Monday, March 16, 2015

REVIEW: Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen

Two things that  Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen is famous for, the tremendously long wait times and their world famous seafood. Over the years I've heard so many people rave about their experience at the infamous seafood giant. Many of them of course had to visit Pappadeaux locations outside of Birmingham until recently. Since opening their doors several months ago off of Highway 280, the restaurant has drawn huge, impressive crowds. I'm sure their sales volumes are higher than expected.

*While I typically don't review many large, chain restaurants, there are over a dozen people that wanted to know what I thought of this particular restaurant.

Atmosphere: Upon arrival, I was impressed with the landscape and the outdoor seating. The outdoor seating area was quite comfortable and would be an awesome place to eat in good weather. We were told that we would have a 45 minute wait. We decided to wait it out while listening to the awesome live band near the bar area. We could see that is was very crowded which increased the noise level. I would normally leave a restaurant if the wait at dinner time is longer than 20 minutes, but we both wanted to have the experience. I've seen other reviews of Pappadeaux where people have waited close to three hours to be seated. I personally don't have the tolerance for that. Only my mother's home cooked meals deserve that kind of patience.

The Meal: From the "hot appetizers" menu, I had the frog legs with fries. The appetizer contained a generous portion of meaty frog legs, I was quite pleased with this choice. My entrée consisted of the seafood platter: A beautifully presented combination of catfish fillets, shrimp, blue crab cake, stuffed shrimp & stuffed crab on a bed of fries. My dinner companion had the grilled half chicken: A 1/2 chicken, marinated in garlic & rosemary, accompanied by a serving of red mashed potatoes & sautéed spinach. I really hate to say it, the grilled half chicken was the star of the evening. They did an amazing job with the flavor of this dish.

The service: Our service was outstanding! Although there were large parties in his section, he still managed to give us great service with a great attitude each time he stopped by our table. We definitely felt comfortable leaving a generous tip due to his professionalism.

The prices: The appetizer was $10.95, 1/2 chicken entrée $19.95 & the seafood platter was $26.95.

Room for growth & improvement: There are a tremendous amount of on-line reviews about this restaurant. While it's impossible to please everyone, if I were the Pappadeaux management, I would make it a point to address all of the less than favorable  reviews by developing a solution to each issue. "Try" to impress each and every customer that comes in, after all you have a reputation to uphold as being a leader in the seafood world. There are other seafood restaurant leaders already firmly planted  in the Birmingham market that you WILL be heavily compared to.

Overall experience: The entrée I had didn't match the rave reviews I'd heard or read. Maybe I went in with insanely high expectations. I loved the frog legs and the service. I might visit this restaurant again in the future and order something different.  The chicken should not have outshined the seafood where seafood is the specialty.

Have you been to Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen? What was your experience? Leave your comments below the post or send an email to or a comment on twitter @RestaurantRaidr.

Frog Legs.... Sorry Kermit, but I couldn't help myself.

The Seafood Platter

The grilled half chicken dinner


Nadine said...

I have a gift card to use at this place, but I keep putting it off because I don't wait to be seated anywhere longer than about 15 minutes. There are far to many decent places without a wait! I had a Pappadeaux when I lived in I guess I don't really see the hype in it like other people but I know many that like it. I am excited to try it myself, but on an off time when it isn't crazy!

Crystal Carson said...

As a seafood lover, I am intrigued by this restaurant and the draw that it has. Especially when people are waiting over 3 hours for a meal. I don't have that kind of time or patience, but I will very likely be checking out a restaurant when the wait is not so long.