Review: Pappasito’sAuthor: Show | Filed under: Food Reviews, Location: Arlington, TX, On The Road
321 W. Road to Six Flags
Arlington, TX 76011
Pappasito’s came very highly recommended by my boy Sammy (aka the concierge, who I bothered all four days I was in Arlington).
It’s interesting here to note that Pappasito’s is under the same umbrella of Pappadeaux, which I’ve already reviewed. In fact, Pappas Restaurants appears to be a power down in Texas that I’d never heard of (imagine that, coming from someone who has never lived outside Indiana, huh?). Pappadeaux is their “seafood kitchen” and this one is their “cantina.” So it was Tex-Mex. Just like Pappadeaux, the atmosphere was great. TVs all around; good, friendly service and patrons just having a good time. It might be cliche, but people were most certainly a lot nicer in Texas than in the northeast, for example.
What I Got: Ribeye and Diablo Shrimp, $25.95: “Ribeye topped with grilled peppers & onions with Diablo shrimp & choice of enchilada.”
I went with a ground beef enchilada, and thankfully it was worlds better than the El Fenix variety. Really good flavor and cheesiness, the ground beef was juicy, the enchilada sauce was fresh, etc. I was a big fan of this.
Everything — including, most importantly, the steak — was cooked properly. I went medium rare on the steak and they did it to perfection.
The ribeye was really good, but I’ve had a really good ribeye many times. The onions and peppers didn’t really add much “Mex” to it for me. Don’t get me wrong, I certainly enjoyed it. I’m just saying that my steak wasn’t really enhanced at all by the toppings. It was a ribeye and I’m admittedly a sucker for those, but this one wasn’t special.
On the shrimp, I’m not sure if the presentation was lazy or if it was really meant to be like this for a specific reason. I actually googled “diablo shrimp” to find out and didn’t find anything like this. They simply took each shrimp with the shell and legs still intact and split it down the middle. You actually should be able to see a few of the legs in the picture (look lower left, over the enchilada … the legs are burnt black). Also, since they cooked the shrimp on the grill in a split shell, the meat stuck to the shell and I couldn’t really get all of it out without eating leg/shell, too, which I really didn’t want to do. What meat I did get out was seasoned well and tasted really good. I just wish it was easier to eat.
Refried beans and Mexican rice were the sides and they were good. They tasted freshly made and were a nice complement.
Would I Buy It Again? Yes to the restaurant, no to what I got. I’m a big accountability guy and so I’m going to prove it by blaming myself here. This was a good meal. A damn good one, in fact. I didn’t really have any huge complaints, as the ribeye was good and the shrimp were fine (again, logistical issues, but that didn’t ruin the meal). But I was at a cantina. My mea culpa is that I hadn’t had a steak on the trip yet and if you straight up asked me what my favorite food is, I’d say a medium rare ribeye. It was like day six of the trip and I caved. I shouldn’t have, but I did. Not only that, but the other option for shrimp with the ribeye was brochette and I’d already had that just two days earlier. Considering it’s also under the “Pappas” umbrella, I assumed it was the same one I’d already had and passed for the sake of variety. But knowing what I know now, man, the brochette was so much better than what I got this time around.
I scroll through the menu now and wonder why I didn’t have enough foresight (or fortitude?) to try something like the gordita trio or filet fajitas with crabcake-stuffed shrimp. Or, really, any of the fajitas or combinations. Those all sound so enticing now and I’m beating myself up over the fact that I passed on them. This one was on me, so do not punish Pappasito’s for my transgression. I’m very confident the food is awesome here and I just didn’t serve myself well. Hell, as I said, I messed up and still had a good meal. That’s pretty tough to do in lots of places.