Let me start by saying that my five star review extends to all Pappadeaux locations that I have been to. Service is consistently good, the food is excellent, and they’re consistently top notch. And I’ve been to multiple locations–Chicago, Cincinnati, and of course, multiple ones in Texas (Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, and Houston…. you name it. I’ll probably replicate this review in a few other locations which I have been to.)
Pappadeaux is arguably THE Pappas restaurant that has scaled the best throughout the US. (With the success of Pappadeaux, I’m actually quite surprised that Pappas seafood house hasn’t scaled more. However, the Pappas family is known for their ridiculous attention to detail, and it shows–it certainly pays off.) The reason I’m given that Pappas seafood house hasn’t ventured outside of the Houston metro area is that they want to be able to have fresh fish from the gulf for that restaurant concept daily. However, I’ve never had anything less than 100% outstanding at any of their locations. This is further shocking as I feel that I would think that the Cajun feel of Pappadeaux is more regionally bound to the Louisiana / Texas / Deep South. However, they seem to pack them in up in Ohio as well!
Anyhow, enough background, on to the good stuff. Let’s talk food. I’ve personally had probably most of the things on their menu, but I’ll write about the ones that are standouts in my mind notable enough in my mind that are worth mentioning.:
(Also, note that the portions are generally HUGE!!)
Seafood Fondeaux (i.e. – Seafood fondue): With apologies to Monty Python and the Meaning of Life: “IT’S VERRRY GOOD AND IT’S VEERRRRY RICH.” Mmmmm, mmmm. It’s amazing. Probably not the best appetizer to get on a diet, however. But, it’s absolutely wonderful. I’ll warn you–it’s very large, and I doubt it would be easy to re-heat, so I’d either make sure you’ve got enough folks to chow it down, or make a meal of it.
Fried Alligator: I know–you probably think this is weird. Jump in with both feet–it’s like chicken but I think even more tasty. But each time I’ve had the fried alligator, it has been done perfectly with a fantastic tangy sauce to go with it.
Oysters on the Half Shell: This is one of the best places to get Oysters as well. (Being fair, I’m not a huge oyster buff.) In any case, if you like oysters, these won’t disappoint.
Ginger Salmon: I never liked grilled fish and ESPECIALLY grilled Salmon… until I had it at Pappadeaux. Now, I can’t get enough of it. This is fantastic. Also, to try some different sauces, Pappadeaux will sell you (for a slight up-charge) some different sauces that you can try on the salmon. These include sauces from other dishes. I recommend trying the Lafayette Sauce, the Pontchartrain sauce, and the Diablo sauce. But why would you get the Ginger Salmon with Diablo sauce when you could get the…
Salmon Diablo: I’ve seen this as a special, and it’s amazing. It’s salmon with their diablo sauce on it. Think a cream sauce with crab meat, crawfish, and pico de gallo. Simply amazing.
Pasta Mardi Gras: Awesome. Very rich and decadent. This dish will kill your diet. This is basically a cajun seafood linguine with a cream sauce.
Stuffed Shrimp: Simply put, a feast. This is probably the best stuffed shrimp I have had. (One dish I had in Providence, Rhode Island came close.)
Mushroom Risotto: Absolutely phenomenal. It just melts in your mouth. And I don’t even really like mushrooms all that much. It’s worth the upcharge.
Dirty Rice: I’m a fan of the Dirty Rice as well.
(Also, I’ve never had them, but the Cheese Grits with the Andouille Sausage look phenomenal.)
I’ve had multiple desserts, but the banana pudding is a stand-out in my mind.
They have Abita Turbodog on tap. This is essential for a true cajun experience.
I believe they also have Shiner Bock on tap.
And, most amazingly, I believe this is true in other states as well. That’s especially rare I find for Abita.
Pappas Restaurant Group–you’ve done it again. Pappadeaux is another epic concept. It’s easily one of my favorite restaurants. Check it out if you’ve never been.
Pete and Jim Pappas (the owners of the famous Pappas restaurants, of which, Yia Yia Mary’s is one of them) aren’t Mexican or Spanish in their background, believe it or not. (I know, I know–Pappasito’s is awesome.) They’re also not Cajun (Pappadeaux is also awesome also.)
Nope. They’re Greek.
And being in the great state of Texas, there’s not a ton of really good Greek places. Yia Yia Mary’s is an exception. This place is excellent.
But, I suppose, what did you expect, coming from a long line of great, ground-breaking restaurants owned by the Pappas brothers? Note that all of the Pappas restaurants are available in Houston, as all of the original ones are in Houston. They started here. As a general statement for the other Pappas restaurants in Houston, go to the original locations, as they use those typically as more “flagship” locations–testing out new dishes before rolling them out to all locations.)
But enough about the Pappas restaurants. (I know I am obsessed.) Yes, the food is wonderful. When I come here, I generally get the Gyros, as it’s so rare to find good gyros in Texas. I also typically get the Saganaki cheese (which, to no surprise, is done authentically here). I’ve had other things here as well–nothing disappoints.
I think the atmosphere is really awesome–it’s classy, clean, and welcoming. It seems like most Greek places that I’ve been to are in old, established, somewhat run-down buildings (I don’t know why this is….) but Yia Yia Mary’s is well manicured, warm, and always inviting. (Again, so are all of the other Pappas restaurants.)
I’ve had hit or miss on the service, but nothing the awesome food couldn’t make up for.
Every time I go to Houston, this is one of the places I go out of my way to go.