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$13 at Jax Grill in Bellaire

Where

: Jax Grill, 6510 S. Rice, 713-668-3606

What $13 gets you: A giant slab of crispy fried chicken, a bowl of thick cream gravy and a stack of seasoned fries so tasty you and your little ones will be saying “mmmm” with every bite.

The Press has done much to celebrate chicken fried steak but has said little about the wonders of chicken fried chicken. As a midwesterner, I'd never seen either on a menu until moving to Texas. To me, CFC is the better of the two. And Jax Grill does CFC right. As my gal likes to say, it has all the essential yellow food groups.

Recommended? Yep.

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It's no stretch to say that Jax Grill is the best family restaurant in Bellaire. Prices are fair, portions are big and the place is always filled with harried young families and tables of chatty teens. It also doubles as an ice house. So parents can feel relatively guilt-free about getting their buzz on with babies in tow.

Unfortunately, not everything on the menu is worth getting. The soups ($3.50) are bad, the nachos ($4.95-$7.50) a mess and the burgers ($3.55-$4.95) dry. The steaks are good but pricey.

My family's favorites are the grilled shrimp salad ($7.95) - five large mesquite grilled shrimp on fresh greens with tomatoes, avocado, black olives and sweet peppers - and, of course, the CFC ($7.50), which is big enough to split threeways (mom, dad, toddler) and cheap enough to afford a couple beverages, too.

Bonus point: Large outdoor patio facing Bissonnet Boulevard. – Todd Spivak

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