Durham >Food & Dining > Papas Grille
1821 Hillandale Rd, Durham, NC | Directions 2770536.030626 -78.935838
Neighborhoods: Croasdaile Farm Master
Expensive and not customer oriented – I had a gift certificate that I forget to bring when I ate there this weekend. I stopped in today to try and get cash back on the certificate for the meal I had already paid for. No Deal. So I went to their coffee shop and tried to use the gift certificate. No Deal. Its only good in the restaurant. This is a notably expensive restaurant in a strip mall, with a strip mall attitude.
Pricey but DELICIOUS – Everything here tastes wonderful. Fresh ingredients, fine recipes.
Huge disappointment – We went there for Valentine's Day and got reservations for later in the evening. They had added extra tables and wait staff was very busy. We had to finally ask someone to please take our drink order. There was confusion over who was supposed to serve our table, although other diners had been there previously. We also had to ask for our bread. We saw other customers just get up and leave from frustration, they ran out of food, brought incorrect orders. They hiked up the prices from the regular menu for the same dishes and it was arrogantly overpriced. When we mentioned all this to the owner she mumbled "sorry, we were busy." No excuse when they intentionally added extra tables. Overpriced mediocre food, lousy service, rude owner. Can't see any reason to ever recommend this to anyone.
One of Durham's best kept secrets! wonderful – Recently, I had the privilege of eating at Papas Grille in Durham. I have lived in Durham for nearly 5 years, and only recently heard of the restaurant, although it has been there for over 16 years! Not only was the service wonderful (the waitstaff was extremely friendly, professional and knowledgeable), the food was absolutely incredible. The appetizers were flavorful and artfully presented, and the entrees were delicious. The atmosphere was peaceful and sophisticated, and I would recommend Papas to anyone looking to have a very special evening. I normally am not one to write reviews, but I really wanted to share about this special place!
Great food, expensive, poor service – In terms of food. This place is great. We started off with a Greek salad that was good. I had the paella which was excellent. They gave me a lot of meat. Sometimes restaurants only give you a little meat to save costs but I got a wide variety. The chicken dish my fiancee got was good. We shared a torte which we both enjoyed. Definitely check out their website before going so you can see the prices. It is by no means cheap. We went because we got a gift certificate but wouldn't have gone otherwise. This is Durham, not New York. I don't think there was a wine for under $9 a glass and most dishes were in the 20s. However, the worst part was service. The waitress brought the wrong chicken dish to my fiancee. At first she didn't take the blame but eventually did and apologized. However, it took a long time for her to bring out the right meal; I had already finished mine so it wouldn't get cold. When we got the bill, she had forgotten to take out the meal she brought by accident. If you have money, check this place out. Otherwise, there are many of other nice restaurants in Durham.
Good Food, Expensive, NOT kid friendly, cozy – We have tried this restaurant twice, the first time by purchasing a restaurant gift certificate. We were astounded to have spent $115 on a meal for three adults and a toddler after using our $25 gift certificate. The food is always awesome, but we will probably never go again do to their increasing prices. As an example- the first time we went about a year ago we spent $4 on some chopped veggies and chicken child's meal (which by the way is NOT on the menu, and you have to ask for something for your child to eat). When we went back earlier this year they tried to charge us $9.50 for the same exact meal and portion size for the same child!!! That's over a %50 increase!!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE their Moussaka. But, in the same visits their price went from $17 to $22. I really will miss eating it, but luckily I've learned to make this dish at home for a reasonable price that I can afford to share with everyone!
The last odd point I would like to make- the waitress actually told me that she could not allow MY CHILD to use a fork. Last time I checked she didn't have the right to "allow" anyone's child that wasn't her own to use specific utensils. Our child uses a fork and spoon just like an adult does!!!
However, if you have no children and have tons of money to expend then by all means try Papas. Our Northern Durham restaurant selection may be small, but we choose to dine at restaurants that welcome our small family!
Pricey Diner – Sat at small table- I couldn't put my legs underneath. Food took 35 minutes. Steak so tough I lost 2 forks on floor trying to skewer it. Told waitress and all she did was say "sorry". Manager rude and only said come again and we will treat you better. Bread comes plain-nothing to go with it. Small selection of wines.
This place is nothing more than a pricey diner.
Just plain good ! – I have had the opportunity to dine in at Papas Grille on several occasions. I recommend it highly. The food is presented in a most beautiful way as to entice your palette the moment it is set on the table. Although the selection is somewhat limited, I need to have a ribeye, I have found that the staff is eager to please, whatever you dietary requirements or desires. Our waiter (no names here) was actually very knowledgeable about both the food and especially the wine. The waiter even left us with a unique twist on what to do with the cork once the bottle is opened. How'd you do that again? I have had the experience of having many of the fine staff wait on me here and found that they are all very professional. The food is very unique in what types of flavors are combined. Things that you thought would not necessarily go well together, really surprise you. I would tend to disagree with some of the other reviewers that may have had a bad experience with the restaurant and the servers as we all can have a bad experience once in a while. I have truly found this to be one of the hidden treasures of the Raleigh Durham area.
Good food ruined by terrible customer service – Based on our very unprofessional server, I would never recommend this restaurant to a friend or enemy. The food was most excellent, and our experience was ruined by one moody waiter. I cannot in all honesty give this restaurant more than one star. Had circumstances been different, I would be giving 4 stars.
We mentioned what happened to the owner's wife, and her reply? "We should have stiffed the waiter. Come back next time and we make it up to you." WRONG answer. I have worked at, owned , and managed restaurants in the past, and, and if things went wrong during the meal, you compensate for it at the time of service. Instead, Ms. owner's wife was making excuses for her employee. NOT cool, and not very bright of her.
It was not a crowded night, and the server had an attitude from the moment he approached our table. It left us wondering what did we do wrong? Good food and incompetence are a BAD combination, and we will never set foot in Papa's Grille again.
Beware of "Ivan the Terrible!"
Pricey, small portions, but tasty – The food here really is spectacular whether it's appetizers, soups, seafood, pastas, or desserts. I've eaten here numerous times and loved every bite. But prepare to pay up for a complete meal - this could easily run a couple hundred bucks for two people. If you stick to an entree only you will likely leave hungry - the portions are that small. I can't help feeling bilked. The markup on alcoholic beverages is enormous and the wine list disappointing - doesn't match the quality of the food. Also, the owners are extremely particular about which clientele get to eat in the dining room, and it may take a very long time to get your food if there is a group function going on, which there often is...I'm sure they make a lot of their $ off the groups. I do love the food, but there are better values elsewhere.
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