About 2 and a half hours away from the City I live in, lies a favorite secret hidden place of mine: An authentic Old Western Restaurant for those only in a know, set off in the middle of the high desert, about 4 miles northeast of Yucca Valley is this honky tonk restaurant called Pappy and Harriet’s.
Pappy and Harriets, back in the days was an old cantina where former Hollywood celebrities used to hangout. Outside of it are old western saloons, old wooden banks, old barns and more: These were all used as a movie set back in the 50’s-60’s. Fast forward to this year, it is now home and antique stores to some people that uses it for business.
Hundreds of locals and tourists comes to this place. However, it is not for a quick detour. “If you’re in a rush, you’re in the wrong place” is a sign that you will see as soon as you enter Pappy’s and Harriet’s to remind you that the food here is cooked to its perfection. The meats here are slow cooked on their one grill over that mesquite wood, the way meats should be cooked. Expected time wait to get seated at this place? 1-2 hours. If you’re lucky to come at the right time maybe less, but if you’re unlucky, you might get sent away.
Unlike in any other hidden restaurants where you only see one type of crowd, in Pappy and Harriet’s you will find everyone: From meat and potatoes eating crowd, not to say you can find all walks of life from Mercedes to BMW crowd to Harley’s and Dirt Bike riders, to LA Hipsters to everything in between, Pappy’s and Harriet’s attracts everyone.
What is really special about this place? Is it the location? The trendy old western movie set? The food? The live band?
For my husband, its their inescapable smokey flavorful, tender and juicy Santa Maria Tri Tip or their thick and hardy Porterhouse and Ribeye steak slow cooked to their perfection with the side of his choice: pinto beans and fries.
For me, it could be anything about this place or anything in their Menu, that is. From their Tex-Mex meals, such as the famous one: “The Bowl” (red rice, beans, guacamole, pico, sour cream, any choice of meat) to their side orders such as cheese fries, nachos von rabbit, to anything…
There’s only one in their Menu that I swear by: the S’mores. Starting from the bottom is their homemade warm chocolate brownie, layered with that brown sugar and a scoop of cold vanilla ice cream topped with whipped cream all served together in one small mason jar. PERFECTION.
Pappy and Harriet’s is my favorite secret hidden restaurant. My favorite detour in Yucca Valley. Every time I come here I wonder why this place is overly crowded. It’s hidden, tucked away in the middle of the desert yet its overly crowded with different types of people from locals to tourists. Perhaps maybe because it’s far away yet close enough to the City? A perfect detour for anyone spending some time in Yucca Valley? The live rock and roll band? Maybe. But for whatever reason, whether it’s the location, the food, the crowd, maybe simply just their S’mores, one thing is for sure: Pappy and Harriet’s never gets old.