Paparico’s Mexican Restaurant
Finally. A great Mexican restaurant in my neck of the woods. I have long searched for a place closer to the Plaza/Brookside area that would satisfy my frequent cravings for enchiladas, carnitas, burritos and the like.
Hence my near euphoria after eating at Paparico’s Mexican restaurant. My husband and I went for breakfast one morning, though the owner Ismael (who goes by Papa Rico), offered to fix us anything on the menu if we had a few extra minutes. No need. There was more than enough to choose from on the breakfast menu, even for those who don’t like eggs, including tacos, pozole and even mole.
I had a breakfast burrito, stuffed with eggs and my choice of a long list of ingredients. I selected chorizo and potato, and out came a huge burrito smothered with ranchero sauce. If you like it mild, that might be the sauce for you, though it didn’t do much for me. I preferred the “House Red”, a homemade guajillo sauce that was as close to a New Mexican chile sauce as I’ve found in Kansas City. It shows up on several menu items, including cheese and onion enchiladas and pork tamales. We also had pork carnitas and al pastor tacos, listed as “Premium” tacos, though they were what is usually classified as a street taco. Not the typical American version with cheese and lettuce but, rather, simply topped with onion and cilantro and served with chile de arbol and avocado jalapeno sauces. The sauces completed the dish, though the meats were little taste treats on their own.
In the morning all of the entrees are served with refried beans and breakfast potatoes (perfect little chunks of crispness) instead of rice and beans. I wish they had a whole pinto or black bean alternative to the refried version, but that was really my only quibble with the place.
Be forewarned. If you want to wash your food down with a beer or margarita, you’re stuck with soda or juice until the liquor license application goes through, but Ismael is hopeful that it will happen soon. Since it was morning, I didn’t mind, but the flavorful salsa and chips will be even better with a beer in one hand.
This is a real family operation. Husband, wife, brother, and daughters, they are all incredibly hospitable and want nothing more than for you to enjoy your meal. If you want to tweak a dish, or devise your own combo, just ask and they will oblige. They cater and even deliver. Ismael and his wife split the cooking, and share in the serving. He insists on making certain sauces (and even the chips) himself, while she has her own complement of specialties. Ismael told me they make their own mole, so that’s a must try for my next visit, which I’ve already started plotting.