From the cow-and-mule-lined roads that lead the way to the place to the enormously sized portions, Salt Lick BBQ feels, in many ways, like an homage to its home state of Texas.
It’s also one of the most beautiful places to eat barbecue on the planet. Surrounded by lush gardens, grape fields and bocce courts, visiting Salt Lick is like a trip to barbecue heaven. (The owners designed it that way knowing that most diners are forced to endure hours-long lines for their legendary ‘cue.)
The most recognizable part of the restaurant, though, is its huge open barbecue pit — draped with sauce-slathered slabs of pork, and sausages hanging from its rafters.
The restaurant has undergone a pretty rapid expansion over the past couple of years — bringing its BBQ to several different cities in Texas, and even airports. No matter which Salt Lick you visit, you can’t go wrong ordering the burnt ends, the crispy, charred bits that flake off the sides of the brisket.
Its pitmaster/owner Scott Roberts is a fiery personality and seeing him is like spotting a celebrity for barbecue lovers. What we didn’t know about him and Salt Lick before our shoot: they make award-winning wine! In 2004, Roberts and his daughter Maile Roberts-Loring began planting vineyards on the family ranch after finding out their soil was ideal for growing grapes. Just last year, Fall Creek’s GSM won a double gold medal at the International Wine Competition in San Francisco. We understand why he made our host Molly Moker sample all the varietals in his wine room before sending us on our way.
Pro tip: There’s a secret bathroom in the wine cellar that Scott’s daughter designed and it has an HGTV Fixer Upper kind of vibe.