Papagallo, located at 87 Pleasant St., is Attleboro's newest family-run restaurant. The liklihood of being greeted by a member of the Amaya family upon entering is high. Family members came to the city from their native El Salvador over a period of many years and are now serving a vast array of international delights to area diners.
Karina Amaya explained that the restaurant is operated by the entire family, which includes two sisters, four brothers, mom and dad. Papagallo was a project that took two years to complete with much of that time spent seeking out the location and then giving much thought to construction and decoration.
Francisco Amaya indicated that they wanted to convey a warm, inviting feel to the space and decided to work with shades of red, black, grey and whites in the diningroom, which has a capacity of about 75 diners. Artwork on the wall depicts locations from around the world, keeping with the international flavor of the Papagallo menu.
"We've also got a full service bar with 23 varieties of draft and bottled beer," Amaya said. "For football fans we offer 1/2 price appetizers on Sundays and Monday evenings and we have the complete NFL Sunday Ticket so we can show games going on anywhere in the NFL," he said.
Entrees are priced from $9 to $17, with a straightforward menu which lists the selections, primary ingredients and the dish's country of origin. You'll find traditional American fare, along with Italian, Mexican, Salvadorean, Puerto Rican, Mediterranean, Japanese and more from around the world. House specialties are indicated by a "kite" symbol on the menu, as the word "Papagallo" is Spanish for "kite".
As for "must try" options, Chef Ever Amaya suggested the Conejo, their specialty rabbit dish which is seasoned with Salvadorean spices and served with rice, refried beans and tortillas.
"I would also suggest the Mofongo Relleno, a Puerto Rican dish made with fried, mashed, green plantains and stuffed with your choice of steak, chicken or shrimp," he said. Ever Amaya brings many years of experience to the kitchen at Papagallo, having served as a chef at such well known establishments as the Lafayette House and Luciano's in Wrentham.
Debbie Carroll of Attleboro along with daughter Colleen and her sister Lynne Doherty of Plainville were at Papagallo enjoying a late lunch. "I've been here five times already," Carroll said. "They've only been opened than less than a month!
"I keep coming back bringing different people," she added. "They've got a wonderful eclectic menu with prices that seem right for the current economy," she added.
Looking ahead, Papagallo will be opening a bakery next door to the restaurant. The bakery will operate with earlier hours and feature a variety of El Salvadorean baked goods along with Latin American food products such as sauces, beans and frozen items. The Amaya's hope to have the bakery open in a few weeks.