We tried as many of the meats as we could manage, which meant giving the turkey a pass. Plates normally come with the meat covered with sauce, and their sauce was pretty good, but as always, we got it on the side so we could get assess the quality of the meat more thoroughly. The best thing we tried was the brisket. It was lean, tender and had a smokey flavor with a tasty sweet rub on the outside. It was surprisingly flavorful for such lean meat. The pork ribs weren't bad, but as far as I could tell they were cooked on a grill, not smoked. They reminded me of the baby back ribs at Chilis. They were good, but the sweet sauce that covered them was a bit overpowering. They'd probably be appealing to people used to short ribs in the midwest or north. The chicken was tender but a bit dry and short on flavor. The sausage was the worst item. It was a dry, fine-ground and vinegary ring sausage, distressingly similar to the most mass produced grocery store ring sausage along the lines of what Eckrich produces, with maybe a bit of black pepper thrown in. Truly horrible. If you're going to make your own sausage, it's got to be better than the bottom of the line grocery store option. As far as sides and condiments, the plates came with pickles, onions and bread. The pickles were good, but the bread was a stale slab of Mrs. Baird's rolls. Wonderbread would have been better.
On the whole the Salt Lick was below expectations. The barbecue was adequate, but not great. It was certainly not up to to what you would expect from their reputation and not in the same league as the best barbecue in the area. It might be appealing to yuppies from the north, but it falls short of the Central Texas standard. The site and the atmosphere can't be faulted, but it's the meat that makes the meal, not the setting.