$7 at Canary Café and Grill

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Where: Canary Cafe and Grill, 3511 Elgin St., 77004, 713-658-0088

What $7 gets you: A pretty hefty Greek salad with gyro meat or a sandwich combo (falafel, kabobs, shawarma, or gyros) with fries and a drink.

The first time we tried Canary Café and Grill, it was at the end of last semester. When we walked in, we ran into a classmate eating what he described as some of the best lentil soup he'd ever had. The place was empty except for one student, who was ignoring his laptop and watching a game on TV instead. The walls were plastered with advertisements for Kronos Gyros, and the bulletin boards and business cards all advertised "All Halal - tell your friends!" We got a gyro combo ($6.95) with fries and a drink, and bought an extra hummus ($2.99) to share. We took it to go and ate family-style with friends.

Last Thursday, after a bombardment of flyers on the cars on campus, we decided to hit up Canary for dinner. When word got out we were going on a food run, some friends gave us orders and cash. We handed the smiling man behind the counter our friends' orders: a gyro combo with fries and a drink ($6.95) and a falafel sandwich ($3.95) with fries ($1.59), and then asked for another minute to figure out what we wanted. We were on a budget, and we wanted to stretch our dollar. We finally decided on a large Greek salad with gyro meat on top ($6.95).

As we were waiting, a group of giggling students walked in. We couldn't help but overhear them correcting their friends on how to pronounce gyros ("It's pronounced yooroo" "Gyro?" "No, yooorooo"), and suppressed a chuckle. After a couple of minutes, we were informed they were out of chicken, so we ordered our friends beef kabob sandwiches instead. We asked the man behind the counter how long Canary had been open. "One week," he said. They had a fire and apparently had to close over the holiday break.

We were surprised how huge our salad was. Our Styrofoam container was packed with lettuce, meat and creamy feta. The gyro meat was standard fare, but we'll still be back next time we're craving a Greek salad.

Recommended: Yes. Ours was great, and having snuck bites of our friend's food, we can tell you that it was too. This is quality food at college-friendly prices.

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