The Salt Lick
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The Salt Lick was opened in 1967 by Thurman Roberts, Sr. and his wife Hisako T. Roberts. It quickly grew in popularity and went from being open just a few times a year to seven days a week. Roberts and Hisako built the Salt Lick restaurant on the ranch where he was born, using locally quarried limestone. Hisako's Hawaiian heritage inspired the sweet barbecue sauce used in the restaurant.
The Salt Lick's primary cuisine is beef (brisket), sausage, and pork ribs. Chicken, beef ribs, turkey, pulled pork and prime rib are also served. Merchandise available from the restaurant or by mail order includes t-shirts, koozies and hats, as well as the restaurant's trademark meats, sauces and dry rub. The Salt Lick is currently owned by Scott Roberts and his wife Susan.
In addition to the main restaurant, the Salt Lick provides banquet facilities and has a pavilion for larger groups, set on the bank of Onion Creek. Parts of the mansion that Thurman Roberts built overlooking the main restaurant are used for parties, weddings, and also house the business's main offices. Salt Lick Cellars, which sells locally made wine and Texas beers, is located on the same property as the restaurant.
Salt Lick branch restaurants also operate in the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Oklahoma City Will Rogers World Airport and in Round Rock, Texas.
In the fall of 1986, The Salt Lick with chef Tim Adler and owner Hisako Roberts, were featured in the Great Chefs of the West television series, seen first on PBS nationally, then the Discovery Channel and later in 2007, on the Travel Channel. In late 2008 The Salt Lick was featured during an Austin episode in the first season of the Travel Channel's show Man v. Food (hosted by Adam Richman), and the restaurant was positively reviewed by Food Network chefs Bobby Flay and Duff Goldman. Then in 2012 it was featured on another Travel Channel show, Adam Richman's Best Sandwich in America, for its spicy brisket jalapeño sandwich topped with habanero sauce (which was recommended to Richman by Flay).
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