Pros: Consistently good food at all locations I've visited
Cons: Sometimes I have to wait longer than I want to
If you like some good old fashioned down home cooking, try the Black Eyed Pea. I've been going there for years and it is one of my husband's and my favorite places to go when we are out running around. We never seem to plan to go there, it just seems like a mutually great idea when we are running errands and get hungry --"Let's go to the PEA!"
I've been to many of the locations in the Dallas area, and for the most part they are interchangeable as far as decor. The location in Mesquite has a nice homey little sign on the wall that I've quoted many a time--"If Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!" I can comfortably get behind that philosophy! The walls are filled with nostalgic tin signs and interesting paraphernalia. One location has a lovely mural of a vegetable market. The fresh wares displayed there are certainly representative of the food one finds in this restaurant.
The food at all the locations we've been to is consistent. My husband loves the Black Eyed Pea because they offer a vegetable plate that comes with five generous servings of some of his favorite veggies. I love the chicken fried steak. It comes with the choice of many different vegetables. My father always said that chicken fried steak was really tough old shoe leather beaten into submission and then battered. Not so, here. The steak is tender inside the crispy batter. They offer a Texas Sized chicken fried steak and it is so enormous that it sticks out past the edges of the plate. I've never gotten that, but I'm always awed when I see it being served.
One of the things I love about this restaurant is that they are willing to burn my fried okra. I love it crispy and when I tell them to "burn it," they happily accommodate my request. The kids love this place too. They are most fond of vegetables and of all things, they really like the meat loaf. Part of the dining experience at the Black Eyed Pea is the basket of fresh breads put out for the meal. There is a variety of hot rolls and cornbread. I could fill up on that alone with just a tad of butter. The vegetables are lightly seasoned, so that one can adjust for individual taste with salt and pepper. I hate going into places where the vegetables are cooked into submission and come to the table already too salty. Not so at the Pea!
The local locations were pretty easy going about letting our kids order off of the children's menu when they were really too old to do that. My oldest girl is very petite and just doesn't eat enough to justify a full sized meal.
At some locations, we've been provided with pitchers of soft drinks to refill our glasses as needed. This comes in handy when there are six people piling in the food.
I can't remember ever ordering dessert. The portions of the meals are so generous that when asked if dessert is wanted, we all just sort of groan and answer that we are too stuffed to think about it.
The service varies a bit at times. We've had mediocre service, but that is certainly not the rule. Most of the time the wait staff is fairly attentive, although I've noticed them being spread pretty thin at times. The best service seems to consistently be at the Cedar Springs location. The servers there are truly professionals.
When I get a craving for chicken fried steak, the first place I think of going is the Black Eyed Pea!