Some might say there are few things Texans enjoy more than college football. Rodeo and two-step are up there, but any sensible native of the Lone Star State will tell you that just after ball comes barbecue. Fortunately for fans of Longhorn football, these two iconic state symbols have merged, thanks to new concessions at the Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.
Yes, starting this season, beloved Driftwood-based barbecue joint The Salt Lick has made its way to the University of Texas stadium to serve up portions of their well-known menu. The restaurant recently opened two stands in the stadium (Level 1, Section 30 and Level 3, Section 6)—offering a variety of perfect game-day fare, such as tender and succulent pulled-pork and juicy brisket sandwiches, smoked sausage dogs and sloppy nachos. Maile Roberts-Loring, a member of the family-run business and manager of The Salt Lick Cellars, says her family knew the concession stands would be a natural fit. “When the opportunity arose,” she says, “we knew it was the perfect time to partner.”
This extension of The Salt Lick comes on the heels of its 50th anniversary—a major milestone for the quintessential Central Texas restaurant that began as a bare-bones barbecue pit on the family’s Driftwood ranch. Seeing this growth happen during such a celebratory time has only added to the milestone for Roberts-Loring. “It’s truly been amazing,” she says. “I still remember when we were open only four days a week. I never would have thought the restaurant would grow into what it is today. The best part…is having my 103-year-old grandmother, Hisako, who founded the restaurant along with my grandfather and father, alive to see this day!”
In continuation of the family tradition, fans of the The Salt Lick’s Driftwood and Round Rock locations can expect the same time-honored quality barbecue from the new stands. “We cook on-site outside the stadium to ensure our flavor and quality aren’t compromised in any way,” Roberts-Loring says. The concession stands will also maintain the restaurant’s hometown feel among the hustle and bustle of the football games by providing the high-quality barbecue that The Salt Lick is known for, along with the Hill Country friendly service, which is so important to the family.
The next time you’re at a Longhorn home game, it will be well worth taking a short break from the pigskin to grab some legendary Texas taste, because, as Roberts-Loring notes, “Who in Texas doesn’t love barbecue and football?”
By Darby Kendall • Photography by Carole Topalian
For more information, visit saltlickbbq.com or visit their original Driftwood location at 18300 FM 1826.