At Live Oak Barbecue, Tom Spaulding smokes
Texas-style Q and serves it up by the pound. The new Eastside neighborhood joint is a
perfect addition to entrepreneurs Donya & Randall Stockton's family of businesses.
The Stocktons love barbecue; after seeing this building they thought,
"We could turn this into a barbecue restaurant". They were just missing one
thing...a Pit Boss. Friends and business partners told them they had one right under their
Former professional Pit Boss and BBQ cook-off judge/competitor Tom Spaulding
was at the other end of the 'hood slinging drinks at Shangri La. At the time, he was
saving his passion for live fire cooking & barbecuing for the backyard. Open-air
roasting a whole hog (butterflied on a custom made steel cross) and building an 8 ft
cinder block cowboy pit to smoke 150 lbs of meat for a Superbowl party just made sense to
him. Thomas would occasionally have "test" smokes, and invite 30 or so of his
luckiest friends to teach himself new techniques.
In October of 2010, Tom was asked to cater a Cow-themed art opening at
Lovejoy's Tap Room. There, underneath a few sweet-faced cow portraits , he carved over 100
pounds of meat he had smoked for the event. People 'in the know' were lined up out the
door. The Stocktons were in attendance, tasted the results and realized they had found
their man. While a man dressed in a cow costume dispensed White Russians from a teat, Tom
and the Stocktons sealed the deal. No longer would they have to drive an hour to get
Over the course of labored months, the Eastside beer dive Mis Amigos was
transformed into Live Oak Barbecue. Home made picnic tables, a fresh paint job, a
hand-crafted smoker, coloring book paintings of menu choices, and a barbecue joint was
born! Tom hand picked an opening staff to make the most of his small space. It included
experienced 'cue smokers, a butcher/culinary school grad, and a cook from an acclaimed
Houston cooking family. Their combined skills have transformed the dark hideaway into a
celebration of smell and taste.
The meat is smoking, the word is spreading and the people are coming, so
bring yourself down to Live Oak Barbecue and EAT MEAT!