Our Cabo trip was coming to an end and my friend and I had a three hour layover in the Houston Lobby airport. Usually, customs and immigration are a lengthy process that requires a longer layover time but since both my friend and I got the Global Entry, it barely took us 30 minutes. I highly recommend Global Entry/TSA Pre-check if you are a US citizen. What was excellent about our layover was that we had time to visit the infamous Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen located in the airport! I will not be officially rating this restaurant yet with the Seven Mac Score. The airport experience is not a full assessment of the typical dining experience of the restaurant and the menu was condensed.
Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen has been serving fresh seafood since 1986 and the restaurant name has been renowned in the South for delicious seafood. The menu included a history lesson of the owners’ Greek grandfather H.D Pappas that migrated to America in 1897 and believed that the best quality fish to be cooked, must be caught fresh daily. Like their grandfather, Chris and Harris Pappas believe that only the freshest ingredients make the best-tasting meals. They emphasize that everything at the restaurant has been thought out and planned so that the customer has the best dining experience possible during every visit. So let us see how they did.
When we arrived, the only space comfortably available were the bar high tables. My friend and I both agreed we wanted a table and after a few minutes, one became available. The restaurant was tightly packed because of its location in the airport but we were luckily seated near an area where they keep storage and were able to place our luggage out of the way for our meal.
Our waiter arrived with a smile on her face and welcomed us to the restaurant. The customer service was on the level of that of Chick-Fil-A that has a real welcoming Southern charm that I always appreciate. And because I was in the South, I decided to order a sweet tea with lemon and my friend ordered a Bellini. My tea was not overly sweet but done just right. Though Maryland is considered a Southern state historically, sweet tea is just not the same there. My friend had mixed reviews regarding her cocktail. However, once the server notified her that she can have another drink to-go, she was a bit more enthusiastic. I think she enjoyed the drink but in the future would order something else.
If you recall from my trips to New Orleans and Jackson, Mississippi, I am a huge fan of char-grilled oysters! So when I saw oysters on the menu, I got a bit excited. They had two different types of oyster dishes: 1) Oyster Baton Rouge ($14.99) that included 6 oysters on the half shell baked with Parmesan Romano cheese sauce and; 2) Oysters Pappadeaux ($14.99) which included 6 baked oysters with crabmeat, spinach, and hollandaise sauce. Luckily for me, there was also the Oysters Duo ($14.99) which allowed me to have 3 of each and decide which one I enjoyed most. While I thought the Baton Rouge oysters were promising, I actually enjoyed the Oysters Pappadeaux a lot more. The hollandaise sauce was delicious, I totally forgot it included crab meat, and the spinach addition was a wonderful added flavor! The one minor setback of the dish was that the food was presented on a plate with salt rocks and a few of the rocks made their way in the oyster shell and the intense salt flavor was unpleasantly unexpected. The Baton Rouge oysters were good but the cheese sauce was a bit overwhelming and thick. After enjoying the six oysters, I was pretty full and took the remainder of my meal to-go.
In the meantime, my friend ordered the Bake Crab Mac & Cheese ($13.99) to start. This dish included Orecchiette pasta tossed with fresh crabmeat, in a three cheese cream sauce with buttered bread crumbs. The mac and cheese was beautifully baked with areas of char on the pasta that added a smoky flavor to this dish. She enjoyed the pasta dish very much and too had to take the remainder of her meal to go. She ordered the Crawfish Etoufee ($23.99) with dirty rice. It usually comes with white rice but the server offered the dirty rice and she decided to try it. Later when she tried her meal, she said she really enjoyed the etoufee and emphasized that the dirty rice added a wonderful additional flavor.
As for me, I ordered the Blackened Mississippi Catfish Opelousas ($31.99) which included blackened oysters, shrimp, and jumbo lump crabmeat in a lemon-garlic butter with dirty rice. I was swap out the dirty rice for sautéed spinach at no extra charge, and what an amazing decision that was. I am so glad that I did not take a bite of this dish in the restaurant. Before it was served, I requested it to be bagged. The server interrupted my request as me wanted to speed up my dinner because of my flight, which I appreciate tremendously but I actually did not want to overeat. After I had arrived back in Baltimore well after midnight, I was putting the to-go container in the refrigerator and decided to take a bite. The taste of the blackened catfish with that lemon garlic butter was outstanding. I literally had a foodgasm in my kitchen at 1:30 in the morning. I took a bite of the shrimp and they were seasoned so well. The crab and oysters were amazing and the spinach was sautéed with garlic just took my breath away. What was supposed to be lunch for the next day turned into a late night snack! But that lemon garlic butter sauce was just so good. I wanted it on everything. If they sold it, I would buy it. At this moment, I realized that I have to get to the actual restaurant and properly rate the experience because so far, I was highly impressed.
Back at the restaurant, I ordered their Vanilla Cheesecake ($7.49) with fresh strawberries. The dessert also included strawberry sauce and whipped cream! Dessert was not really on my radar until another server in the restaurant walked by with a dessert tray that included the cheesecake, key lime pie, and sweet potato pecan pie. Once I saw the cheesecake, I knew I wanted to try it. I took it with me but curiosity got the best of me while I was sitting at the gate and I decided to try a bite expecting to be disappointed as I am with most cheesecakes. However, the cheesecake was amazing! The cheesecake was rich and thick and had the right amount of sugar and vanilla. The strawberry sauce was fresh and did not taste like jelly or preservatives. The fresh strawberries were also delicious and the whipped cream was just wonderful! I guess the Pappas family really does plan every detail of the dining experience to ensure an amazing experience, even in the airport! If this is what the airport restaurant is like, I cannot wait to visit an actual location.
This meal turned out to be the most expensive of my entire trip totaling $62 and after a 20% tip, the final cost was $74. Everything about this dining experience was excellent. The customer service was fantastic, the food presentation was visually pleasing, and the taste was phenomenal. I did think that the main entrée was bit expensive but, again, the taste was out of this world so, I definitely got what I paid for.
Thank you for following my seven part Cabo Dining Adventures seires during my wonderful vacation to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. I had some amazing dining experiences as you can see and things to keep in mind for my next trip. I did not go to all the places I wanted to go but if you make it there before I do, let me know what you think. Here is a list of places I visited and were not able to get to but were recommended.
|Maria Jiménez Restuarante Mexicano||Tacos Gardenias|
|Quivira Club House (Steakhouse)||Mariscos Las Tres Islas|
|Los Tres Gallos Restaurant||Restaurante Templo|
|Restaurant and Bar Villa Serena|
|Sunset da Mona Lisa|
|Pappadeaux (Houston Lobby Airport)|
Please look out for my next post as I return home and review another one of Baltimore’s Best and other restaurants in the DMV area. I have an upcoming trip to NYC for Labor Day and I’m celebrating my birthday at two DC restaurants! Stay tuned. In the meantime, I am very active on Instagram @finediningdiva and twitter @moderndaybeauty. Also, if you would like to follow my blog to receive notification when a new blog is posted, please send your email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
And remember: It’s a BIG world and we are going to eat our way through it!