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Jan 25, 2008 07:36 PM

Pappa's in Houston

What do the locals think of this place? The bellman at my hotel (Marriott airport) suggested this place for seafood. Although it wasn't exactly what I was expecting (chain, casual restaurant) I ordered the blackened red snapper, which was advertised as being freshly caught in the Gulf, and it was really good! Beautifully cooked, tender and moist.

The portions served were so generous as to be ridiculous, and I was surpised that my "side" dish of jambalaya rice contained a fair amount of meat in it.

My crabcake appetizer was also huge, and absolutely covered in a mountain of fried onion crips, but under all the garnish the cake itself was also moist and well flavoured, with real capers.

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  1. Pappas is based here and very prolific. Some of their restaurants qualify as chains with locations elsewhere, some as just multiple location locals and some as one of a kind. It's not unusual for us to receive good comments on the Pappas restaurants from out-of-towners who don't even realize they have eaten at a chain. They are famous for very generous portions at moderate prices, the secret supposedly being that they never advertise so they don't have that overhead.

    That being said, in most cases, with the most notable exception of Pappas Steak house which is regarded by many as the best prime steak house in the state, Hounds will be able tor recommend local alternatives that are better. I personally think the quality has gone down as the empire has expanded.

    Glad you enjoyed the meal and welcome to Houston.

    1. I'm not sure I qualify as a local since I've only lived here 5 yrs but as a rule we don't go to the Pappas restaurants. My experience has been that they are usually good or safe bets. We will go if we are dining with others and they'd like to go.

      1. Hellllz yeah Pappas is good I go to Htown all the time...and Pappas Gumbo is on fire...the snapper is real good too..if you want mexican style seafood...TRY MAMBO

        7 Replies
        1. re: jmellow

          I've never had a bad meal at Pappa's Seafood. Everything was always high quality, flavorful, and bountiful. I never leave without "leftovers". I'm hungry just thinking about them, and it is HOURS until dinner!

          As the empire has expanded, the Pappa's have taken over the Luther's BBQ places, and in some places things have, well, suffered a bit. I know its just not "Luther's" any more, but things seem a little more "corporate" than the downhome Luthers I knew. Sort of like when your favorite little seafood place suddenly becomes Red Lobster. Maybe its just me .....

          1. re: Cheflambo

            I agree Chef. I basically stay away from Pappas because they take over long time favorites, raise the prices, and lower the quality, IMO. I hate what they did to Luther's, and aren't they the ones that took over the Luby's cafeterias? I try to avoid Landry's for the same reason.

            1. re: danhole

              Yes, I think the Pappa's folks are involved with Luby's these days but the Landry group is a different operation, owned and controlled by the iron fist of Tillman Fertitta. Although I enjoy Joe's Crab and the occasional trip to Kemahland, I dislike putting more money into that guy's pocket.

              1. re: Cheflambo

                I know they are separate groups but they both gobble up restaurants like nobody's business! And I agree with not wanting to put more money into eithers' pocket!

                1. re: danhole

                  Tillman made the front page of the Chronicle today -- looks like he wants to own 100% of the company, and the buyout made the front page above the fold. I think I've made my last trip to Kemahland.

                  1. re: Cheflambo

                    Chef, I thought of you as I read that! I guess Pappas isn't so bad after all!

                    1. re: danhole

                      i waited tables at pappas seafood and pappadeaux in college for over 3 years. that was many years back, but the quality was always high and the kitchen did not hesitate to throw food out. this is not what usually happens in the back of the house.

                      although i would not choose a pappas restaurant if i were looking for an adventurous meal, haute cuisine, or if i were out on a weekend night (there seems to always be a wait), their restaurants are great standbys for good, comforting food with consistent quality, good service, and moderate prices. the chicken fajitas are the most tender i've had (and i usually order beef) at pappasito's. the ponchartrain at pappadeaux is heavenly. the fried oysters and crabcakes at pappas seafood or steakhouse are amazing. don't get me started on their desserts!

        2. I was the same way - expected some jacked up Red Lobster, but they ROCK IT HARD and the food was super fresh and wonderfully served. Would go back in a minute when I am back in HTown...