100 Favorite Dishes

100 Favorite Dishes 2012: No. 81, Grilled Shrimp Po-boy at Pappadeaux

This year leading up to our annual Best of Houston® issue, we're counting down our 100 favorite dishes in Houston. This list comprises our favorite dishes from the last year, dishes that are essential to Houston's cultural landscape and/or dishes that any visitor (or resident) should try at least once.

The crawfish and oyster seasons might be over, but that doesn't mean it doesn't still pay to head down to Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen during its daily happy hour. That's when you can get a petite po-boy with your choice of catfish or shrimp (grilled or fried) for $4.95. I like to pig out on the hot boiled shrimp with corn and potatoes for another $6.95 and wash it all down with a gigantic Papadocious (think of a big, frozen Zombie) for another $7. Considering how much it costs to eat dinner in the dining room at Pappadeaux, it's all a pretty good deal.

And say what you will about Pappadeaux or any of the Pappas family chain of restaurants -- the food is always consistently good, the service is cheerful and efficient and they're easily accessible all over town, which is good when you get trapped in the boonies and have few alternative dining options. Pappadeaux buys the best seafood and treats it well, including the plump shrimp on its po-boy that pop with a juicy sweetness under a nicely applied char.

It's difficult to find really good po-boys in Houston, but the crispy French bread, tart, thinly-sliced pickles and tangy house dressing on the shrimp sandwiches here get you at least halfway to Louisiana. The rest you can imagine with a few Papadociouses (Papadocii?) in your system and some zydeco music in the background.

The list so far:

No. 100: Chili cheese mac at Jus' Mac No. 99: Texas turkey sandwich at Spec's No. 98: Custard at Petite Sweets No. 97: Caprichos mixtos at Taqueria Monterrey Chiquito No. 96: Pineapple-wasabi burger at Lankford Grocery No. 95: Farmer's MKT Pizza at Phoenicia's MKT Bar No. 94: Potatoes at Money Cat Brunch No. 93: Breakfast tacos at Sunrise Taquito No. 92: Hot dog at Tacos D.F. No. 91: Avocado gelato at Frozen Cafe No. 90: Chicken sandwich at JerryBuilt Homegrown Burgers No. 89: Beer-battered asparagus at Hearsay No. 88: Honey Badger omelet at Kraftsmen Cafe No. 87: Pastelitos de carne at El Jalapeño No. 86: Pancakes at Union Kitchen No. 85: Wild boar and crab pizza at Boheme No. 84: Breakfast croissant at BB Donuts No. 83: Pretzel at Anvil Bar & Refuge No. 82: Short rib sandwich at Shepherd Park Draught House

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Katharine Shilcutt