This was my first visit to Papagayo which came highly recommended from my friend Dave who frequents there often. For someone like me who lives in Brighton and works in Back Bay, the location isn’t the easiest to get to via public transit, but there are plenty of metered parking spots if you’re going with a DD. The restaurant is large, spacious, and has a long bar backed by 100s of tequilas!
Bread: Chips & salsa of course! The chips were oiled and salted to perfection and the salsa had just enough spice.
Menu: I’ve never taken a Spanish class a day in my life so please don’t think I’m undermining you with the subtitles: Antojitos (apps), Taquizas (tacos), Platos Fuertes (popular dishes), Ensaladas Y Sopas (salads & soups), Especiales de la Casa (house specials), Tortas Y Burgezas (sandwich served on house baked bread with chili dusted fries). Obviously we were ordering guacamole as an appetizer, so I tried to stick to a smaller entrée by ordering a taco salad (too bad I wasn’t aware of the large portion size!).
Table Side Guacamole – hand hacked haas avocado
The great thing about table side guacamole is that it’s fresh, home-made, and customizable! The guac maker asked how spicy we wanted it (mild, medium, or hot) and you can add carrots and celery for $1 extra.
Tostada Grande – choice of chicken tinga or muchaka with black beans, tomato, jack & cheddar cheeses
I went with the muchaka and was pleasantly surprised that it was in a pulled beef style rather than ground beef. The meat came topped with the salad components in a giant crispy tortilla shell. The salad was great, the meat being my favorite part, but it was way too big for me to finish. My only disappointment is that I had to add sliced avocado (shouldn’t that have been included in the first place?).
Margarita Snow Cones
If you’re a tequila fan I recommend this adult dessert. They’re a perfect little size and the flavors change daily. Featured below: pineapple, prickly pear, watermelon, and mango .. served with 4 tiny spoons!
Bathroom: Besides the trash can overflowing with dirty paper towels, the restroom was sleek and clean. I liked the dark wood paneling and the lighting on the mirrors. The full length mirror was a plus but there were only 2 stalls which caused for congestion and lines.
Wait Staff: I absolutely loved our waitress. She was joking around with us all night, the food service was in a timely fashion, and she encouraged us to get the signature margarita snow cones (which sounded like a great idea at the time but unfortunately helped lead to my demise). Being a new establishment, the manager came over to see how our evening was going and we had no complaints!
Overall: I tried to be a big girl and drink tequila like a real man, but let’s just say I will not be joining their Tequila Club (join the club, drink 100 different tequilas in 1 year and receive a dinner for 10!). The food was great and reasonably priced. The drinks I had were excellent, although I think I had one too many (red sangria, strawberry orange margarita, Patron XO Espresso martini – terrible combo). I was expecting it to be more crowded on a Saturday night (the manager said the bar is usually 3 people deep). A casual and growingly popular alternative for a Mexican restaurant!