Keith Lee’s visit to Houston in November was part of his national food tour to try some of the best eateries in town, and one entrepreneur was determined to have the food critic try a popular item from his menu.

According to KPRC-TV, Ishmael Wilson is a college student and owner of HTX Food Plug in Houston. He posted a video on Nov. 20 to his TikTok account, just days before Lee and his family visited the city.

At the time, the ambitious business owner asked his followers to tag Lee to try his Flaming Hot Cheeto boudin balls. Wilson’s viral plea paid off, as he caught the food critic’s attention.


I would love for @keith_lee125 to pull up ! All my supporters Tag him below 💯

♬ original sound – Htxfoodplug🤩

On Monday, the 27-year-old took to TikTok and stitched Wilson’s original video with an update — a taste test of the boudin balls.

In the three-minute video, Lee discussed how Wilson almost got his truck towed at an airport after promising to deliver food to Lee and his family before they left Houston. He also shared the pair’s text thread, where he asked Wilson if he could try the boudin balls after watching a video of customers trying the famous treat.


#stitch with @Htxfoodplug🤩 Houston Boudin Ball taste test 💕 would you try it ? 💕 #foodcritic

♬ original sound – Keith Lee

“Yo my name is Keith, God bless you. I would love to have a quick conversation with you if you available able potentially trying some boudin balls. I never do this, but we leave soon so I’m at my last option. I appreciate you,” Lee wrote.

Lee said the night before he left, Wilson reached out about delivering food to him at the airport.

“Yes sir most definitely is it possible if I can whip you and your family up some boudin balls and pasta tomorrow! I’m a college student so I do open on weekends at the moment just to have time for school but I’ll be more then happy to serve you ! I know you do not like special treatment but this is the only way I can get you squared away if I go in and prep you a few orders tomorrow. Id that fine with you Mr. Keith? I do not have class tomorrow as the semester is winding down,” Wilson explained in the text.

Wilson kept his promise and drove to the airport to deliver the food and meet Lee. He also sent Lee photos of him at the airport with the famed boudin balls, per KPRC-TV.

Minutes later, Lee walked outside to meet Wilson, and the two walked back inside and conducted the highly anticipated taste test of the boudin balls.

“That’s solid, I don’t even like Hot Cheetos,” Lee said in the video. “It leaves a good crust. If it wasn’t for the crust, I wouldn’t like this at all, I ain’t going to lie to you because I’m a texture person. … It’s fire though.”

Lee rated the boudin balls with an 8.9/10. He also said he respected Wilson’s hustle and gifted the college student $2,500 to use to fix the dent in his truck door and whatever else he needed with the funds.

On Wednesday, Wilson shared a video on TikTok, thanking Lee for the money. He said he used the funds to buy a new fryer, a stainless steel table and a refrigerator.


Thank you for believing in me @keith_lee125 i decided to invest in myself and back into my business with your blessing thank you once again 🙌🏾🖤

♬ original sound – Htxfoodplug🤩