Salt Lick BBQ Offers Good Grub at the Austin International Airport

7139036547_72c9c62920Salt Lick BBQ Pulled Pork Taco

There are some universal truths: Bacon makes everything better. Burgers must be eaten with fries. Airport food is bad.

Pleasantly, I’m here to dispel one of those universal truths. Airport food isn’t always bad, especially if you eat at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. True to its community roots, Austin’s airport favors local businesses over chains. So instead of KFC and Barnes & Noble, you find locally beloved Salt Lick BBQ and indie bookstore, Book People.

The last time I was at the airport, I overhead the following conversation among three businessmen, whom I’ll call Mo, Larry and Curly:

Mo: I’m hungry. I’m gonna get some bbq from Salt Lick. You guys want some?

Larry: No, thanks. I don’t eat in airports. The food’s always terrible and overpriced.

Mo: You haven’t had Salt Lick then.

Curly: Oh, man, I LOVE Salt Lick. I get it every time I come here. And you gotta have it with that beer. What’s it called?

Mo: Shiner?

Curly: Yeah, that’s it, Shiner Bock. Salt Lick and Shiner Bock. It’s killer, Man. Killer.

6992951866_d91864c678Salt Lick Sausage Platter and Shiner Bock Beer

Curly’s right. Salt Lick BBQ is killer. Its roots run deep — back to the mid-18oos when a plucky 14-year-old girl named Bettie began searing meat and cooking it slowly over coals. Over 150 years later, Salt Lick uses the same cooking process. Their pulled pork  tacos are some of the best you’ll ever taste —succulent, perfectly sauced, tangy and not too salty. To my delight, most bites include a crispy nugget of charred meat that takes some extra chewing. Their sausage platter is a grand affair: muscular links of spicy pork sausage are drizzled with bbq sauce and served with classic Southern sides such as beans, mashed potatoes and cole slaw. It’s served with soft white bread, which is requisite in Texas BBQ.

Oh, and if you were wondering about Mo, Larry and Curly. When I spotted them next, they were devouring Salt Lick BBQ pulled pork tacos. Larry had bbq sauce dribbling down his chin. That’s the power of Salt Lick.

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