My friend Squidley lives near E. 2nd and Pleasant Valley, and had alerted me this spring to the opening of Live Oak BBQ. He had given me good reports on the meats, and now it was time for me to see for myself. Walking in around 6pm on a Saturday, I felt like I was opening the door to a total dive (which it was...the former Mis Amigos beer joint), but the smell of the smoker immediately made me happy.
Squidley had recommended the pork steak, and you know me, pork makes me happy. But pork steak? I asked the guys working there about it, and they said it's a shoulder cut that is smoked, and he likened it to a smokey pancetta. Umm... yes please! So we got some of that (the back left in the picture) and some brisket, along with potato salad, slaw, and of course some pickles.
So I am now definitely a convert to this pork steak creation! It was juicy and tender, meaty and a bit fatty.... oh yeah, and smokey! The brisket was good, but not as juicy as Franklin's, and the sides were okay. Live Oak does some meat specials on the weekends, but unfortunately, we missed out on the Korean short ribs that day. Their bbq sauce was different too -- in a good way. It's dark and vinegary looking, but it doesn't have the strong bite that vinegar does. I can't figure out what's in it.... secret's in the sauce, I guess!
Here's a close up of some leftover pork I ate the the next day; you can really see the pink smoke ring! Yes, as good as it looks. And as their painted fence and website say: eat meat!