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Pappy’s Mexican Restaurant

November 9, 2009

  • 5303 S. Westnedge Avenue
  • Portage, MI 49002
  • (269)382-0540
  • Website
  • Menu

Like most people, I’m exhausted when I get home from work.  What I do can be physically demanding and no matter what, it’s going to be at least a ten-hour day.  By the time I made it back to Kalamazoo after my most recent trip to East Lansing, I was exhausted, hungry, and not in the mood to cook. 

After a quick shower and some relaxing time on the couch with J, we got moving again and decided if we were going to eat, we were going to have to go out.  I wasn’t really sure what I was hungry for, but I knew I didn’t want pizza.  J suggested Mexican and there’s a place pretty close to home that seems to have quite a few cars in the parking lot when we drive by.

Pappy’s Place is at the corner of South Westnedge and Andy Avenues right next to Meijer.  From the outside, it looks Mexican and they boast the best wet burritos’ in town.  We had no reason to suspect that it was anything but a Mexican joint.

Once inside, I was a little lost.  When you enter the door, there’s a very bland dining room immediately to your right.  If you keep going down the hallway, you come to a cash register.  I assumed this was a hostess stand.  It was not, but a waitress told us to sit where we’d like.  She mentioned the bland dining room behind us was non-smoking, so naturally, that’s where we headed.  Had we kept going down the hallway, we’d have hit the bar and right next to that was another dining room.  Beyond those two rooms looked to be a game room with some pinball machines and pool tables.  I never made it back that far. 

We took a booth in the non-smoking dining room.  The menus were already on the table in the form of place mats.  There was also a card with appetizers they call “Pappetizers.”  The menu was not like the menus at most Mexican restaurants.  They had some traditional American salads, a handful of Mexican entree’s, pizza, and traditional American sandwiches.  I was a little dumbfounded when I looked at the menu.  It was not what either of us were expecting. 

I’m a real big fan of Mexican entree’s, but not so much a fan of the sides.  Beans and rice do nothing for me and end up getting wasted, so I usually order a la carte.  It may cost a little more, but at least I know I’m getting more food that I’m actually going to eat.  There was no a la cart section.  I couldn’t just order a couple tacos and an enchilada.  They had a taco dinner that didn’t sound like it came with more than one taco and they had an enchilada dinner that came with the beans and rice.  For a second, I seriously considered ordering a burger.  At least then, I knew I’d get fries.

While we were looking over this menu, our waiter got us drinks.  J got a Raspberry Margarita and encouraged me to get a beer, but the only beer they had listed on their drink list was Corona.  I’m sure if I would have asked, I would have found out they had other selections, but I just went with a Coke. 

When it came time to order, we both went with the same thing.  Quesadilla’s.  They came with chips and choice of sour cream or guacamole.  J went with a straight cheese quesadilla and I went with steak.  She got guacamole and I got sour cream.  Both of them actually went to her since I don’t like either. 

One of my biggest pet peeves with eating out is getting a meal and finding an ingredient that wasn’t on the menu.  You’ll learn.  I bitch a lot about this.  Usually it’s mayo.  Most things I can pick off and not make a big deal about, but when it’s hard to get an unwanted item off a foodstuff, I’ll rant about it. 

Guess what, we both found tomatoes in our quesadilla and neither of us were expecting them.  If we don’t know it’s there, how can we ask to leave them off? 

Other than that, I actually really enjoyed my meal.  The tortillas were stuffed with cheese, the aforementioned tomatoes, and chunks of steak.  The steak had a chile seasoning which really helped with the flavor.  There was also a dusting of the same chili powder on top of the quesadilla.  Not too much, but it gave the tortilla more of a flavor than it would normally of had.  I did my best to pry apart the tortilla and get as many of the tomatoes out as a could, but it was complicated by the lack of silverware.  At no point in the meal did our server bring or offer any type of silverware and by the time we realized it, he had disappeared….and didn’t come back until we were done and someone else cleared our plates.

J was a lot more turned off by the tomatoes and wasn’t interested in picking them out with her hands.  She still ate about half, but declined to take the rest home.  She was also a fan of the chili powder on the tortilla and really liked how it was served.  She’s burned herself on plates at Mexican restaurants before and was actually happy these were served on plates that look more like something you would see at a steakhouse with the stainless steel tray inside a cooler shell. 

I’m assuming the chips we got with our meal was the basket of chips that was brought out before the entrees.  It was just one basket and the chips didn’t taste home made.  The salsa was pretty good with a little bit of a kick, but we polished those chips off in a hurry.  One of our favorite things about almost every Mexican restaurant is the chips and salsa…and when it’s bottomless, even better.  Not the case here.

Our meal cost about twenty bucks.  We both ordered the cheapest Mexican item though, but J did get a drink, so it all evened out.  After bringing out our meal, our server was gone for a long time.  We sat with empty plates for quite a while until another waitress finally noticed and took them away.  Five minutes later, our waiter finally showed up again with the bill which we took to the cash register we found when we initially walked in. 

I don’t really know what to say about Pappy’s.  The food was good, but it wasn’t the Mexican we were looking for.  If anything, I’d say it’s a bar that serves pretty good Mexican food as opposed to a Mexican joint with a bar.  I’m not saying it was bad.  It just wasn’t what we thought it was.  They had some good looking nachos and I’ve read their pizza is good.    I wouldn’t be opposed to going back for a drink and a pizza sometime, but we’re going to keep looking for a Mexican place. 

Chips and Salsa

Steak Quesadilla

Cheese Quesadilla

Pappy's Place on Urbanspoon

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Tim permalink
    February 4, 2012 2:02 am

    I am from florida, was up there to see my wife kids and grand kids. Good food and a good time and good prices . My drinks a + . Friendly people and great bartenders. visit me at wing nuts cape coral florida. Timothyj629@yahoo.com happy spring break 2012 . Bring me some snow

  2. Tara permalink
    June 3, 2018 6:06 am

    The guy who wrote this sounds like the whiniest, pickiest c–t. So does his useless tart “companion”. Like they would refuse to pay because the topping wasn’t right. “Ugh mom, I don’t eat tomatoes”. I never got much of anything at Pappy’s, not exactly a culinary spot. It seemed lame at the time, but 20 years ago when I think of “going out”, an image of that place comes to mind. They had dancing and alcohol there! I’m very sad it closed down but there is really no reason to keep a dated place like that open any longer.

    • SW Michigan Dining permalink*
      June 5, 2018 9:45 am

      I’ve been called worse…..and for the record, I’ve never sent something back or demanded it be taken off a bill….nor have I ever punished the server by cheating them on a tip.

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