Pappasito’s Cantina

RICHARDSON – Having been to Pappas this and that around Houston and Dallas for years, the experience has always been the same. Service is painful until a manager gets involved. Painful as in– no chips, wrong order, no check-back, and at least a ten minute drink time when the restaurant isn’t slammed. Getting a water or soda refill doesn’t happen fast. Not much does.

The only time I go to a Pappas restaurant on purpose is when I don’t have a choice. Last week we lunched at Pappasito’s Cantina with a group of twelve people. We are usually a group of four, so this kind of number-jump was scary. How would they ever handle a party of twelve?

Two servers were in charge of twelve. I used to wait on twenty-tops of golfers, alone, slinging food and drinks all over the place. Two people on a twelve-top should be a no-brainer. Both waiters knew the menu and up-selling was on their agenda, which was promising.

Our chips came before water and without salsa. No salsa. Where’s the salsa? People started eating chips without salsa attached. Every other minute someone was saying something about the missing water and salsa. Eating chips without water is sadder than having no salsa. It was weird because my husband is usually the quiet guy, preferring to relax without service drama. He doesn’t mind being thirsty for a long time either. He even sat at Pappadeaux on his birthday last year and didn’t make a peep during a complete birthday service disaster. This time was different. His thirsty, no salsa friends’ experience was heading south fast. If this was just the beginning, then we were on the fast track to service hell. These were his friends from out of town, which meant a manager needed to rescue us.

After he let the manager know about our desperate service situation, the manager was on the scene to investigate. Within two minutes we had water, chips, more chips, salsa with a side of extra salsa, queso we didn’t order, and guacamole being prepared table-side by another manager. Pappasito’s manager pulled off the fastest customer service recovery– ever. The managers have been fast to fix service disasters at every Pappas we’ve been to. Seriously, the only time service was OK was when we sat at the bar with my in-laws a while back.

Management’s training is obviously working, so what is up with the server’s training? Maybe everyone else in the state of Texas always has great service while dining at each and every Pappas restaurant. Maybe we have been cursed with some kind of Pappas service curse, forcing service to suck at every Pappas restaurant we enter. Minus the beginning of lunch, things were on the up and up and stayed that way. If this truly isn’t a curse placed on our family, I would highly recommend sitting at the bar. No, this does not mean sitting at a table inside the bar. This means sitting on top of a bar stool, face to face with a bartender who will officially be in charge of all food and drink happiness. The good news is lots of Texans adore restaurants owned by Pappas. Please feel excited for these lucky people.

My neighbor’s food. This picture was secretly taken.

FIVE: High 5!

FOUR: Please & Thank You


TWO: Double Wow

ONE: Wow + Ouch = Wouch

Pappasito’s Cantina
723 South Central Expressway
Richardson, TX 75080
(972) 480-8595‎

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