Zack Saves Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen’s Shady Service

We always– I mean always have the worst service during lunch or dinner at this restaurant of complete and total service industry failure. Ironically, the Pappas restaurant group has a reputation of putting their employees through a rigorous training program, which means service standards are there, so what is up with the service soap opera in Dallas?

Before last night, the most recent chance Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen had for service-redemption happened January 9th when someone recommended we have lunch at Pappadeaux to celebrate my Le Cordon Bleu graduation. Come again? After almost choking in horror, the joy of being a culinary school graduate meant not being a restaurant downer. We all made our way inside Pappadeaux where the hostess began by asking how many victims, um people, would be in our party. I quickly whispered the ultimate beg a customer could ever begin to beg at the highest level of begging a hostess for anything.

“We never have good service here– ever. It never happens. We have endured a mild form of service-torture every single time, yet we still return. May we please sit in a trainer’s section today? Please?”

She said yes, but mentioned there would be a longer wait. Really? Well, that’s a wait we were willing to wait. Please & thanks. We were seated at the first table beside the entrance, which seemed safe for several reasons. We were close to the bar, kitchen, and host stand. How could a server be in the weeds while being so close to these areas? I decided to have Prosecco and call it a day. This was the closest we ever came to almost having basic, maybe average, service at Pappadeaux. It became clear that the happiness of having just graduated from culinary school trumped potential service sadness.

Stop the press, have a seat, and have a nice day because this story is about to have a happy ending. We went to Pappadeaux this past weekend, on purpose, for dinner. Having mentally prepared myself for a Saturday night nightmare, we found ourselves at the mercy of a hostess once again. I secretly asked this particular hostess if we could sit in a trainer’s section because the service is non-stop shady. She said probably two seconds before giving me the get-ready-to-wait-longer-than-you-would-have-for-being-annoying look.

We thought things were going to be the same as usual when Zack walked over to greet and take our drink order. We felt the need to bring him up to speed on our past filled with ultimate service depression. His response was that we came to the right section because there’s nothing to worry about anymore. This was when he began to prove that it is possible to have a wonderful dinner filled with both delicious food and spot-on service. Zack was perfect in every way from start to finish. We told the manager, in the end, that Zack was the service-bomb and we are now devoted to sitting in his section for the rest of our lives. Thanks for the memories, Zack.