I am moving to the Houston area in a few months,and was curious about Pappadeaux,and the other Pappas restaurants ( I've tried the bbq, in dallas,and thought it a good value,but not spectacular in flavor) anything special?,or that i need to stay away from?
I have been to the 2 Pappadeux spots in the Chicago area, and they are decent. I think they have some of the better snow crab legs around. For $14 you get a big 1.5 Lb portion. The happy hour deals on appetizers at the bar are also good. I also like their dirty rice, and the crab cakes are ok.
Most of the Pappas restaurants are fine, but not outstanding. Pappasito's serves pretty good fajitas, but with so many Mexcian food options in Houston they would never be my first choice. That being said, Pappas Brothers Steakhouse has a very good reputation. I have not been there myself, but it is consistently written up for having quality beef and a very nice wine selection.
Like Pappadeaux for "blackened" things...Otherwise, not very impressed...The steakhouse is supposed to be very good...
The Pappas family has been involved in the restaurant biz in Houston since at least the early 60s but they didn't start working their name into all their restaurant's names until the early 80s. They've always had a good reputation. The formula supposedly was 'good food, generous portions, modest prices, fun atmosphere.' They eschewed any kind of advertising, depending on word of mouth, which allowed them to put more food on the plate for the same price, which pleases a lot of diners. I think over the years, as the number of restaurants and concepts has grown, the quality has slipped and probably no where more than at the brisket houses. Prices are no longer modest.
I'd rate them as better than average for chain restaurants but in every case except probably the steak house, you can do a lot better at local places in Houston that are non-chain.
If you committed to chains, the Brisket House on the Gulf Fwy (I-45 S) just inside Loop 610 is supposed to be the best of those for some reason. The coffee shop next door, Dot, is an early Pappas concept that they don't claim on their website -- it's possibly the best 24 hour diner in Houston.
I always thought Pappadeaux was a ridiculously over-spiced version of Cajun but I went about a year and a half ago with some friends and they seem to have toned that down. I've never been impressed with Pappas Seafood House but lots of others are. I haven't ever been to Yia Yia Pappa Mia, their Greek place, nor the 2 upscale steak houses.
If you want another chain for Cajun, try Boudreaux's - its more casual (counter service), not such ridiculously large portions and more modest tabs. But we've had Cajuns and Creoles among us for decades before the Katrina evacuees came and there's lots of good places, from dives to Brennan's of Houston, run by the same family that runs Commander's Palace in NOLA.
When you get here start posting on the Texas board and we'll help you out. Maybe by then there'll even be a Houston board.
My only experience with any of their restaurants is with a Pappadeaux in Albuquerque. While not inexpensive, the value IS there. Food is consistently good and well presented. Service, too, is excellent and, note, the place is often very busy.
Ordinarily I avoid chain restaurants at any price point in favor of locally owned efforts. A desire for Cajun/Creole flavors and a Gulf Coast oriented menu took me to Pappadeaux and I keep returning whenever I'm in ABQ.
Now that the weather is warmer, I particularly like their Chopped Salad with Fried Crawfish (chicken is another option) @ $11.95; Creole Mustard dressing is terrific. Dinner special entrees, often blackened, with shrimp or crab sauces are well done and generous; usually priced $18.95 - $22.95.
I'm a fan. I wish they were a public company so I could buy their stock.