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Houston's This Is It Soul Food - 12 Reviews - 207 W Gray St, Houston, TX - Southern Restaurants Reviews - Phone (713) 659-1608

Houston's This Is It Soul Food

207 W Gray St
Houston, TX 77019
(713) 659-1608
Incorrect info? Correct your listing


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I've lived in Houston all my life (little over 25yrs) and I had no idea this place existed until I took a tour of the 4th Ward (DiscoverHoustonTours). It was a perfect ending to a...


Me and my father were very hungry and he knew of this place but hadn't remembered why. After we left he was reminded really quick. Bad service, luke warm almost cold food, they di...

Greasy, overpriced food, poor customer service,bad attitudes 4/7/2010

It's a shame that a lot of "minority" restaurants fail not because of their food- but for much simpler reasons - poor customer service. I went to this restaurant and was ignored by a big, obese cashier until I had to say something to her. But even the food didn't save this place - the short ribs were soaked in grease and disgusting, the vegetables mushy and overcooked- you could easily cook the food served in this restaurant at home and get MUCH better results without the bad service. Pros: None. Cons: Overpriced, poor service,disgusting, greasy food more

The rudest people I have ever seen 10/24/2009

I went to this is it . These people are so rude . I asked for the prices and they rolled their eye and laughed at me and my husband . I asked for the manager ,and she was much better . We received our order ,left and never to return . Ps. We travel over 1000 miles to receive that kind of sevice .The rating is 0. Pros: none Cons: Bad sevice more

SO NOT IT.. 8/16/2009

Me and my father were very hungry and he knew of this place but hadn't remembered why. After we left he was reminded really quick. Bad service, luke warm almost cold food, they didn't even list prices on the menu!!! Adding tax to every lil thing and its only soul food? Where is almost 30 dollars for two people reasonable in a soul food place?!!! And how did the receipt not have the prices for what the person paid for? I'm sorry but we are never going again. Good day to you all. more

Great soul food experience 12/31/2008

I hear about soul food all the time from friends which set high expectations. The very first soul food experience i had was Sylvia's Soul Food in New York which had HIGH merits. . . I thought it was less than mediocre. Even my African-American friends that brag about soul food were embarrassed. Granted it was a very LARGE party and the service was more a catering job. But This Is It restored some confidence in Soul Food. The atmosphere was great, very clean and the decor was interesting enough to keep you some what busy in the hour wait ahead. An interesting note was how this place made a million in 1998. . . would be profitable to spend a fraction on that to upgrading service to speed up the line. Everyone seems to talk about how "cheap" the entrees are, which fooled me. For the price I paid, I expected MUCH more. I wanted the best, so I asked business owner Craig Joseph himself which was the best. He pointed out the Ox-Tail and the pork chops. So our party split, 2 Ox-tails and 2 pork chops. Sweet tea was flawless. Cornbread was heavenly, Ox-Tail was glorious, Pork Chops.... OK. I read a lot of reviews meriting the mac and cheese; I, however, thought it was mediocre. Steamed cabbage, green beans, collard greens, rice and gravy; all good but all could be better here or elsewhere. Pros: Good Soul Food Experience for the curious and first timers. Cons: For the time and the price paid... expectation was NOT met more

Great ending to Houston tour 4/24/2008

I've lived in Houston all my life (little over 25yrs) and I had no idea this place existed until I took a tour of the 4th Ward (DiscoverHoustonTours). It was a perfect ending to a tour of one of the oldest historic areas in Houston. This is the perfect spot to catch a glimpse of what's left of the 4th Ward. It's good 'ol Southern, home-style soul food, so if you're into the "healthy fad" and counting calories, this is not the place for you. The portions are huge, so 10 bucks covered my lunch and dinner. I had the chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes with the most flavorful brown gravy, green beans, mac n cheese, and corn bread. It was all delicious and very filling. I had the pleasure of meeting the owner, Mr. Craig Joseph, the most down-to-earth and one of the few, if not the only minority business owner on that part of the strip on W.Gray. Also, if you notice the broken sidewalk, or lack of sidewalk, don?t blame Mr. Joseph, the City of Houston should be ashamed of itself for not fixing this problem. I find it a disturbing coincidence that this minority establishment is the only one on that strip without a nice sidewalk. Visit their website (thisisithouston) for the restaurant?s brief background before you go. It will definitely enrich the experience, because this shouldn't be your typical dining experience, it should be one about culture, history, and of course, lots of good food. Pros: good portions, flavorful food, affordable Cons: can't think of any more

If you know what to expect...then This IS it. 5/27/2007

I've lived in Houston all my life(30 years). I grew up in Acres Homes(one of the poorer black neighborhoods for you tourists). I grew up on "Soul Food" ( mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, 2 aunts) and I am an award winning chef on the amateaur level. I know what good food tastes like....And I know what good soul food tastes like. I hear my friends and co-workers RAVE about this place, but I also tasted the food my freinds bring from home, its usually not very good. Now saying that, and after eating at This is It I can say this: If you NEVER had "Soul Food" before, or your family members were'nt very good at making it, then this place is a GREAT example of Soul Food cuisine. The sloppy service and crappy building is just part of the enjoy!!! Now If your Grandmother can put her foot in some black-eyed peas, if her Ox Tails make you want to shoot somebody, if her Bannana pudding will make you sell your sister, then This IS It will dissapoint you IN A MAJOR WAY. Its HIGHLY overrated to someone who knows what good soul food is. So just Go to Big Mamma's house if your in the mood for the good stuff. Pros: Might catch a local celebrity eating here Cons: Small Parking more

This is NOT it, this is HORRIBLE! 2/10/2007

Thing 02 and I ventured here for breakfast today this Sunday morning (10AM) with high expectations. We had heard much about the down home, southern cooking from "This is it". Unfortunately we were sorely disappointed. Let's start from the beginning...after sitting at two tables that were dirty we finally settled on one that was...passable. From there we must have waited at least 10 minutes before being greated and given menus (the waitress was on the phone, and of course we all know how difficult it is to wait tables with a phone to your ear). Once the menus were delivered the waitress proceeded to hover over us until we were ready to order. We ordered the basics, eggs, grits, bacon, ham, biscuits (store bought mind you, not homemade) and toast. With that out of the way we now had an opportunity to sit back and soak up the atmosphere - three employes hanging out talking on the phone or to each other, owner oblivious to all. While waiting on our food we noticed that the table next to us had begun to recieve their food, one plate at a time seperated by 3-5 minute intervals. Our order arrived one plate at a time (has any body ever heard of a tray?) sans biscuits. When I asked the waitress about the biscuit she assured me that I had ordered toast...oh well not wishing to make a stink, I sucked it up. The eggs and grits were o.k., greasy, no seasoning...bacon was fair, ham was inedible. I know how can something as simple as ham be inedible...if you want to find out then don't heed our warning...drop six bucks for yourself and find out. Overall, one of the worst dining experiences we've had in Houston. I've been here for 12 yrs and Thing 02 for two, we are not overly picky eaters but we do appreciate the simple things like cleanliness (I do observe the 5 second rule), courteousness, timeliness, ambiance and most importantly good value for your buck. In closing, I would not eat there with a goat, I would not eat there in a boat.... "This is NOT it". Pros: None Cons: To numerous to list here. more

"This Is It" says it all 1/3/2007

This Is It - the name is highly appropriate. Each year, on our annual trek from Seattle, a visit or two to this restaurant is at the top of our list. First, the food is fantastic! Yes it is high in all the bad things you would expect from southern cooking. However, this is why we come here, to eat all those things that we deny ourselves during the year. The service is what you would expect at a cafeteria (self serve) style establishment. However they more than make up for it once you are seated with continual and very courteous table service. Impossible to try everything - we still need a few year's to sample ( maybe our daughter will continue on to grad school). This Is It! Gotta' have it!! more

Avoid this restaurant 9/20/2006

My husband and I were in the mood for good homemade food-but to our surprise we ate food that was similar to dog food. After trying the food- we left! I now understand where our tax money goes to-medical care for customers that eat here. So fatting and unhealthy. The beans were not homemade-they tasted like ranch-style can beans! How hard is it to make beans? I am surprise the health inspection dept. allows this place to be in business. DO NOT EAT HERE! It is like eating slop-whatever that tastes like. Cons: Bad food-low quality more

great home cooking 8/17/2005

I am from East Texas, so to me great soul food is a must. But I went off to college and i really didnt know of any places, my cousin who moved here 4 years ago told me about it but i never had the chance. So i did and i must tell you it does remind you of home and how good soul food should taste. IT is seasoned and cooked to perfection. i am usually very very picky on food and dont try anything but since i am away from home it is a great place to eat to remind you of back home. I would really recommend this place to any college student of anybody who wants a taste of home and good soul food cooking. Pros: great service, food, friendliness Cons: small parking more

Just Like Home 7/25/2004

I had heard about this place and it was better than expected. The food was too much like home, I almost cried. The service was normal for that type of restaurant (self-serve). The place was very clean. The only draw back is the small parking lot. I was fortunate enough to go when it wasn't too busy but I can see it being a problem during busier times. Pros: food, food, food more

Yes, Lord 8/19/2002

Don't tell my momma I said this but the food at This Is It is the best for miles around. Everything is good, try the barbecue rib ends, or the smothered chicken, and if you're feeling adventurous try some chittlin's (das right, I said chittlin's), Pass the hot sauce, please. This is it get's "Lick Yo' Fingers In Public" award in my book!! Pros: good portions, true homestyle, always good more
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Menu for Houston's This Is It Soul Food

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  • In Short
    A move up the street to a larger and spiffier new location has not stifled the soul of this soul-food institution. Devotees of the home-cooked menu expect hearty meals, including meatloaf, yams, braised oxtails, chitlins, barbecue ribs and biscuits. It's also a handy spot for breakfast, and the TV is always on for customers looking for news programs or soaps.

  • 12/7/2006 Provided by Citysearch

Additional information

  • Hours:

    Mon-Fri 11am-8pm; Sat 6:30am-8pm; Sun 6:30am-6pm
  • Payments:

    Diner's Club, Master Card, Discover, Visa, American Express, Cash
  • Neighborhoods:

    Midtown, South Central