Thursday, July 26, 2007

In This Corner, Pappa's Burgers . . .

Just back from my first trip to Pappa's Burgers . . . but first a little background of the Pappa's restaurants. Most of us are familiar with Pappasito's and Pappadeaux' restaurants, two in the group of the Pappa's restaurants. But there is also, Pappa's Bros Steaks, Pappa's Barbeque, and even Pappa's Pizza. The chain of privately held restaurants is based in Houston, Texas and is run by the two grandsons of the original "Pappa" who emigrated from Greece and started a restaurant equipment business in Houston. The two grandsons started in the restaurant business in 1976 and have built a very successful company.
They have a formula and it works. Quality food, strict procedures for cooking, cleaning, table setting, and guest treatment which keeps a certain uniformity and quality to their restaurants. Now the burger....
The restaurant is the walk-up and order style, with a "server" bringing you your meal after you are seated. The decor is typical Pappas' style. Open beams, wood, funky old fashioned. It's comfortable and it works. I chose to sit at the bar, because the line was long. I asked the friendly bartender for a cheeseburger, cooked medium well, the fries come with the order. I spoke to the bartender while I was waiting. The beef is select and aged by the Pappa's Bros steak house in Dallas. It is very good. Here are my complaints though: It has little fat in the meat which keeps it from being hamburger-juicy and also keeps it from being hot enough by the time you get it. That's a personal preference I know, but also, the bun seemed to be steamed and not grill-top toasted and kind of formless, and pushed down, which is not preference, that shouldn't be. The fries were fair at best, but plentiful. The kicker to me is that I spent $12 + 2 tip for a burger, diet Coke and fries. Will I go back? Yes, if it's a business setting or I'm taking friends out to have a beer and burger and watch a game (they have at least 20 flat screens on the walls). But just for a quick lunch? Probably not. I still think the Pappa's brand is as good as their is in the industry.
Is it a gourmet burger? Yes. Do I still prefer Kinkaid's? I do. You might not. See the poll.

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