$7 at Blodgett's Fish Market

Where: Blodgett's Fish Market, 2603 Blodgett St., 713-526-1222

What $7 will get you: Anything on the menu, and then some.

Don't be confused by the fish in the name--most people come here for the chicken, not the batch of catfish on ice behind a small glass window at the counter.

The staple is three hefty wings and a heap of fried rice. The chicken is satisfactory, and the rice might be mediocre if it weren't a little stale. The order exemplifies this restaurant's specialty, though, which is filling you up for cheap.

That $7 could bring you eight pieces of dark meat and two small dinner rolls, with plenty of change to spare. Or chicken can be combined with any assortment of fried seafood and still fall well under the mark. (There are also cheeseburgers and pork chop sandwiches on hand.)

One customer said he comes here because the portions are bigger than the puny wings he got at the other (and more popular) chicken and rice place down the street. Another said the fish sandwich was the best value he could find for $1.99. And still another said he was thrilled the place had never made him sick.

We tried the gumbo. An entire crab seemed to have been crushed into the 16-ounce paper container, and, once we popped the plastic top, red juice splashed all over the table.

By table, though, we mean arcade game. The seating arrangements consist of four dusty table-top Pac Man machines. It was a little tough to maneuver through the gumbo with an elbow on the joystick. But for those who want to slump down as they await their brown paper bags, there was plenty of unclaimed room. And the ambience is quite obviously get-your-food-and-get-out--you place your order through a protective cage like those commonly found at after-hours gas stations.

Recommended? If you're insatiably hungry and/or love Pac Man, by all means.

Bonus Point: There's video poker in back. And you can buy cigarettes.

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