Monday, October 25, 2010

Uchi & The Salt Lick BBQ

I recently went out of state and wow, I ate at some of the BEST places ever. 
My husband had been talking about this "Uchi" place for a long while. Let me start out my saying that I am, well was, totally NOT into raw fish. Probably because I had never eaten at UCHI. I have turned to the dark side on this one. I couldn't get enough. I ate so much that my husband even commented he "hasn't seen me eat so much since I was pregnant." 
The textures and flavor pairing is absolutely amazing. It is most definitely 5 stars and pricey but worth EVERY penny.  Here's a brief summary of Uchi I found online.

(512) 916-4808
801 S Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78704 30.2575 -97.7602

 by Monika Kowalczyk
"The vibe at Uchi is sophisticated albeit relaxed, with the well-heeled and tattoo-laden coexisting in harmony. On any given evening, it's filled to capacity with diners conversing beneath a bold, red expanse intermingled with golden flowers. Dimly lit lanterns hanging from the high, vaulted ceiling provide a romantic ambiance. Tender Muscovy duck, grilled on Japanese charcoal, are appetizers to salmon or striped bass sushi, Brie tempura ringo or pan-seared scallops served with samiso sauces, baby bok choy and shiitake mushrooms."

Here's some info. on owner/executive chief Tyson Cole.
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Tyson Cole (born September 3, 1970, Sarasota, FL, USA) is a chef and restaurateur based in Austin, Texas, USA.


Cole began his culinary career as a dishwasher at a Japanese restaurant named Kyoto in downtown Austin, Texas. Attrition among the restaurant's staff gave Cole the opportunity to begin making sushi.  He was attending the University of Texas Austin, with interests in painting and architecture.  Cole worked three and a half years at Kyoto, from 1992 to 1996.
Starting in mid-1996, Cole apprenticed for six and a half years under Takehiko Fuse, owner/chef of Musashino Sushi Dokoro in Austin, TX.  Cole also learned Japanese during this stint.

In May 2003, Cole opened Uchi, a 95-seat 2,600 square feet (240 m2) sushi restaurant in Austin.
On July 6th, 2010, Cole opened his second restaurant, Uchiko (loosely translated meaning "offspring of Uchi") after a three-week soft opening period.

In 2005, Food & Wine Magazine named Tyson Cole "Best New Chef", one among ten chefs to receive that award.
He led a team of Uchi chefs against Chef Masaharu Morimoto on the Food Network program Iron Chef America in March 2008.
In 2006, Cole won's "Healthy Chef Showdown" by a hair, over chef David Bull of the Driskill Grill.
In 2008, 2009, and 2010, the James Beard Foundation named Cole as a semifinalist in the “Best Chef: Southwest” category of its "James Beard Foundation Award", 2009, 2010.

Just a few pictures I found online of the incredible food.

The Salt Lick BBQ
 Driftwood, TX. (right near Austin, TX)

You maybe have seen this place on TV, on the show Man v Food. Season 1, Austin episode. 
This place is no joke BBQ. I was so super excited to eat here and it did not dissappoint. It has gotten so much great press I was excited to see what all the hype was about.

I had the combo plate. My meats were Turkey, beef brisket, and pork ribs. Plates included potato salad, cole slaw & beans. Bread, pickles & onions on request.

I found these on their website's testimonial page:

"Paul and I were in Austin a year ago and if you want good, real actual BBQ, you got to go to Austin…Salt Lick, that's right, Salt Lick…tremendous. I bring this up because I'm hoping they'll send us some."
-David Letterman

  • Adam Richman, Host of Man v. Food - The Travel Channel

  • "My never ending quest for barbeque bliss has lead me to the Salt Lick. Unbelievable! It melts in your mouth. One of the best things I have ever eaten! And the burnt ends of the brisket – a work of true, true poetry - crispy, creamy, chewy, salty, and sweet from the sauce. They were perfect!"

    Sandra Bullock-
  • "My God, this food! It’s the best, I mean, the best!"

  • I have to agree it's amazing. I can't get back there fast enough. Oh and you can order their BBQ sauce on their website!!! Believe I did, and a t-shirt, and a bottle opener. LOVED THIS PLACE.

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