As I mentioned in the other post, I spontaneously came to Houston yesterday afternoon. I did not have anything in particular I wanted to do during this trip, other than seeing family and friends. My sister, always the adventurer, wanted to spend the afternoon together so she gave me a list of options: 1) eat, 2) get pedicure or…I could not let here finish, number 1 was all I needed to hear. We could go eat then figure out the rest of the afternoon. My sister started driving and eventually pulled into a strip mall parking lot. I immediately asked her where we were going as I did not initially see any place resembling a restaurant. Her response, “Le Pam’s and that’s all you need to know”. Copy that!
Le Pam’s House of Creole is located at 1644 FM 1960 W in Houston, Texas. The restaurant was located in a nondescript strip mall, much like most of the restaurants in north Houston.
Before we entered Le Pam’s, I could smell the wonderful scents emanating from its doors. I was so excited to visit the restaurant. As soon as we crossed the threshold, a lady, who I would come to know as Pam, welcomed my sister back to the restaurant. Pam has a huge, authentic personality. She was already smiling and began catching up with my sister. I did not know if my sister was a regular or if Pam could remember every customer.
At that point, it did not matter as I was fixated on the food. My sister then introduced me and without skipping a beat, Pam instructed one of the guys (didn’t catch his name) to grab me a sample of gumbo. It was a bit spicy but sooooo delicious. Pam then went through the entire menu, since it was my first time. She named gumbo, etouffe, stuffed bell peppers (no rice), shrimp creole, fried catfish, fried chicken wings, oxtails, turnip greens, mac and cheese, yams, black eyed peas, corn and cornbread. I had not noticed but there was a menu right above me.
She then went into the desserts and drinks. The desserts were peach cobbler, banana pudding, bread pudding and tea cakes. For those of you who do not know, tea cakes are like sugar cookies, but better. The drinks included water, tea, Kool Aid (tropical punch/watermelon and Jamaican mango) and an assortment of bottled drinks.
While there were so many food options, I ordered the oxtails with Mac and cheese and greens. Pam stated the greens were cooked with turkey, as opposed to pork. This is something I greatly appreciated. My sister ordered fried catfish with the same sides. Pam asked us to have a seat while the food was prepared. The dining room, appropriately named Bourbon Street, was a few steps away from where we ordered. There were quite a few tables available.
We grabbed our seat near the entrance. If you did not notice, the tables were socially distanced. Thanks Le Pam’s for continuing to enforce this.
Before too long, the dining area was full. We chatted and then the food arrived after a few minutes.
Fried Catfish. The catfish was well seasoned, crunchy, juicy and fresh. It was served with a single serving of cornbread, besides the the macaroni and greens. The macaroni was some of the best I have ever had in a restaurant, it reminded me of my late Aunt Florence’s baked mac. I would also like to say that all of the food had individual, distinct flavor. Rating: 4.9/5.
Oxtails. Before you food critics get on my posts and say that oxtails are not creole, please know the protein in and of itself does not make food a specific cuisine. The key is preparation, seasoning and a lot of love. The oxtails were fresh, delicious and served on a bed of rice and gravy. Much like the catfish, there was a distinct flavor to it. More importantly, the portion was huge…I could not finish it all. The oxtails were all meat and no fat, this is almost unheard of in restaurants nowadays. Rating: 4.8/5.
We had a peach cobbler to finish off the meal. The dish was served in a hot bowl with two spoons for my sister and I. Let me tell you, I could have eaten an entire mixing bowl of the cobbler. OMG!
Pam brought food to the other tables and checked on them individually. She took her time greeting the customers and inquiring about their stay. One customer inquired about her strawberry Kool Aid cake. It sounded like something I needed to buy. We really enjoyed our stay at Le Pam’s in Houston. Total price: $37. Wow!
Le Pam’s was a pleasant surprise during this quick visit to H-Town. Pam and her staff were so friendly and welcoming. It had been some time since I experienced such as atmosphere: great people and food. Houston has over 10,000 restaurants, not an exaggeration. If any of the cultural cuisines are similar to Le Pam’s, I can find myself doing more reviews in the future. Le Pam’s House of Creole was a great, first review. Thanks again Pam.