Posts Tagged purple-hull peas

My $7.00 Lunch at Bobby’s Country Cookin’

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The latest stop in my affordable lunch series brought me to Bobby’s Country Cookin’, a lunch-only, cafeteria-style restaurant in West Little Rock. I’d been to Bobby’s once before, but that was a few years ago, so I was really itching to get back and see if the place was as solid as I remembered.

Long story short … it was.

Bobby’s is no-frills and all business, evident by the folks who file in and head straight towards the food counter. I arrived at 10:55 a.m. and was surprised to see at least 15 other people were already eating in the restaurant. Apparently, I’m not the only 85-year-old who likes to eat at 11 a.m.. By 11:15, the place was at 75% capacity. I imagine Bobby’s has a very loyal clientele.

The selection of food isn’t overly expansive, and that’s a good thing. The restaurant is known for its crispy fried chicken, which is available daily, and although I didn’t order any, it definitely passed the eyeball test. It looked super crunchy. Other main entree offerings include: chicken fried steak, meatloaf, beef stroganoff, fried pork chop, and lasagna, among others dishes. Just make sure to check Bobby’s website for a daily menu because items rotate in and out. Vegetable sides include: green beans, corn, carrots, purple hull peas, fried okra, pinto beans, mashed potatoes and gravy, steamed cabbage, sweet peas, Great Northern beans, macaroni and cheese. You can even order from a variety of pies for dessert.

Because this series is about keeping the price low, I opted for the Veggie Plate, which consists of three veggies and a roll. As you can see, I went with the mashed potatoes and gravy, purple hull peas, and fried okra. Everything, including that deliciously addictive roll, was excellent. I was particularly impressed with the crunchy batter on the okra, along with the tender purple hull peas that had bits of bacon scattered throughout. The combination of peas and mashed potatoes hit me just right.

The entire meal (with tax) came to exactly $7 … a great deal for a stick-to-your-ribs lunch. Bobby’s staff was warm and friendly and the entire dining experience took 20 minutes, start to finish.

Bobby’s is an underrated hidden gem, but those who know about it, know it’s good.

Bobby’s Country Cookin’
301 N Shackleford Rd
Hours: Monday-Friday 10:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.

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Mighty Good Recipe: Slow Cooker Purple-Hull Peas

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If you’ve been following my blog for any amount of time, you know how much I love Rattle’s Garden, the small-ish farm in Vilonia run by the Staintons. I’m a member of their summer Farmshare program, which I pick up every Saturday morning during the summertime at the Hillcrest Farmers Market. More recently, I also joined the fall Farmshare program. Over the past few weeks, I’ve received peppers, turnips, cucumbers, squash, and purple hull peas.

After living in Little Rock for the past five years, there is one culinary fact …  people go crazy over purple-hull peas. And for good reason, it’s simple comfort food that takes you back to a warm and fuzzy place. Just in case you’ve never cooked them at home, I wanted to share with you this very easy crockpot recipe that includes just a few ingredients.

Truth be told, I’ve really shied away from using the crockpot the past few years, especially as it pertains to meat recipes. The more I cook, the less enthused I am about overcooking meat. Granted, the slow cooker is a vessel of convenience, but nowadays I find that vegetable/bean-based recipes like the one below are better suited for 8 hours of low heat cooking. Enjoy!

Ingredients
-1 lb. purple-hull peas
-6 cups chicken stock
-slices of uncooked bacon (chopped)
-2 cups of frozen okra
-salt and pepper to taste

Place all of the ingredients in the slow cooker. Set on LOW for 8 hours. That’s it! And if you need a great mashed potatoes recipe, click here.

*Special thanks to my friend Paul Ward for donating the delicious homegrown okra used for this recipe.

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