Dining on a budget near campus
By this point in the semester, it’s understandable to begin lacking emotional excitement for servery food. We’ve all had our fair share of grilled chicken, caesar salads and fries, which have become somewhat repetitive for the palate. Luckily, Houston is a culinary extravaganza for lovers of all cuisines. If you’re looking for new, fresh bites, take a look at four affordable restaurants close to campus for your next meal.
Craving authentic soup for the soul? A 10-minute Metro trip from Rice’s campus, Pho Saigon sits in Midtown proving that sometimes classics never get old. Offering a range of traditional Vietnamese items from bánh mì to vermicelli bowls to the almighty Pho Bò (beef pho), the restaurant boasts great value, as most items fall in the price range of $8 to $10.
Pho Saigon sells both beef and chicken pho in small and large sizes, accompanied by a plate of standard pho toppings: bean sprouts, lemon slices, cilantro, basil leaves and spicy green peppers. Of course, hoisin and sriracha sauces are already sitting on the table upon arrival. If you’re not a big pho person, try your hand at the house spring rolls or charbroiled pork chop rice plate.
Agnes Café & Provisions
In the mood for brunch near campus? At Agnes, you’ll find both typical breakfast foods and modern twists on classics, such as baklava granola with Bulgarian yogurt priced at $6. About a 20-minute walk from campus, the self-described “loosely Mediterranean” restaurant also boasts a $9 avocado toast on sourdough topped with sunflower seeds, as well as a $10 lamb sausage stuffed flatbread if you’re feeling particularly adventurous.
Being a cafe, Agnes offers a number of caffeinated drinks and baked goods to help start your morning — including a $4 daily homemade scone as well as Americanos and other espresso drinks for about $3. Head over to this new, fun space for a reasonably priced modern breakfast.
Oishii Japanese Restaurant
Any self-proclaimed sushi connoisseur will appreciate the $1 priced nigiri and sashimi offered at Oishii — surprising, considering the high quality of their plates. Notable menu items include agedashi tofu with bonito flakes for $3.50, tempura udon for $7.50 and Hokkaido hotate (scallop nigiri) for $2.50. Oishii is a 15-minute Metro ride away, a small price to pay for $4 rolls and $8 chicken katsu.
Located on the other side of Hermann Park, Fadi’s is a Mediterranean and Lebanese restaurant about a 4-minute Metro ride away from Rice’s campus. The owner, Fadi Dimassi, has been serving family recipes for 25 years in Houston and has received many impressive culinary awards for his work along the way.
Between their lamb kabobs, gyro wraps, house chicken curry and Greek salad with feta, Fadi’s has something for everyone. Vegetarian options include a falafel plate, veggie wrap and pomegranate eggplant, and most main plates are reasonably sold for $8.99. Be sure to end the meal on a sweet note with their baklava or rice pudding.
More from The Rice Thresher
Main Street Theater’s production of “Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley” is a play that serves as a sequel to Jane Austen’s classic “Pride and Prejudice.” Lauren Gunderson’s clever script showcases the Bennet sisters once again, this time spending Christmas together at Pemberley. This farcical romantic-comedy focuses on awkward middle sister Mary Bennet (Chaney Moore) as she finds love with Mr. Darcy’s equally awkward cousin, Arthur de Bourgh (Aaron Alford). Main Street Theater presents an excellent production of the show with very few missteps and is only a walk to Rice Village away from campus. Performances will continue through Dec. 19 with $10 student tickets.
Adele’s fourth studio album “30” is a vulnerable amalgamation of jarring rhythms and soulful influences. Released on Nov. 19, “30” generated widespread critical acclaim for its candid, emotional narration of Adele’s divorce from Simon Konecki. Despite her previously established reputation for a rich vocal range and expressive, emotional lyricism, listeners and critics alike have lauded the new record as Adele’s greatest musical risk to date. A poignant account of the turbulence of family, love, fame, and heartbreak, “30” reiterates Adele’s timeless ability to storytell in a way that touches the hearts of fans everywhere.
It is beginning to look a lot like the holiday season with the lit up Christmas tree at Fondren, Mariah Carey playing at the President’s barbecue and lights wound around trees in Rice Village. To reel in the Houston winter vibes, look no further for a list of holiday attractions to visit during dead days to avoid studying for finals.