Pappy’s Diner – Real Country Cookin’
Pappy’s is open Monday through Saturday from 6am-2pm serving breakfast and lunch on the corner of May and Reno (map).
As you are all aware by now, I typically frequent the shady, unknown places that most people wouldn’t set foot in without seeing if I come out alive first. I went into Pappy’s thinking it would be the same thing. A shady little diner, greasy food, but hopefully, a quality breakfast. What I found was good, old fashioned, country cookin’ and a great atmosphere. I don’t like to call it “home cookin’,” but rather “country cookin’,” because what is home cookin’ anyway? At my house it’s usually pasta, a meat product, and a cream sauce, but I digress…
Pappy’s is located on the corner of Reno and May next to Pappy’s World-Famous BBQ. Some may say it’s shady, but it lacks some key shady qualities:
- I would not feel unsafe alone.
- Prostitutes are across the street at Ray’s and seem to stay over there.
- There is actually some ambiance (pardon my French).
I have eaten at Pappy’s BBQ a few times. It’s OK, not sure about the world-famous bit, but you will never see a review by me on it. I made a promise to never review a BBQ restaurant. BBQ seems to stir up deep emotions in BBQ Nazis everywhere, and they often become violent and angry if you mention the wrong thing about wood, sauce, rubs, or smoke rings. Since I am not an expert in any of these areas, and have no interest in having the wrath of the BBQ Nazis aimed at me, I choose not to review BBQ. I will, however, review diners, greasy spoons, and shady eateries, and that is what brings me to review Pappy’s Diner.
Our first time into Pappy’s, we were a little concerned. Pappy’s does not serve breakfast past 11am. “Only one grill to cook on,” is what Doris said. This is the first time that has been explained to us. We always thought the reason was laziness. The last time we ate at a diner that didn’t serve breakfast it was a disaster (see Golden Touch Grill). Thankfully, for the sake of my digestive tract, this was not a disaster. The lunch menu included lots of diner favorites: pork chops, chicken fry, meatloaf, burgers, and more.
Pappy’s has an ambiance that is distinctly different than the shady joints I frequent. The place is clean and inviting, well lit, and friendly. It looks like a Coca-Cola museum. Coca-Cola ceiling fans, curtains, metal tins, and posters. Also, a lot of Dr. Pepper signs, which I have a great respect for.
Did I mention that the food is amazing? I haven’t had a really good fried pork chop in a long time. Sometimes you just need a good fried pork chop. Pappy’s Diner fulfills that need. It also fulfills your need for fried veal cutlets, chicken fried steak, meatloaf, goulash, catfish, and burgers. Mashed potatoes are real, not fake like what can be found at Oklahoma City’s over-hyped chicken fry houses. Other sides are equally good except for the green beans which were disappointing. The chicken fried chicken was moist, tender, and delicious. The desserts are different every day, and equally tasty. Meals are accompanied with freshly baked rolls. I find it interesting that a place that costs, on average, $6.50 a plate gives you free bread, and a place that costs, on average, $18 a plate makes you pay for it (see Royal Bavaria).
Pappy’s food is unlike any other diner I have visited in OKC. I hope to try it for breakfast soon, but that would require me to either skip out of work, or wake up early. Neither of these options are very likely to happen.
Another thing about Pappy’s is that they are accommodating. For instance, goulash was the special of the day, but my friends and I had our hearts set on fried food (no jokes about hearts and fried food, please). They asked if they could just have a small cup of goulash as a side item so they could try it. Our waitress said, “sure!” without hesitation. Now that’s great service. I like a place that lets you go off-menu every now and then.
One thing you should know before visiting Pappy’s — you can sign your name to the bottom of the ticket and they drop your name into a bowl. If they draw your name and write your name on the white board later that week, your meal is free. It has already happened to one of the members of my lunch crew. Today his name was on the white board. He described it as a feeling like no other when you walk into Pappy’s and your name is written in lights. What a great way to enjoy a lunch. Free!! The danger in this is that you find yourself wanting to go to Pappy’s every day in hopes that your name is on the white board.
Maybe we should start sending out scouts first so we can continue to try other places in town.