$13 at The Black Labrador Pub on Montrose

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Where: The Black Labrador Pub, 4100 Montrose Blvd, 713-529-1199

What $13 gets you: Many of their main course dishes for either brunch or lunch.

The Black Labrador during the daytime has the most wonderful ambience. Located next to the Montrose branch of the Houston Public Library, you can go in for a book and then sit outside and read while you order and eat. The outdoor tables allow patrons to bring their dogs along and there were several there on a recent pleasant Saturday.

It's best to remember that the Black Labrador is an English sort of eating establishment. Thus, my dining partner who ordered a brunch offering of grilled glazed ham, potatoes with sausage mixed in, scrambled eggs and a small fruit cup had a wonderful meal. The ham was delicious and the potatoes superb. In fact, so much food came for $12.99 that she was able to make another meal out of her takeout order.

I, alas, was an idiot, deciding instead to order a cream-covered crepe filled with chicken and al dente broccoli with a side of wild rice. It just wasn't well done. The textures didn't combine well in the crepes and the cream lay like a heavy lump on top. It was a poor approximation of what I think may have been intended as French cooking.

Recommended? Yes, especially if you like dogs, books and sitting outdoors. Service is fairly accommodating and you can just sit there and soak up all that is good about Houston.

Bonus point: Nearly all the meals are British, including bangers and mash. So for far less than what it would cost you to fly to London, you can go here and get your Anglophile on.

-- Margaret Downing

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