After hearing about Saltlick’s opening on James Street North in Hamilton, I was on a mission to try it out. Why? Because it’s a smokehouse. I discovered my love for the smoky flavour when I sat in front of my first campfire. I instantly relax whenever I think about the comforting, warm aroma. My first encounter with smoked food was a slice of smoked salmon and since then I never stopped eating it. Years later, I tried my first block of smoked cheddar and decided that my life needed more of it.
My friends and I visited the restaurant around 6:30pm on a Thursday night and they were about half full. I made the mistake of choosing to sit at the table right by the window because the sun was shining directly in my friends’ eyes! My bad… They both ate while wearing sunglasses 😀
Inside, you’ll find clusters of tables for 2-8 people, wooden furniture and illustrations of animals on the walls. These serve as diagrams to show different parts of the animals and are used as menus! It’s clever because their menu constantly changes.
Pricing is an interesting concept at this restaurant. I’ll use our experience as an example. No matter how many people are at your table, the price per person is fixed depending on the amount of meats you choose. For example, we were a table of 4, ordered 3 different types of meats with 2 sides and it was $18 per person. If you order 4 meats and 2 sides, it’ll be $22 per person (I think it goes up by $4 increments for every meat you add on). If you end up going, the wait-staff will explain everything to you!
The three main proteins are beef, pork and chicken. They’ll cook different parts of the animal from oxtail to the shank. For our platter, we ordered pulled pork, ossobucco, ribs, mac and cheese, and coleslaw. The platter was huge and enough meat to feed more than 4 people! It’s definitely worth your money. The pulled pork was tender, smoky and flavourful, the ossobucco was juicy and fresh, ribs were fall-off-the-bone delicious, mac and cheese was out of this world nom, and the coleslaw was the crunchy and pickled texture that balanced the whole meal. I ended up taking home a fully stuffed take-out box of leftovers!
It’s a family style, share-everything type of dining experience. I love it because you get a bit of everything! Your clothes might be a bit smoky by the end of your meal, but who cares! Your belly would be so happy, it wouldn’t even matter. I’d like to see lighter sides on the menu though. Friendly staff and good food, it’s a nice local restaurant to check out if you’re in the area. I’ll be back to try their oxtail!