: Fadi's Mediterranean Grill, 4738 Beechnut, 713-666-4644 (and 8383 Westheimer, 713-532-0666)
What $13 gets you: Lots of good-for-you Mediterranean food, including a healthy number of vegetarian choices. During our lunchtime visit I went with the spinach pie ($2.99), three sides (Greek salad, stuffed grape leaves and cucumber salad) ($5.99) and a fresh squeezed orange juice ($2.59). My dining partner had the falafel platter with three falafel and two sides (tabuli and hummus) ($6.99), a fresh strawberry juice ($2.59) and baklava ($1.59). Each of us made it under the $13 limit.
While we had vegetarian meals, broiled chicken, broiled lamb shank and fish (one meat, one salad, one vegetable and rice, $8.99 to $10.99) were all available, as were lamb, beef and chicken kababs ($3.99). Each is served with the requisite fragrant rice and baked potato wedges or eggplant, and fresh-from-the-oven pita bread.
Recommended: Yes. Vegetarians and meat-eaters alike will find something at Fadi's. It's well-prepared, well-presented and always of high quality. The wall behind the cash register at the Meyerland location is filled with much deserved awards and citations for excellence, including a Marvin Zindler Award for 2005.
Bonus point: The Fadi's Sampler, a bit of all the dips, salads and vegetables (at least a dozen selections) with your choice of meat, is a fabulously cheap $9.99 at lunch and $11.99 at dinner. - Olivia Flores Alvarez