Pappadeaux which is this week's restaurant review. This restaurant has special meaning to my mom as it was her first job after she moved to the US from El Salvador. It's also where she met my crazy dad. While they're not together anymore, it's still a place with a lot of fun memories for them.
The parentals live in Pittsburg and the nearest Pappadeaux to them is in Cincinnati, OH so naturally they were excited to see that there was one in Phoenix and wanted to eat there while they were visiting. We decided to eat there the day of 4-Wheeling as it was somewhat close to the area where we had our adventure. If you ever get a chance to do a 4-wheeling tour, I highly recommend it. We had so much fun and definitely worked up an appetite.
Not going to lie, I was a little nervous about going to Pappadeaux. Cajun food restaurants aren't exactly known for their gluten free options AND Pappadeaux is heavy on seafood which I'm not the biggest fan of. Needless to say, I was praying that they had some turf options on the menu that I could eat without getting sick. Luckily they had a gluten free menu so I had more than salad to choose from (my usual go-to at restaurants when they don't have anything I can eat).
I was automatically drawn to the steak or chicken options as I'm very weary of eating cooked seafood. Sushi I'm ok with, but cooked seafood is like Russian roulette for me. Is it going to be too fishy? Will I hate it and then have to be THAT person that sends their food back? Oh the horrors. My anxiety was through the roof trying to decide. I asked my mom's boyfriend what he thought about red fish in general. He is a great cook and has good taste so I knew he wouldn't steer me in the wrong direction. After hearing the description from him and the server, I was convinced this would be like eating Tilapia or Halibut. Both mild fishes that I tolerated. I was going out on a limb and I ordered the blackened red fish with the lemon olive oil and broccolini. I prayed like hell that this dish was going to be tasty. Please don't be gross. Please don't be gross. Please don't be gross. This review is from my gluten free perspective because, well, this is a gluten free blog.
We started off with libations to celebrate the day of fun adventures. I got the First Kiss which was basically a strawberry martini that was so tasty I wanted to chug it. Yea it was that smooth. I refrained from drinking a second one as I was the driver and I needed to get us back to Scottsdale sans DUI. We also ordered the Pappas Greek Salad and the parentals got oysters. I didn't partake in the oysters because EW. 😝 Don't judge. The salad was super tasty and my mom told me that the Greek Vinaigrette Dressing she always makes was inspired from that salad. I learned something new that day.
The moment of truth had arrived...will Timo enjoy red fish or hate it? May the odds be every in her favor... Verdict: I loved it! It wasn't fishy at all! It had great flavor from the blackened spices and lemon olive oil. I would definitely eat it again and possibly experiment with it at home in my own kitchen. I liked it so much that I ended up eating the whole thing. 😂😂😂 Again, don't judge.
Pappadeaux with a wheat allergy kinda sucks because I love gumbo and fried foods, but they have great options for those of us who can't eat gluten. Plus it makes us look like we're super healthy not eating all of those deep fried foods (at least that's what I'm telling myself!). I really enjoyed what I had and was pleasantly surprised by trying a new fish. Overall, it was a great dining experience minus the slow service. Good thing we weren't in a hurry, otherwise it would've been a tad bit problematic!