards

          Give this person a break.

          This visitor came to Austin and had a great time. He enjoyed his dinner at the Salt Lick. Why would you want to sound so negative and arrogant. You could have just told him a few suggestions for his next trip w/o the negativity.

          I like the Salt Lick. I always have a good time when I drive out there. I think the food is good and I love the sauce. Also, I like the idea that the restaurant gets involved with lots of non-profit events.

          You don't need to tell me about the other bbq places in Lockhart, Luling, etc. I've lived in Austin 22 years. I've been to the others. I enjoy going. The food is great, but that doesn't mean I can't have a nice time/dinner at the Salt Lick.

        3. What did you have at Artz rib house? I always get baby back ribs, because I think that they are the best in town.

          I figured that you'd get beaten up a bit for the Salt Lick thing. Anyhow, not everyone has time to make the drive out to Lockhart, so you have to make do. And no, the Salt Lick is not the absolute best in the world, but it's definitely passable, especially when you are a little high, listening to music, and drinking your own cheap beer.

          I've been out back of Continental when the weed is passed around. You must have been there on a Tuesday. I'm glad that you had a good time in Austin....

          5 Replies
          1. re: rudeboy

            I had the sampler platter at Artz (a few pork ribs, sausage and a couple slices of dry, non-smoky brisket). It was okay, but not especially exciting. And, you're right, it was Tues. nite when I was at the Continental. There was an excellent female blues singer (can't remember her name, sorry) accompanied by two hot guitarists. One was said to be her regular guy and the other one was working w/Robert Earle Keen. I wish I had more time to get around as I really enjoyed those two nights and half a day when I was let loose. Austin is a great club town which must enjoy some kind of psychic protection from the paranoid Nazi-ism that has engulfed much of the rest of the nation. Austinians(?)are out drinkin', eatin', pickin' and partyin' EVERY NIGHT OF THE WEEK! That's what's missing from every other city I've been to in the last two years. Sure, you can go to a bar and have a few drinks, but don't look too happy about it or you'll wind up featured on "COPS". Be proud and Keep It Weird, Austin.

            1. re: flavrmeistr

              Tuesday night before 9:00 would have been Toni Price.

              1. re: em

                Thanks for that. Does she have a web site?

                1. re: flavrmeistr


                  I think you can order her cd's on amazon. My fav is
                  sol power, recorded live at railroad blues in Alpine, TX.

                  1. re: em

                    Roger that. I got Sol Power, Born to be Blue and Midnight Pumpkin. Muchas Gracias.