HOUReview

photo credit: Richard Casteel

Turkey Leg Hut review image
8.5

Turkey Leg Hut

$$$$

4830 Almeda Rd, Houston
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There’s no place like Turkey Leg Hut. What started as a couple serving turkey legs to hungry rodeo-goers from a food truck has evolved into a Third Ward institution. On any given weekend there’ll be a line wrapped around the building with local devotees and tourists who want to see what all of the hype is about. But mainly, people are at Turkey Leg Hut for a good time, frozen drinks, and specialty turkey leg concoctions you could never make up on your own.

Turkey Leg Hut specializes in smoked turkey legs—staples at the rodeo or the fair, the enormous kind that you’d walk around with like a Flintstones character. But here, they’re dressed up and stuffed with dirty rice, mac ‘n cheese, or crawfish mac n cheese—something you cannot get anywhere else. These plates aren’t just delicious, they’re fun, over-the-top, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. There’s even a turkey leg that’s both topped and stuffed with a spicy Cajun alfredo sauce (which involves zero pasta, just alfredo sauce and dirty rice). So sorry to Fred Flinstone and family, but you can’t walk around with these, which is why they’re served on trays the size of your head. They also have milder variations like a plain leg, or one glazed in a Hennesy-based sauce, but where’s the fun in that?

Turkey Leg Hut review image

photo credit: Richard Casteel

The inviting atmosphere at Turkey Leg Hut has upbeat music and friendly service that attracts everyone and their mama. You’ll see micro-influencers wearing sunglasses and smoking hookah inside, families wrangling small children in between turkey leg bites, and aunties grooving to Al Green as they tear into boudin balls. And they don’t get in the way of each other, save for the occasional person cutting a two-step in the middle of the aisles (because the frozen margaritas are strong enough to inspire such a thing).

As much as we love Turkey Leg Hut, it’s not perfect: there’s the line, sometimes with an hours-long wait on the weekends. Servers are sometimes nowhere to be found when it’s busy. And then there are controversies like a selectively enforced “family-friendly” dress code (no excessively revealing or baggy clothing, and no shower caps or du-rags), noise complaints from neighbors, and even legal troubles between Turkey Leg Hut’s co-owners. Some of it is outside of management’s control, and some of it is self-inflicted. But it doesn’t take away from what they’re doing— if anything, it adds to the buzz. 

If you plan to go to Turkey Leg Hut on the weekend, you can skip the line by going to the food truck parked out front. Or you can spare yourself the wait and make reservations. They require a $25 per person down payment, but it goes toward your bill, and it’s worth it to just breeze to the front of the line and head straight to your table. Still, Turkey Leg Hut feels at its best on a weekday— casual, relaxed, and a little familial. There may be less dancing aunties, but you can still enjoy the massive turkey legs and the goodness of the rodeo without the wait or the rodeo chaos. But, hey, a little Turkey Leg Hut chaos is good for the soul.

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Food Rundown

Turkey Leg Hut review image

photo credit: Richard Casteel

Cajun Crawfish Macaroni & Cheese Leg

A mountain of crawfish macaroni and cheese, and creamy cajun alfredo sauce completely envelop the smoked turkey leg, save for a few, barely visible slivers underneath. The macaroni and crawfish are decadent and good enough to be their own dish, but still complement the meat. If you order this leg, (or any leg here, really) the bone will slide out from under the toppings so easily you’ll question if it was ever attached in the first place.

Turkey Leg Hut review image

photo credit: Richard Casteel

Cajun Bowl

This dish calls on a star-studded cast of jumbo shrimp, fresh salmon, crawfish mac ‘n cheese, and cajun alfredo sauce. But the standout performance by far is from the dirty rice, which serves as the spicy base of the bowl.

Turkey Leg Hut review image

photo credit: Richard Casteel

Dirty Rice

You’ll find dirty rice both stuffed inside several turkey legs and as a standalone item to order. The rice and ground beef are tender and the dish is full of cajun spice and no shortage of heat.

Turkey Leg Hut review image

photo credit: Richard Casteel

Big Boudin Balls

The crispy, golden-brown boudin balls here are only technically a finger food—their massive size makes a fork and knife all but required. They come with a spicy, tangy barbecue-like secret sauce and waffle fries, which are less exciting, but great for when you want to try more of the sauce.

Turkey Leg Hut review image

photo credit: Richard Casteel

Cowboy Beans

This baked bean dish is hearty, savory, with just the right amount of sweetness. Who knew cowboys were eating this well?

Turkey Leg Hut review image

photo credit: Richard Casteel

Drinks

Turkey Leg Hut has an extensive cocktail list, but you should stick with the frozen drinks— they’re strong and so sweet you can barely taste the alcohol. If you want to make your drink a double, you can upgrade to a recycled 1942 Don Julio bottle and cosplay like you’re on spring break in Vegas (but they will keep your ID as collateral).

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