You can’t spell happy with Pappy.

7 Dec

The purpose of this blog is to let readers know about all the wonderful little hidden gems this city has to offer in terms of great food and drink.  And one of my pastimes is going out to eat and finding new places to enjoy.  A new restaurant opened up on Burnet Rd recently in my neighborhood and of course it is my duty to check it out.

The place is called Pappy’s Bar and Grill and it inhabits this inconspicuous corner in a strip mall by the Allandale HEB that seems destined to fail.  In the 9 years I have lived here, I have seen that corner spot change hands so many times.  Not sure why, could be that it’s not easily visible since HEB commands the major presence there or the fact that it’s near Kids n Cats, a store that on the inside looks  like a yard sale vomited or where the “Made in China “crap goes to die.  In fact, the owner of Pappy’s apparently was getting really desperate to get customers through the doors that he decided to park himself up on the roof and play his guitar to get people’s attention.  Gotta give him props for trying.

So he got my attention and Ross and I decided to give Pappy’s a shot.  And I really, really wish I had good things to report.  But not in this case.  Oh where should I start?

First off, the place was dark.  Not dark as in mood lighting – dark as in, is this place actually open?  Part of the restaurant looked like it was closed off due to construction or a hazmat accident – not really sure what to make of that.   The waitress comes over right away – okay, prompt service, that’s a plus (though there  really wasn’t anyone else commanding her attention).  She takes our drink orders and hands us the menu.  This is where we should have faked an illness and walked out.  The menu did not give me any confidence in the food since it was a laminated card displaying large photos of the food.  If you’re going to have photos,  be sure they are representative of what you will actually be eating.   You can probably guess by my tone that they were not.  Plus, the menu just looked cheesy.  The food options were incredibly unhealthy – not a single salad or vegetable on there.  Only a burger,  a couple of sandwiches, chicken strips, pizza, hot wings, queso – you get my drift.

Then we got the food.  I ordered a cheeseburger with fries and I think the only way to accurately describe it is to say it was the same quality you would get at the concession stand at the zoo.  Seriously.  The meat patty didn’t even come close to covering the surface area of the bun.  Ross ordered the chicken strips and they weren’t bad, but hey, they’re chicken strips.

Come on Pappy, this is Austin.  If you are planning on serving up some American grub, you’ve got to do better than that,  especially when you’ve got an awesome burger joint practically next door (Phil’s Icehouse).  But I don’t want to just dish out the bad, I want to give a solution for you Pappy.  Because I want to see you succeed -the more restaurants I have in my backyard, the happier I am.

So I’ve got two words for you: SportsBar.  If this place was changed up to a sports bar I bet it would rock!  First of all, this endeavor would not require much.  The space at Pappy’s is ample – in fact, they already have a room set up with two very nice pool tables and darts.  Done.  Second, there is also already a very long bar with three huge flat screen TV’s.  Done.  All you need are more TV’s along the other wall, add more brewery taps, improve the food quality with some healthier options  and serve up good drink specials during game days and you’ve got yourself a business.  Besides, who doesn’t love a sports bar in this town?

I doubt the owner of Pappy’s Bar and Grill will ever read this, which is a shame because I think it would work.  Hmmm…maybe after the place goes under, I’ll take over the lease and turn it into a sports mecca.  Who’s in?

Pappy's Bar and Grill on Urbanspoon


5 Responses to “You can’t spell happy with Pappy.”

  1. Ross A. Kennedy December 7, 2011 at 1:11 pm #

    That would be a great spot for a sports bar!! Just add a few TVs, kill the Hank Williams radio station, and hire a few folks that don’t look like they’ll shank me for looking at them wrong and you’ve got near instant success.

  2. Charlie Sandham February 1, 2012 at 1:48 pm #

    The owner has read this, and many things have changed since your initial visit.

    We have extended the salad bar, have more healthy, gluten-free, and vegetarian options, and no longer use the laminated menus with pictures. You can see the new menu on our website at:

    We no longer run the cafeteria line, instead focusing on just one or two daily homegrown specials, and have added made from scratch soups. We also have an all you can eat soup and salad combo for $5.54.

    We do offer drink specials on game days, and will be open this Sunday for the Superbowl.

    We genuinely hope that you will give us another chance, and see how we have improved.

    • alisaanne February 2, 2012 at 12:07 pm #

      Oh glad to hear this – I will come by again. Thanks for reaching out and I really hope y’all do well!

    • Mike April 3, 2012 at 7:40 pm #

      I actually went to Pappy’s in January after these changes were made. Everyone at the bar seemed happy, but I think you guys had one waiter taking orders for the whole restaurant. It took a really long time for my order to come out, and when it did, the supposedly smoked burger was actually very bland and unacceptably dry for having clearly been cooked on a griddle. Perhaps the waiter knew that the meal could not hope to live up to the insane waiting time since I ended up eating for free. I am not in any way gifted in the kitchen, but I could easily have made a better burger than that at home with some ground round and maintained a fair amount of flavor and juiciness. This was especially disappointing since some very early reviews of your restaurant had indicated that the burger was everything it promised and then some. I have been eating a burger at a different place every week for 8 years, and it is rare that I go out of my way to criticize a place, but Austin is a city with an unusually high concentration of great burgers and Pappy’s performed well below the standard on my visit.

  3. Tracy February 5, 2012 at 7:18 am #

    What a great blog

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