Tom’s BBQ is no newcomer to the barbecue scene. Having been at its same location on Woodruff Road for over 30 years, I’d say it’s a staple for some good ole barbecue. So, why am I just now trying it? Because new owners, Brock & Beth Stevens are shaking things up a bit with a revamped dining room, as well as boosting their social media presence by posting drool-worthy shots of their hush puppies, mac and cheese and so much more.
Besides the face-lift to the original interior of the restaurant, Tom’s BBQ is still very much the same; providing customers with the original flavor and recipes they started with. At Tom’s, it’s apparent that simplicity and ease are key. Order at the counter, have a seat and your meal is out in no time. The menu consists of all the BBQ essentials: sandwiches, plates, burgers and dogs, sides and desserts. Not surprisingly, I tried a little bit of everything…
Here at Tom’s, they’re known for their pulled pork with the local favorite Cheerwine Sauce. So, we ordered one pulled pork sandwich and threw in a pulled chicken sandwich for good measure. Both sandwiches have a hint of smoky flavor that you crave when eating Southern BBQ. What took these sandwiches from good to great? The 8 different BBQ sauces to drizzle, or pour, on top. From sweet to mustard, classic to super spicy, Tom’s truly has a sauce for everyone. I especially loved the Cheerwine and the mustard sauces.
I must admit…when someone says “BBQ” I immediately think of all the sides and fixins. Yes, the meat is tasty all on its own, but I look so forward to filling my plate with cole slaw, baked beans…the list goes on and on. We ordered the Sweet Potato Crunch, Green Beans, Mac & Cheese and Hush Puppies. This Mac & Cheese should be pictured next to Mac & Cheese in the dictionary. It’s everything you desire in classic Mac & Cheese…creamy, fluffy with bites of sharp cheddar cheese mixed in. I like some texture in my Mac & Cheese, so the bites with the baked, melted cheese kept me coming back for more and more.
I eat Hush Puppies during football season every single year from Maurice’s BBQ in Columbia, SC and until now no other hush puppies have rivaled those bad boys. Tom’s hush puppies are different, in the best way. They are ever-so-crispy on the outside and the inside melts in your mouth. Plus, they are on the smaller side, so you can eat more of them, right?! The Sweet Potato Crunch is basically a dessert, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that if you ask me. Mashed sweet potatoes come topped with a caramelized, crunchy coating of pecans and brown sugar creating a decadent side dish. Lastly, their green beans are as old school as you can get. Not too mushy, but not too firm, these green beans have an awesome flavor and texture.
Banana pudding is one of my all-time favorite desserts, but it can go wrong so easily. Tom’s doesn’t mess around with their scratch-made banana pudding. It may not be the prettiest thing you’ve ever eaten, but it’ll stand up to any grandma’s banana pudding. You can tell this banana pudding was made with the classic ingredients: pudding mix, ripened bananas, milk and lots of vanilla wafers. What sold me on this banana pudding was the ratio of pudding to wafers. In each and every bite I got some slightly softened vanilla wafers, which, let’s be honest, is truly the best part of banana pudding.
Leave it to Beth and Brock to plate up an awesome BBQ lunch in Tom’s charming, renovated restaurant, or call them to cater your next event or provide a “Piggy Pack” for your next tailgate. Tom’s BBQ is located at 1143 Woodruff Road and is open Monday – Saturday from 10:30am – 3:00pm.