Dude Food: Pappy's Old Fashioned Hamburger Co.
Tears on my burger, pain in my heart, caused by yoooooooooou.
Noah W. Bailey
Pappy's Old Fashioned Hamburger Co.
1475 W Mockingbird Lane
Dude Factor: 9, or Pappy Van Winkle, on a scale of 1(Big Papi) to 10 (W. Lee "Pappy" O' Daniel)
Today I decided to venture afield for new Dude Food adventures, consulting Google and picking the nearest strange burger place I could find with a cool name. Sure, it's a woefully unscientific method, but it's surprisingly effective.
Obviously, the name "Pappy's Old Fashioned Hamburger Co." seemed pretty legit, so I loaded up some co-workers and trekked a couple exits up 35 to check the joint out. What we found was a promising hole-in-the-wall next to a Subway and an ancient Sigel's.
I only wish I'd discovered it earlier, but as far as I can gather there are only three reasons to ever be on this part of Mockingbird--A. You work in one of the many office complexes; B. You're headed to Love Field; or C. You're headed to New Fine Arts or the tiddy bar. Now, there's a fourth reason.
The menu at Pappy's is extensive for a burger joint, encompassing everything from catfish to Goulash. The Girl Drink Drunk even ordered meatloaf, which she claimed was even better than her grandmother's. See for yourself.
Noah W. Bailey
All the dudes ordered variations on the house specialty, from the
hickory burger to my own substantial bacon cheeseburger. If the picture didn't spell it out for you, I will--these were some damn fine burgers.
The fries were really the only point of contention among the group, with some finding the hand-cut taters a little limp for their tastes, and others begging to finish off the neglected, offending sides once they'd dispatched their own orders.
The decor is not much to look at (between the green plaid tablecoths, hanging plants and Garden Ridge-issue '50s signage, there's a strong mother's touch going on here) but the doo-wop soundtrack flipped some switch in our brains that undoubtedly made the burgers taste even better--call it the Arnold's Drive-In effect.
Thankfully, none of the nostalgic touches feel forced here (hello, Johnny Rockets), most likely because the older couple behind the counter--Pappy and Mrs. Pappy, I presume--could easily be mistaken for people I've seen giving testimonials in Time Life Doo Wop box set infomercials. (They might have even discovered the future location for their burger joint while they were out sparkin' in Pappy's Thunderbird.)
Pappy's is a lot like one of those box sets, come to think of it--with so many hits, the memories come flooding back. Just don't take your parents there, 'cause they might start making out in front of you.
Get the Dining Newsletter
The week's top local food news and events, plus interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, dining tips, and a peek at our print review.