HOME > Chowhound > Chains >



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?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. Like Pappadeaux for "blackened" things...Otherwise, not very impressed...The steakhouse is supposed to be very good...

        1. 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.

          1. 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.

            3 Replies
            1. re: fyfas

              I have been to Albuquerque many times (used to live in Roswell), but when I'm there i can never seem to get past the old Powdrells,on central....even if I intended to go somewhere else ,I will try Pappadeaux when i get to Houston,thx for the input.

              1. re: jword2001

                When the BBQ urge is pulsing strong I, too, had for Powdrell's but I go to other one on 4th Street only because there they serve beer. Think the reason for no beer on Central is deference to the church across the street.

                1. re: fyfas

                  Funny you said that,my friends always swore by Quaters,because of the beer,since i dont drink it i never tried the Quaters, does Pappadeaux carry a liquor license?

            2. I'm in Houston and I really enjoy the FOOD at Pappadeaux, Pappasito's and Pappas Seafood House. I don't really care for the food at their Greek concept, Yia Yia Mary's, although I'm in the minority on that. What I don't care for is, I've never seen a restaurant group so blatantly discourage solo diners from being seated in the dining room. (One of the Pappasito's locations on Richmond flat out doesn't allow it - they told me I had a choice of the bar or takeout. Maybe it was just a peak time - lunch away from the office - I don't know. But I haven't patronized a Pappas establishment since.)

              But the food is uniformly excellent, so I may just give them another chance.

              1. I enjoy Pappadeaux and it is the best cajun I can get here in the Denver area. I worked at Pappas Seafood House in Houston one summer and they do have very high service standards (or they did then). I was in Houston taking care of my mom for a month last summer and we made it to Yia Yia's (the greek restaurant) once. I still dream of the yummy lemon potatoes but recall that everything I had was good. The family is greek so I find it a little weird that this is their one and only greek restaurant. The concept there is order at the counter and then they bring the food to your table so it is a bit different.

                1 Reply
                1. re: RobynS

                  there used to be a place in the tech center...bayou bob's???? if i remember that was pretty good

                2. I have eaten several times at one outside of Chicago. Tasty food, bit overpriced, but still enjoyable. I used to like them more til I went to a small hole in the wall cajun place and was blown away but the good food at a good value. So now, I go there instead. But you are pretty safe at Pappadeaux.

                  1. So, I am going to Pappadeaux tonight for the first time with my office crew to celebrate a promotion (not me, the boss' wife). What's good? I am eyeing the Crawfish Platter. Do they serve hurricanes? Thanks!

                    1. Pappadeaux, like most of the Pappas restaurants, is overpriced; two little pieces of catfish teetering atop a huge mound of lackluster fries, for $13.95. However, Pappas' Seafood House, and especially Little Pappas Seafood on Shepherd, are much nicer. (Costs more, but the food is worth it.)

                      Lots of people love Pappasito's, but it's just run of the mill chain Tex-Mex, IMHO.

                      I haven't been to their steakhouse on Westheimer, but Pappas Grill on the Southwest Freeway is excellent.

                      1. So, here is my first-time report. For the appetizer we had the Pappatizer, which is 2 large plates of fried calamari, crawfish, alligator, chicken, fries and onion rings. It's not on the menu most likely because it's $34.95. There were 7 of us so we devoured it in short order.

                        For dinner I had a special which was a swordfish steak in a wine/butter sauce topped with crawfish, shrimp and 2 scallops. Dirty rice on the side. It was delicious.

                        2 Hurricanes and I was feeling no pain. Would return again sometime but wouldn't want to visit every week (or month for that matter).

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: nypb

                          Next visit go for Swamp Things instead of Hurricanes.


                          1. re: GroovinGourmet

                            i'm in austin so there are better seafood options and better cajun places than pappadeux, but when i do go, i find that the fried crawfish appetizer (which comes with a large serving of fries) is plenty to make a meal out of, is very good, and i think its $7.95. to me thats a good value for dinner at a restaurant. if i'm really hungry, that appetizer and a greek salad for one split with my wife is more than enough food.

                            1. re: GroovinGourmet

                              Cool, thanks for the suggestion. The Hurricanes were "ok" but a bit too sweet and pulp-y for my taste. What's in a Swamp Thing?

                              I love the Hurricanes at Gumbos (I'm in Austin).

                              1. re: nypb

                                Swamp Thing is a frozen, blended concoction, with a mix of green and red hues, the green being Midori. Not as sweet as a Hurricane, but still a sweet drink...you have to cover up the booze somehow! Very refreshing, especially if you go with some of the spicier dishes on the menu.

                                And sbhlaw makes a good point. Portion size is such you can make a nice meal out of just an appy and drinks, maybe a salad. I like the oyster/crab fondant thing...gooey and seafoodey and yummy.

                                1. re: GroovinGourmet

                                  The frozen "Swamp Thing" is pretty awesome, although pricey at around $8-9 nowadays. And that's coming from a guy like me who doesn't normally like sweet, fruity drinks.

                          2. Over the years I've eaten at Pappas restaurants in both Texas and Illinois (Pappadeux and Pappasitos) and have found them to be consistently very good if not downright excellent. The food is always fresh and competently prepared, the portions about right for the price, and the service courteous and speedy. The menu may not be groundbreaking and is often dismissed by pompous chefs on these boards as not authentic, but to "normal" people the Pappas restaurants are pleasing. The crowds you will normally find at Pappas restaurants should speak for themselves.

                            As far as Pappadeux in particular goes, I've eaten at various mom & pop Cajun restaurants in both Louisiana and southeast Texas and I think Pappadeux's Cajun selections are VERY comparable to what the other places had. I don't think that Pappadeux has a problem with Cajun authenticity despite what some people claim on these boards.

                            I have not noticed a significant difference in quality between the Pappadeux locations in Texas vs. those in Illinois.

                            Pappasitos Tex-Mex can only be found in Texas in Houston and the Dallas area. There aren't any locations outside of Texas last I checked.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Roast Chicken

                              Last time we drove by Atlanta, Pappasitos was still ensconced happily at the Windy Hill Exit on I-75 northwest of Atlanta. (With a Pappadeux sharing a large parking lot.)