Let’s be honest: there’s hardly a better feeling than gathering around a table at a restaurant with your family or closest friends to stuff your face with chips and salsa while catching up on all things life and work.
In the last few socially-distant months, especially, we’ve all been longing for those moments once again.
Well good news: semi-hidden over on Verret St. in Houma is your new favorite spot for celebrating friendship and family over some delicious Mexican dishes.
Right upon arrival at Papi Chéo, located at 863 Verret St., you enter an adorable outdoor courtyard seating area before you even set foot inside the restaurant. My love of outdoor seating at restaurants was over the moon as I pulled up in that moment, but the humidity and impending rain (no thank you, Louisiana weather) led us to opt for indoor dining.
Nonetheless, the vibrant interior of the restaurant is just as charming, and I immediately made a mental note to return one night to check out the bar with my friends.
We were instantly greeted by Papi Chéo’s friendly staff…as well as cups of salsa and a basket of chips.
Not to be dramatic, but I like to think of myself as a salsa connoisseur. I will eat any kind of salsa anywhere and rank it in comparison to the other salsas I’ve tried. So, when I say that Papi Chéo’s salsa is some of the best salsa I’ve ever eaten, I mean it wholeheartedly. I brought some home for my two brothers, but there’s a good chance it’s not going to make it to my brothers.
Of course, we couldn’t go without ordering another appetizer (because who can only settle for one, right?). I chose the guacamole, and it was, without a doubt, the best decision of the day. This guacamole is seriously the best I’ve ever eaten and makes me feel a little bad about my personal attempt at a guacamole recipe, but I’m okay with that.
Papi Chéo has a limited menu that includes soups and salads, as well as beloved Mexican dishes like tacos, chimichangas, quesadillas, burritos, fajitas and more.
Almost every dish option comes with your choice of meat out of carne asada, tinga (adobe chicken), shrimp, al pastor, carnitas and chorizo. The possibilities are endless.
I decided to go for a pork carnitas burrito, which is stuffed with rice, beans, sour cream, lettuce, guacamole, pico and cheese and comes with a side of either soup or beans and rice.
First of all, don’t be fooled by an order coming with only one burrito. These burritos are HUGE, and the portion of rice and beans provided on the side is generous. However, they’re not overbearing. I ate almost every bite and didn’t feel overstuffed at all.
Second of all, every bit of food I tried was absolutely delicious and seemed super authentic. The mix of flavors within the burrito was perfect, and it’s paired perfectly with the side of rice and beans. I know I’m going to be craving food from here often. I’m looking forward to going back another day to try out something different (my younger brother says the chorizo is the best thing on the menu).
I visited Papi Chéo at lunchtime, but according to its Facebook page, the restaurant often offers live music in the evenings from local artists. Does it get any better than good food and local music?
So, next time you’re looking for a place to meet up with your friends and family for some good food, consider doing it over delicious salsa, perfect guacamole and authentic Mexican dishes at Papi Chéo.