The Pit Room: Our Story

Two Guys, Two Grills, And A Dream. Old-School, Wood-Cooked Handcrafted BBQ Has Come To The Montrose Neighborhood of Houston.

The Pit Room is the “hand-crafted” brainchild of Michael Sambrooks, a native of Kingwood who attended Baylor University and later the Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston. Michael, who co-owns the restaurant with members of his family, has worked at several high-profile Houston restaurants including Reef, Stella Sola and Goode Co. Barbeque.

He met his executive chef/pitmaster, Bramwell (Bram) Tripp, back when they both worked at Liberty Kitchen & Oysterette in River Oaks. A few years later — as Michael was developing the idea for The Pit Room — he ran into Bram at Revival Market, where he was working as a sous chef at the time. Tripp joined The Pit Room soon thereafter.

Bram, a graduate of Kent State University, came with a wealth of restaurant experience. He worked at Via Vite and Bakersfield (Cincinnati) and, upon moving to Houston, has worked at Liberty Kitchen, Coltivare and Revival Market.

The heart and soul of the pit room are two, custom-made, barrel-style offset smokers (made by Allout Fabrication in Stafford) with a vertical sausage cooker sitting adjacent to one of the pits. As for the meats going into the pit, they’ll be of high quality. All beef will be U.S.D.A. Prime and all pork will be a heritage, Berkshire-Duroc breed from California. That sort of sourcing helps contribute to prices that are a couple of dollars per pound higher than most Houston-area barbecue restaurants. “It costs a little more, but it’s obviously a good product,” Michael says. “We hope the customers will appreciate it.”

From the beginning the goal was to have everything be made from scratch. There were many delays before they could open the restaurant so Michael and Bram took advantage of the time off and continued to tweak and improve upon The Pit Room’s homemade recipes. After many long, grueling hours in the kitchen, their hard work paid off. As to the they say, "the proof is in the pudding.” You'll just have to head on over and taste it yourself!