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Cheap & Good Eats: Top 5 Budget Lunch Spots in EaDo

Our friends at the Houston Press offer their take on the best budget-friendly (under $10) lunch spots in EaDo (published October 13, 2013 by Brooke Viggiano):

Note: For the purposes of this post, ‘EaDo’ is defined as the triangle bounded by Highway 59 to the northwest, Interstate 45 to the southwest and the lines of freight railroad that stretch from Commerce to Cullen.

Honorable Mention: Sparkle’s Hamburger Spot, the old-time burger shack that serves huge and messy hand-formed burgers on the cheap. We recommend skipping the line and calling your order in for pick-up during the busy lunch hours.

5. Brothers Taco House

If you’re on the hunt for authentic tacos in east downtown, Dowling Street’s Brothers Taco House (open weekdays until 3 p.m. and weekends until 1 p.m.) is the way to go. Watch in awe as toothsome, fluffy tortillas are freshly prepared on a hot flattop right before your eyes. Then, check out the steam trays and decide what to fill said fluffy tortillas with. We love the thick, meaty lengua; the red sauce-coated chicharrón that bursts in your mouth with each bite; and the tender, fall-apart barbacoa (available only on weekend). The formerly cash-only spot now takes Visa and Mastercard, but you may not need it — the massive tacos are only a couple of bucks each. Warning: Two of these tacos are considered to be plenty for one person.

4. Huynh

We sometimes look to our city’s top chefs to point us in the right direction when it comes to good eats. In our series Where the Chefs Eat, more than a few cooks have praised home-style Vietnamese restaurant Huynh for us to take notice. Both Seth Siegel-Gardner and Brandi Key can’t get enough of the goi vit, a refreshing pulled-duck salad served with ginger dipping sauce that is yours for $8.95. Key even claims that it’s so “light and crisp and fatty and acidic,” she can eat it every day. Other standouts include goi cuon, pork and shrimp spring rolls (two for $2.95); bun bo xao, a stir-fried beef noodle bowl ($7.95); and bowls of aromatic pho ($6.95 for a regular, $8.50 for a large).

3. The Cajun Stop

Formerly known as Calliope’s Po-Boy, this creole hotspot is still serving up the same great comfort food with New Orleans flair. During lunch hours (daily from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.), you can get your fix of cajun-spiced shrimp, catfish and fried oyster platters — complete with fries and a salad — for just under $9. Looking for something else? No worries. The restaurant’s regular menu offers plenty of Crescent City favorites for less than $10. Try the rich, spicy chicken and sausage gumbo ($3.59 for a cup, $5.95 for a bowl); or fully dressed po-boys stuffed with fried crawfish and gravy-drenched roast beef ($9.25 and $7.25, respectively, for a small). They call the sandwiches small, but with 7-inch rolls and plenty of fillings, they are anything but.

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This article was originally published by the Houston Press on October 13, 2013.

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