: 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
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.