Très Simple

The most basic -- and inexpensive -- dish at Café Descours (1330 D Wirt Road, 713-681-8894) also happens to be the best dish at this bistro sibling of Pâtisserie Descours. The chicken française ($9.50) is comfort food with a French accent; a meaty chicken breast is pounded out, then lightly breaded and sautéed. The lemon butter drizzled on top is recognizable, but not overpowering, and it serves especially well as a light sauce for the fresh green beans and aptly named buttery mashed potatoes. This pleasant diversion from the trend du jour reminds us that the best things in life may not be free, but they can be easy.

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Melanie Knight