Irving Restaurant Gives Away Black-Eyed Peas on New Year's Day

The Southern tradition of eating black-eyed peas on New Year's Day is thought to bring luck and prosperity

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A restaurant in Irving wants to bring in a heaping helping of good luck in 2021 by serving up free black-eyed peas on New Year's Day.

"We came up with this idea, let's give away free black-eyed peas to everyone. that way, it's gotta help somebody, right?," said restaurateur Mel LeMane.

LeMane owns Po' Melvin's on North Beltine Road and still cooks the black-eyed pea recipe that earned his dad 'Best in Show' at the State Fair of Texas 30 years ago and put the family into the restaurant business.

"I think what makes them unique, it's the gravy that the black-eyed peas are actually cooked in is what makes it so good," LeMane explained.

Free Black-Eyed Peas

  • Po’ Melvin’s
  • 4070 N. Belt Line Road, Irving, TX 75038
  • Friday, Jan. 1 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Even though the restaurant is struggling in the pandemic, LeMane will give away those famous black-eyed peas in a contactless drive-thru on New Year's Day from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. They'll give out four six-ounce servings per car until the peas are all gone.

"Hopefully, we're gonna change some luck this year and somebody's gonna be very prosperous maybe by eating these black-eyed peas," he chuckled.

LeMane hopes he's among the lucky.

"I'm gonna eat 'til I pop. I'm gonna eat as much as I can, believe me. I need all the luck I can get. I'm gonna overindulge. I'm gonna be a glutton on New Year's Day. I can guarantee you that," he said.

The restaurant will also have extra black-eyed peas, collard greens and jalapeño cornbread available for purchase on New Year's Day.

Po’ Melvin’s “Best in Show” Black Eyed Peas Recipe


1 lb. hickory smoked bacon, chopped
1 cup of chopped green onions
1 lb. dried black eyed peas, soaked overnight and rinsed
6 cubes of beef bouillon or 2 Tb. bouillon paste
6 cups water
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco and salt to taste (optional)


Sauté the bacon until brown and crisp. Add the green onions and sauté.
Add the black-eyed peas, water, bouillon and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat, cover and let simmer for an hour and a half to two hours, allowing some of the water to evaporate.

Taste and add salt if desired, and/or a dash of Worcestershire sauce or Tabasco.

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