Paparico’s Mexican Restaurant
Situated in a former BBQ restaurant Paparico’s opened a few months back to little, if any, fanfare. Located at 8314 Wornall Rd just on the outskirts of Waldo I have driven by it a few dozen times since it opened and really hadn’t ever seen more than a couple of cars in the parking lot at any given time. I have a number of friends who have eaten here and heard plenty of mixed reviews. So finally, last Friday with the time ticking down on getting my final new restaurant knocked out for April myself, my better half, and our pal Willie decided to head on over there regardless of how full the parking lot was. I was actually a bit dumbfounded when we pulled up and discovered a basically full lot and walk through the doors to see almost all the tables were occupied as well.
Our spirits a bit buoyed by discovering we weren’t the only people in KC going to try this place out on a fine April night. We take our seats and start perusing the menu to discover the first letdown of the evening. Paparico’s still didn’t have their liquor license. After inquiring about it we were told by the owner that they expected it early this week, so hopefully by now that wrong has been righted. Overall it was pretty quiet inside and could have used some background music or just something to add a little to the atmosphere.
We order queso to start and it was brought out steaming hot and not some small and stingy portion as some places around town serve. The white queso had a really fresh flavor and creamy texture. I personally like my queso a little thicker so it sticks to the chip as you scoop it out while this one was fairly runny, but that’s just a matter of personal opinion. The chips and salsa were also above average in my book and the freshness and crispness of the salsa was evident as we cleaned out the first two bowls of it brought to our table in about 3 minutes. You know sometimes when you go somewhere at the salsa is good enough that you just don’t want to stop eating it even though you know you’re filling up and still have dinner coming? Well their salsa was maybe not fully on that level but pretty darn close.
When our meals came out we were all pleased with the portion sizes as they weren’t overwhelmingly large or disappointingly small. So we dug in and I noticed the conversation came to a virtual standstill as we all hungrily devoured our meals. I had ordered the Enchiladas Rancheros and was rewarded with a plate of surprisingly delicious food. The pieces of chicken were large and juicy, the enchilada rancheras sauce was not your typical out of a can sauce you find at many Mexican restaurants around town and the rice was moist and fluffy and didn’t seem like it’d just been sitting under a food warmer all night. The lady had the chicken tacos and thoroughly enjoyed them. I had a couple of bites and again thought the chicken was well seasoned and moist. The pico de gallo was fresh and had a good clean flavor and really helped pull the tacos together.
All in all I was very pleasantly surprised by Paparicos. I honestly thought just another run of the mill Mexican place opened and would be closed in 6 months, but after going there I’m guessing that as word really starts to spread this place will be harder and harder to get a table at. I don’t know that Paparico’s will make my list of Top 10 Kansas City Mexican places, but after it’s showing on Friday night it definitely made a pretty strong case for itself. If they spruced up the inside a bit and improved the overall atmosphere it’d definitely move up my list.
3.5 out of 5 Cows
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