Friday, July 16, 2010

Papachino's Grill & Green's

Papachino's Grill & Green's
14501 Ramona Ave

Readers of The New Diner, may wonder how I pick out about restaurants, that I have reviewed. Mostly it's word of mouth, other food bloggers I follow, even if some are MIA, and writers like David Allen.

I never know that Papachino's Grill & Green's was even opened. I don't go to that area of Chino Hills that often. But when I saw David Allen's review, I figured I would give them a try.

Grilled mahi mahi, with mild chipotle sauce, with mac and cheese and rice pilaf, $8.99. The mahi mahi was seasoned with olive oil, salt and pepper but I thought it wasn't well seasoned, very bland. But I think they do that on purpose because they think their mild chipotle sauce will cover up the lack of seasoning. The fish itself was fresh, flakey, and had a nice texture. But the lack of seasoning really hurt this fish.

The mac and cheese, was really shells and cheese. I loved the very creamy cheese sauce-well mixed, good flavor but there wasn't enough of it. There were shells that had barely any cheese sauce on them.

The rice pilaf was served warm, but had a good flavor. It would be better if served hot.

I have to try the fish and chips, with cole slaw, $7.99. I was impressed. The fish is white roughy, which I never heard of, but it was pretty good. It's not cod, which makes the best fish and chips. But pretty good. The white roughy isn't as dense as cod but had a nice texture and flavor. The beer batter was very crunchy. I would say batter to fish ratio was about 90% fish to 10% batter. The tartar sauce is on the table with the free chips and salsa. So you can get as much as you want!! Nice tangy tartar sauce, that I just found out is made from scratch.

I found out that white roughy is considered by the FDA to be a misleading name for basa fish which is the official name of the fish. Basa fish is a catfish like fish.

Service is great. From the moment I walked into Papachino's, everybody was nice and friendly. Papachino is order at the counter and your food is brought to you. The cashier was helpful and nice. I found some tables outside, on their patio. I went inside to get water and free chips and salsa. The servers, would hold open the door for me. One even said sorry when the door closed in front of me but the interesting thing was; I wasn't close enough to the door for her to open the door for me. So, I wasn't upset at all. But it does show how friendly the servers are. While sitting down, I was greeted by a nice server and he asked if I needed anything!

When my food was brought to my table, that server was great; answering my question about the fish and chips and nicely telling me, she would bring silverware for me. Then about five minutes later, another server came up and said she will bring me silverware, I told her thanks but I've already got some. But, again, that shows how great the service is at Papachino's. Finally, I asked another server for a box and he came out quickly with a box. Then he said thank you and have a good night. I had interaction with 5-6 servers and all were great. Nice, friendly, helpful. I don't get that kind of service from restaurants that charge $50 a plate for entrees.

I would go back to Papachino's any time. Great prices, nothing over $10 and good sized portions. But more importantly great service. Seriously, many servers that I've dealt with, could come to Papachino's and learn about good service.