Neighborhood Eats: Live Oak Grill in Sugar Land

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by Sherry Williams / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on February 20, 2014 at 7:57 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 20 at 7:57 PM

SUGAR LAND, Texas -- For this week’s Neighborhood Eats segment, we visit the Live Oak Grill on Dairy Ashford in Sugar Land off Highway 90.

It is one of the few restaurants where there is a drink dispenser filled with Kool-Aid, fruit punch flavor.

The lunch line starts before the lunch hour. Typically diners are lined up out the door by 11:45 a.m., but the staff keeps things moving quickly.

Diners order at the counter, receive a buzzer and return to the counter to get their grub when the buzzer goes off.

The chicken fried steak consistently wins awards. It has a perfectly golden, crispy crust and is so tender you can cut it with a fork.

“It better be,” said co-owner Donna Cook. “We pride ourselves on using quality ingredients.”

"The (catfish) fillets are wonderful. I've been coming here for many, many years," said regular Martha Matzo. Like many folks, she raved about the mac ‘n cheese also.

"If you grew up with the Velveeta, aw man, this is gonna be your favorite," said co-owner Bob Donnelly.

He opened the Live Oak Grill almost 10 years ago with Cook. Donnelly’s daughter, Heather, runs the day-to-day operations.

Most of the lunch bunch comes from major industries nearby like Schlumberger.

When it's warm, some come back at night, grab a cold beer out of the cooler and sit outside under one of the majestic oaks. The place used to be a farmhouse owned by a little old man.

"I'd drive by and see him smoking a cigarette in his rocker. For a while he sold barbeque out of his pit over here on the side and he also had a bunch of goats all the time just running around,” said Donnelly.

The farmer sold to a Mexican restaurant that didn't make it. Donnelly bought the property and it's been a Neighborhood Eats favorite ever since.

Click here for more info about Live Oak Grill.

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