Saturday, July 23, 2016

Restaurant Review – Pappy’s Café aka Pappy’s Tavern

Review by Don Taylor

Pappy's Tavern - Andover, Minnesota
It is rare that I go to the same restaurant two times in a row; however, I during my recent visit to Minnesota I went twice with friends to Pappy’s Café (The sign outside says Pappy’s Tavern while the menu says Pappy’s Café. People who know me know I really love a good breakfast, so two sets of friends on two separate days took me to Pappy’s.

Frist, I went with friends from Blaine, MN, who live about 10 miles from Pappy’s. When we arrived, the place was very busy. We threaded our way to the back to a table next to the pull tab sales booth. It was busy, but it made buying pull tabs easy for my friend who only needed to turn around to purchase them.

We ordered Bloody Marys while we reviewed the menu.

The waitress, Sidra, brought the Bloody Marys with a snit. It had been a long time since I had a Bloody Mary in the Midwest that I had forgotten the tradition of having a small beer chaser (called a snit) with your Bloody Mary. We clinked glasses, toasted our friendship, and then ordered.

I ordered a “Western Skillet,” two country fresh eggs, sausage, green peppers, onions & cheese. A hearty breakfast to be sure. One friend ordered hash and eggs; the other ordered a mushroom and cheese omelet.

We bought some pull tabs while we waited for our food. I always lose with those things, and this was no different. I’m not sure what the pull tabs there benefit, but I’m sure it must be a good cause.

Western Skillet at Pappy's Tavern
Andover, MN
When the food arrived, I could see my skillet was a perfect mix of diced ham, onions, peppers mixed into hash browns with eggs over-hard on top. I couldn’t have asked for more.

I don’t care for mushrooms. However, my friend’s mushroom omelet looked nicely folded. The accompanying hash browns were a beautiful square of brown goodness, and the marble toast looked properly toasted. The hash and eggs of my other friend order looked suspiciously like Mary Kitchen. We were all pleased with our breakfasts. Another Bloody Mary to go with breakfast, coffee, some water and I was hydrated.

The omelet and hash browns
on the second visit.
The beautiful, crispy, hash browns
on the first visit
That day I was visiting friends in Oak Grove, about nine miles north of Pappy’s. After an evening and a night of catching up in Oak Grove, my hosts suggested going out for breakfast before I headed to visit my mother in Buffalo. She suggested we go to a place she and many of her guests go to often. Had she said we were going to “Pappy’s” I would have known exactly where we were going.

We arrived about a half-hour earlier than I had arrived the day before. It was busy, but there were still a few vacant tables. We had the same waitress as I did the day before. She remembered me, and we joked about how I seem to know many of their regular customers. We ordered Bloody Marys all around and reviewed the menu.

Across the room, I saw a specials board and saw they had chicken fried steak. I thought, wow, I wonder how Pappy’s compares with Travis Restaurant. I had eaten chicken fried steak there just a few days earlier when I was in Detroit (See Review: Travis Restaurant).

Chicken Fried Steak and Eggs
Pappy's Tavern - Andover, MN
My chicken fried steak was considerably smaller at Pappy’s than it had been at Travis. It also had a couple small bits of gristle that I didn’t experience at Travis, but it was okay. The gravy was also good, but I would have liked more of it. The hash browns needed a bit more cooking time.

It must have been a different cook. All-in-all the food wasn’t nearly as good the second day. The omelets weren't as nicely folded; the hash browns were not as nice and brown. (See comparison photos above. Half of the toast was missing on one plate. Don’t know if it was the cook’s fault or the server’s fault. Don’t get me wrong, it not that it was bad, it just that it wasn’t quite as good as the day before. However, the Bloody Marys were just as good as the day before.

Rating: 3.8

Ambiance: 2 (Typical strip-mall diner but more crowded (tables were close together) then most.)
Food: 4 (Every item was cooked perfectly the first day (5), not quite as good the second day.(3)
Service: 4 (Server was friendly and attentive although very busy.)
Price: 5 (Breakfast: Western Skillet was $8.29.)
Value: 4 (Good hearty breakfast at an excellent price..)


Would I go back -- Absolutely? It was good food at a good price.


Pappy’s Café is at
13827 Round Lake Blvd.
Andover MN 55304

1 comment:

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