Jenni's Noodle House - Shepherd

3111 S Shepherd | Houston, TX 77098

It's hard to say which is more alluring: the jaw-droppingly cheap prices or the winking, witty atmosphere. In either case, this unassuming Vietnamese-American establishment gives customers expertly prepared Vietnamese food at remarkably reasonable rates. The menu's three categories--Deals, Steals and $8 Meals--sums it up. At $6, a bracing order of lemongrass chicken is a deal. Five Disco Dumplings, bathed in ginger-jalapeno soy sauce, are a steal at $5. The vegan-friendly Art Car Curry, with potatoes, carrots and mushrooms in a coconut-based bisque, is a great $8 value.

There's a $20-minimum purchase when using credit cards.

College students (with ID) get a free soft drink when ordering an entree before 6 p.m.

For a couple bucks more, portions can be "super dupered" to satisfy bigger-than-dumpling appetites.