Pappasito’s Cantina Celebrates 40 Years in Texas

Pappasito's Cantina

The Pappas family cemented its place in the restaurant industry in 1897 when H.D. Pappas immigrated to the United States and opened restaurants throughout Texas. The Pappas name is one of the most recognizable in Houston, having opened the first restaurant, Dots Coffee Shop (the still-standing, 24-hour diner) in 1966. Since 1983, Pappasito’s Cantina, the group’s second-largest brand, has become synonymous with Tex-Mex cuisine, offering Houstonians sizzling fajita platters, enchiladas smothered in cheese and potent, frozen margaritas at 14 different locations throughout the city (including George Bush Houston Intercontinental airport). These days, it’s not just a Houston restaurant chain; it’s a Texas brand with locations in Dallas, San Antonio, Austin and Georgia.

Pappasito's Cantina
Pappasito’s Cantina Celebrates 40 Years. Photo by Anne Ousey.

In a press release announcing its 40th anniversary, Chris Pappas, CEO of Pappas Restaurants, Inc., said, “The Pappas family feels so honored that diners continue to return to Pappasito’s, and we are proud to carry on the tradition of serving outstanding food and providing exceptional service in an atmosphere where people go to be treated like family, to be entertained, and to enjoy great food, knowing that they can expect that Pappas trademark of quality. We look forward to celebrating 40 years with our valued guests all month long and beyond!”

Beef and Chicken Fajitas at Pappasito’s Cantina. Photo by Anne Ousey.

The celebration throughout the month of October will feature food and drink specials, including a commemorative 40th-anniversary mug that can be filled with your choice of the signature Reserva Margarita made with Corazón Reposado tequila, Grand Marnier, organic agave nectar, fresh lemon and lime juice, or the Fiesta Fizz, a cocktail concoction made just for the occasion. The popular Fajita Wednesday special (regularly $48.95 for a Fajita pack that serves two to three) gets the celebratory treatment as well, being offered at $40 starting at 4 p.m. End the meal with a special dessert fit for the festivities, the rich milk chocolate Fiesta Fudge Brownie served a la mode. 

This month, guests can also try their luck at winning one of ten $400 gift cards by entering the online giveaway. Guests can join the E-club at any time to receive announcements and specials but during October, E-club members receive extra perks. 

Keeping a business running for decades is no easy feat, and Pappas’ brand is about consistency. The exceptional and consistent customer service across all the Pappas restaurants is well-known, as is the quality of the food. At Pappasito’s, that’s seen in the fresh meat and produce, housemade roasted salsas, fresh-squeezed lime juice and in-house, handmade tortillas.

Pappasito's Cantina
An array of dishes at Pappasito’s Cantina. Photo by Minh Truong.

On a recent visit, we were reminded of why Pappasito’s has been a staple for 40 years. It offers Tex-Mex classics Houstonians know and love, all done the right way. The fajitas were brought out hot and hissing, the guacamole was piled high with fresh tomatoes and onions, and the tortillas were soft and fluffy. A meal there rarely disappoints, and diners know what to expect every time. Houstonians are spoiled in their options for Tex-Mex, and Pappasito’s has earned its laurels.

Typical opening hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, but check hours and make reservations at a specific location on the website.

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