Austin City Limits Music Festival is my favorite thing to do in Austin and the ACL Eats are a big reason why. Concerts, much like airports, have been a tough place for foodies. For years we have been at the mercy of the lame food court Gods . . . well no longer. Airports are stepping up their game and in the three years that I have attended ACL Fest, the food game is strong. That being said some spots are better than others so read on and refresh your browsers because I’ll be posting on new places for each of the three days I will be attending. And without further ado: Day 1 of ACL Eats at Austin City Limits Music Festival 2018.
the spot: Wholly Cow Burgers 3010 S. Lamar Austin TX 78704 // at both ACL Eats Food Courts
the eats: Cheeseburger
the bucks: $9
the full nelson: grass fed cheeseburgers while you dance on the grass
I’m no environmentalist but I reuse bags, recycle and compost. I think it’s just common sense. So when it comes to burgers, I’m down for grass fed but I don’t shun corn fed either; whatever it takes to create a juicy burger. Unfortunately this was not the case when I visited Wholly Cow Burgers at the ACL Eats food court. There was no line, which might have been a sign and the burger came out in less than a minute. I suppose one would expect to have burgers already cooked at a music festival, but slap a $9 price tag on a burger that I could have eaten two of, and call me disappointed. I even had to reach for the ketchup, something I never do. That being said, I could tell the bun and lettuce were of respectable quality, so I’m gonna be fair and give them a go at their brick and mortar location. But if you are looking for Bang for your Burger Buck at ACL Eats, I would stomach the considerable line at Shake Shack.
the spot: Salt Lick BBQ 18300 FM 1826 Driftwood TX 78619 // at both ACL Eats Food Courts
the eats: Chopped Beef Sandwich, Rib Boat
the bucks: $10, $12 respectively
the full nelson: probably the best scenario to eat Salt Lick BBQ outside of taking a drive to the OG location in Driftwood TX
Salt Lick BBQ isn’t the best barbecue in Central Texas but its reputation is among the very best, especially for tourists coming to Austin. I don’t meant to be backhanded here, Salt Lick has solid bbq . . . it’s just that the competition is that good and I tip my cap to some of the relatively newer players in the game like La Barbecue and Micklethwait, the latter which has a spot at the ACL Eats food court. I went to Salt Lick because they have double booths, meaning less line and I would be a fool not to give props to that chopped beef sandwich, which is as good as any barbecue sandwich gets. Tender, good smoke flavor and a full on meal, the $10 price tag is a flat out steal. I also got the rib boat which also a pretty good value: 4-5 bones for $12. I definitely walked away full and satisfied from Salt Lick and despite loads of other food stalls to try, would happily go back.
And that was Day 1 for ACL Eats! My pick of the day went to the chopped beef sandwich at Salt Lick. Totally delicious, and a meal that will have you saying “time to put on my drinking boots”. Stay tuned for my report on Day 2 of ACL Eats at Austin City Limits Music Festival and . . . Stay Thrifty . . . and jamming!