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$13 at Prince’s Hamburgers

Where: Prince’s Hamburgers, 3899 Southwest Freeway, 713-626-9950

What $13 gets you: Stuffed

It seems to me that $13 at Prince’s Hamburgers ought to cover lunch or dinner for two, but it doesn’t. Even if you steer clear of the big ticket items such as the fried shrimp basket ($9.95) or chicken-fried steak ($7.95) and just get the classics – two cheeseburgers with fries ($5.45 each) and two Cokes ($1.50 each) – you wind up breaking the bank. So what to do?

Go alone and pig out.

Recommended? Rave on.

Prince’s Hamburgers was born in the 1930s but it’s happily stuck in the 1950s. The place is kitschy and nostalgic with shiny vinyl barstools, cushy silver booths, cardboard cutouts of James Dean and all the golden oldies and doo-wop music you can stand.

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In addition to the regular lineup, Prince’s offers six specialty burgers ($6.50 each) that come with fries and onion rings. Tempted by The Alamo, which has queso, jalapenos and picante, I instead went for The Royal, topped with swiss and grilled mushrooms.

Our food critic Robb Walsh named Prince’s as one of “Eighteen Greater Houston Hamburgers You Need to Try Right Now.” Robb pointed out that the burgers are available medium-rare, and I wish I’d remembered that during my visit. Mine was big as a fist but dry, dry, dry. Fortunately I got a bottle of sweet tea ($1.50) and a pop-a-vein-in-your-forehead-thick strawberry shake ($2.95) to wash the beast down.

Bonus point: Frito Pie $3.95.

Todd Spivak

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