By Amy McCarthy
By Scott Reitz
By Scott Reitz
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Alice Laussade
By City of Ate
With many of my favorite homegrown Dallas restaurants closing down (Mr. Barbecue Bus is gone, Big D's Dogs bit it and now Vern's Place is shutting its doors? I hate choo, Dallas!), it's not as easy to find a $10 lunch here as it used to be. Of course, I don't count boring fast food chains, and strip club lunches don't really qualify, either. (Sure, the buffet says $6.99, but any gentleman knows it's gonna cost you a lot more than that since you also have to pay for Skittles' lunch and all those post-lunch itchy doctor visits, Mr. Dirty McSweatpants). I'm looking for something tasty, cheap and hopefully off the beaten path. So, when the Split Peas Soup Café popped up on McKinney Avenue, I thought to myself, "Sweet ass! Hot soup is just what I'm craving in this 100-degree heat! Aaaand they have boiling-lava hot patio seating with exhausty atmosphere! Double sweet ass!" Sure, it's on the most beaten-est path ever, but dude: I bet they offer at least a gaggle of soups, which, as a rule, are cheap, right?
Well, fuck Melissa Rivers if they don't charge $6.95 per bowl. (Don't worry—that's what they charge. Here's me hoping for you that they don't change their prices anytime soon.)
Sure, that's less than 10 bucks, but seriously? How good can mashed-up split peas really be, y'all? I'll tell you how good: Even the best mashed-up split peas, made into soup by E.T., stirred by a thousand little fairies and served to me by Chef God—we're talking best split pea soup on the planet made by some pretty damn cool beings—can only be about $3.95 good.
But add ham to that recipe and I'm willing to pay the $6.95 to find out how good split pea soup can really be. When my bowl of split pea and ham soup arrived, I took a slurp expecting wowage. And (now's when I start talking in it's-not-you-it's-me voice) it was really nice. I mean, it was smooth, seasoned well, the ham was great. Really, really great. It's everything I've really been looking for in a split pea soup, I just, I dunno, I think I just like it as a friend. A friend that I'll probably never see again and whom I'll leave for some cheap floozy like chicken-fried chicken plus a biscuit as soon as is humanly possible. I hope you find someone who really loves you, Split Peas Café. I really, really do.