The First Families of Houston Food: Why We Eat the Way We Eat in H-Town
Photo courtesy Pappas Bros. Steakhouse This is the kind of cooking that breeds longevity.
Pappas might just be the most famous name in Houston. In nearly every square mile inside the Loop, there's a Pappas restaurant to be found, and we can thank Jim Pappas and his sons, Chris, Greg and Harris, for that. The elder Pappas opened Dot Coffee Shop in 1967, and his sons soon started working there and learning the trade. About a decade after that, the Landrys and Jim Gossen opened the original Houston Don's and introduced Cajun-style gulf seafood to Houston. That same year, 1976, Chris and Harris Pappas opened their first restaurant, the Strawberry Patch, but their refrigeration company business often brought them to Don's, where they would ask questions about seafood and pick up tips from Gossen and the Landrys.
In 1981, the Pappases opened the first Pappas Seafood House. Jim died the following year, and his sons built him a legacy by expanding the business at lightning speed. By 1989, the brothers had 25 restaurants in the greater Houston area, and began expanding into Dallas, Austin and, later, San Antonio.
Photo courtesy Pappas Chris and Harris Pappas.
The original Strawberry Patch restaurant closed in 1993, and in its place the Pappas family built the first Pappas Bros. Steakhouse. It joined the other Pappas ventures, Pappas Seafood House, Pappadeaux, Pappasito's, Little Pappas Seafood House and Pappas Bar-B-Q.
Since then, the Pappases have also opened Yia Yia Mary's and Pappas Burgers, as well as a successful catering company. Today, there are 50 Pappas restaurants in Houston, and dozens more throughout Texas and in Chicago and Atlanta.
All of the Pappas restaurants have established themselves as leaders in their respective genres -- from the fresh seafood at the Seafood House, to the great Texas barbecue at Pappas Bar-B-Q.
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