Pappas' new Greek place - Houston
I went to the new Pappas Greek place - Ya Ya Mary's I think the name was. I was wondering when the Pappas family would get around to their native food.
Summary: Clean out the Pappa's Burgers restaurant on Westheimer and insert the food from Niko Niko's. Presto-Chango: Ya Ya Mary's.
The restaurant is located on San Felipe, just outside Loop 610, in the parking lot of the Comerica Bank building. There used to be a Southwest-style steak restaurant there.
The setup is exactly the same as Pappas Burgers. Walk-up ordering service, brightly colored, large menus on the wall, obsiquious waitstaff to bring food to your table and work you for an undeserved 15% tip, and good quality food in huge portions.
I can guess exactly what happened. The executives at Pappas realized they have a gold mine with the Pappas Burgers concept. They are also jealous that Niko Niko's pulls in long lines for lunch every day. They decided to combine the two. The food and dish selection is almost the same.
My proof of this theory is in the french fries. If you've been to Pappas Burgers, you know they have very good fries. They are thin, curly and fried in clean oil - nice product. If you've been to Niko Niko's you know they have very good fries too - fresh cut daily, in thick form, tender inside, with skins on.
So what did they do at Ya Ya Mary's? Instead of using the same good fries they have two miles away at Pappas Burgers they have, you guessed it, fries EXACTLY like those at Niko Niko's. Pappas is obviously trying to lure away the Niko Niko's customers.
As for me, I think the food quality is the same at both places, but I'll continue to venture down to Montrose to support the friendly, family run place over the corporate food.
Thanks for the review; I have been looking forward to trying this place since noticing that it was open.
I do have to comment on your analysis of the fries, though. Of course, I haven't been there, so I can't really argue about this too much. But I will say that there is probably a good reason why they chose to make thick cut fries other than competition with Niko Niko's. It's very simple - Greek fries are thick cut, fried in olive oil, and taste unlike anything I have ever experienced here! They're wonderful! I ordered them whenever I could when I was in Greece last year, and I don't even like french fries that much!
If they were going after an authentic Greek fried potato (which, thankfully, it sounds like they were) they would be amiss to just sub the fries from Pappas Burgers.
Seems like there's room in this town for two decent short-order Greek places. I am happy that I live about halfway between the two!