this is it! soul food

207 gray nr. bagby

"this is it soul food" is in the large shack next door to front porch pub in midtown. it is a cafeteria style restaurant w/ huge portions. choose 1 entree and 3 sides for about $11 -- a little pricey in my opinion, especially for a divey joint like this, but leftovers will be enough for another meal.

the oxtails and chicken and dumplings are both excellent, although greasy choices. they also have chicken fried steak, smothered fried chicken, fried catfish, blackened catfish, apricot glazed chicken, chitterlings, pork chops and much more on their menu which changes each day. some of the sides could be a lot better. the brown gravy on the mashed potatoes still can't mask the taste of instant potatoes. the green beans still taste canned even though they are joined by bits of bacon and onions. the mac and cheese is bland and could use a sharper cheese. the dirty rice is just too dirty for me (although i'm not complaining about that). but this is still some great comfort food.

the neighborhood used to be known as freedman's town or the fourth ward, which was houston's "harlem." the restaurant has not only survived the gentrification of the area, but must be quite successful since they are building a new restaurant next door that they will be moving into. i think they will be able to attract more midtowners after the new place opens. the existing place is a dump, although i think it has a lot of character and is charming in it's own way.

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