There’s a little red house not far from the University of Houston campus where the feisty Thelma Williams (who most think is a “character” but a few thin-skinned types find “bossy”) holds court as one of Texas’ top barbecue gurus, serving up hot, saucy, melt-off-the-bone brisket that she puts on an oak and pecan log fire at 5 every afternoon and then lets it slowly smoke until the next day. Thelma, who grew up in rural Louisiana, earned her cooking credentials by doing church suppers at Good Shepherd Baptist. Between the barbecue traditions of the great state of Louisiana and helping out the good Lord, Thelma created her own brand of barbecue so extraordinary that it was featured in a PBS documentary—the only food showcased from Texas. Thelma’s crispy fried catfish is also delicious and her apple pie is homemade heaven. The lunchtime crowd is a mix of downtown biz types, police, students and neighborhood folks. Despite her star status, we hope Thelma doesn’t change a thing. We like her screened-in porch and garage sale décor – and her spunky style.
She's back! A February fire gutted the Live Street location, Thelma moved to the corner of Southmore and Scott. It's a little bigger but it looks the same.