washingtonpost.com  > Travel > Columns > Message Center


Sunday, March 13, 2005; Page P04

Texas Barbecue: The Debate Rages

THANK YOU, thank you, thank you for getting the story right on Texas barbecue ["Texas Eat 'Em," March 6]. I'm a displaced Texan and I claim Austin as my adopted home town. I'm looking forward to a trip home in April and have been dreaming of the barbecue, so I was excited to see the story . . . that is, until I realized you left out the institution known as the Salt Lick.

Now, I know there are thousands of places to get barbecue in Central Texas, and you couldn't visit or print them all, but if there is one place that I would send anyone visiting Austin, it would be the Salt Lick.

Set among pecan trees way out in Driftwood, this restaurant is as much a journey as a destination. Once you arrive, you're transfixed by the twinkly lights in the trees overhanging the picnic tables, where you dine family-style on all-you-can-eat brisket, sausage and ribs with cole slaw, beans, white bread and sweet tea.

Summer Collins

Silver Spring

WHAT WAS Jim Shahin thinking? He was in Lockhart, Tex., and didn't try Black's Barbecue. My husband's family has been eating at Black's ever since it opened in 1932. Anyone visiting us from Texas has to bring an extra suitcase full of barbecue and sausage from Black's, or they can't come in the door. It's the best!

Mary B. Vogel


ALAS, Jim Shahin stayed north of the I-10 highway. Last week we had the best Texas barbecue, in Karnes City, on U.S. Rte. 181, southeast of San Antonio on the way to Corpus Christi, at the Polak's Sawsage Farm Eatin Place. Offering delicious, juicy but not messy, tender sliced or chopped brisket, homemade "sawsage," cole slaw, breads and desserts, it was packed with families, and it did a busy carryout business.

Jo Ann Bowes

Lock Haven, Pa.

AS A TEXAS transplant (grew up in Brenham and went to school at UT Austin), I'm baffled that an article on Austin's barbecue scene failed to mention the Salt Lick. It's probably the most famous barbecue joint in central Texas.

Any reason The Post omitted this obvious selection?

Jay Przyborski


Author Jim Shahin responds:

Aside from wood smoke, the only other essential in barbecue is argument. The great thing is that it is never resolved. That means the only way to confirm or repudiate an opinion -- one's own or someone else's -- is to keep eating.

Mailing Confiscated Items

I NOTICED your blurb about the mailing service at Dulles that allows passengers to send home items that they can't take on planes [Airport Update, March 6]. I experienced the service first-hand over winter break, on my way to Curacao. I had accidentally left a Swiss Army knife in my backpack and was relieved to find I could avoid its confiscation.

With minutes to spare before boarding time, I went through the automated process at the kiosk, only to find that it was out of paper and could not print the label/postage for my package. The only other kiosk, at the opposite end of the terminal, was out of order. I could find no one at the airport who could service the machines.

So much for a good idea. We lost the knife and almost missed our flight in the process.

Sharon Jaffe Dan


Detroit Attractions

I ENJOYED the article on the sites of Detroit ["In Michigan, a Tour de Ford," Nov. 28]. Unfortunately, I booked two airline tickets for spring break in March, only to find that Greenfield Village is closed until mid-April. I erroneously assumed that it was open year-round because the author spoke about the holiday festivities at the Village and did not mention that it closes in January.

My son and I still should have a good time. We hope to hit the Motown music sites in addition to the Ford Mansion and African-American Museum.

Please alert your readers to always check hours of operation before booking. As an aside, the Rouge factory tour books weeks in advance, so travelers should book now for travel in late March.

Michael McPoland


Queen Mary 2, Cont'd

I READ with interest the article on the Queen Mary 2 ["Queen for a Year," Feb. 6]. In July 2004, I took my first cruise on the QM2, traveling with five friends from New York to London. What an exciting, wonderful trip. The ship is beautiful, the crew and other employees extremely helpful, the food very good and the entertainment delightful. There was so much to do, and I especially enjoyed the planetarium. I can't say enough about the cruise, and highly recommend it.

Marge Mathieu

Silver Spring

Write us: Washington Post Travel section, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071. Fax: 202-912-3609. E-mail: travel@washpost.com. Provide your full name, town of residence and daytime telephone number. Letters are subject to editing for length and clarity.

© 2005 The Washington Post Company


Adventure Travel

  •  Airfare

  •  Bed and Breakfasts and Inns

  •  Caribbean

  •  Conferences & Events

  •  Cruises

  •  Golf Vacations

  •  Historic & Educational

  •  International

  •  Maryland Travel Ideas

  •  Pennsylvania Travel Ideas

  •  Rental Cars

  •  Resorts, Hotels & Spas

  •  Virginia Travel Ideas

  •  Weekend Getaways

  •  West Virginia Travel Ideas