Southern Twists at Mt. Airy’s Geechee Girl Rice Cafe

Craig LaBan calls Geechee Girl Rice Cafe one of Philadelphia’s most “personal and unique BYOBs.” Afterall, where else are you going to find creative takes on South Carolina Low Country classics.

And black-eyed peas (also known as cow peas) figure prominently in one of the restaurant’s most addictive dishes – crispy Hoppin’ John – a day-after variation whipped up in her youth by her father, Alexander, who would fry the leftover rice and beans in a pan of rendered bacon. The childhood memory of that flavor came back to Erwin just a couple of years ago, but it’s so addictive, I’d return to Geechee just for a plate – those grains of jasmine rice all toasty crunch, studded with toothy beans and smoky nuggets of chewy bacon.

Two Bells – Very Good

And if you’re looking for good luck this New Year, check out Geechee Girl’s Hoppin’ John recipe.

Geechee Girl Rice Cafe [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Geechee Girl Rice Cafe [Official Site]