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Photo by Houston Press Staff

Cafe Rabelais

This tiny French cafe in Rice Village does a remarkable job of re-creating lovable peasant dishes from the French countryside. Try merguez and frites (lamb sausage and french fries) or a goat cheese-and-olive tart or even a chicken liver-and-poached-egg salad for lunch. The blackboard menu also might include steak salad, bavette frites (flank steak and french fries) or an old-fashioned vegetable potage. Cafe Rabelais's mottled cream-colored walls look like old plaster, and somehow the French rural look is absolutely charming despite the shopping center parking lot outside the window.