$13 at Tony's Mexican Restaurant and Cantina

Where: Tony’s Mexican Restaurant and Cantina, 2222 Ella Blvd., 713-862-6516

What $13 gets you: We spent our $13 on the Molé Poblano Dinner ($10.95, a chicken breast smothered in molé sauce, rice, beans, guacamole, tortillas) and the complimentary chips and hot sauce.

Unlike the other Tony’s restaurant in town, this Tony’s isn’t all that fancy -- or expensive -- but it still manages to serve up good Tex-Mex. Our dinner was a bargain at $10.95. The molé was spicy without having much of a burn factor, everything was hot and fresh, and the serving sizes were large without being embarrassingly huge.

Recommended: Yes. There’s enough of a variety to the menu that you can get fish, fajitas, molé, or even beef soup on the weekends (perfect for getting over that hangover). There are also plenty of the usual Tex-Mex enchiladas, tacos, tostadas and combo plates. The hot sauce and the sopapillas are both good.

Bonus point: The outside patio is a nice option when the heat doesn’t chase you inside.

Second bonus point: The bar is fully stocked and they serve a mean margarita.

Fair warning: Watch the parking. Tony’s neighboring businesses are fanatical about keeping their parking slots open for their own customers. And watch the lines. Happy hour is Thursdays to Saturdays, anytime after 4 p.m. The place gets pretty crowded, but the staff does a good job of keeping everyone happy and attended to. But it can get a bit loud in the main dining room. This isn’t the place for a quiet, romantic dinner with your new sweetie. – Olivia Flores Alvarez

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