Kitsch Fixes

Kitsch Fix #48: Pea Soup Andersen’s

Pea Soup Andersen’s has been “Splitting Peas Since 1924” in Buellton, CA

When I first drove from Northern to Southern California four months ago, I noticed an alarming number of billboards along the 101 highway advertising a peculiar place called Pea Soup Andersen’s. I laughed heartily about it at the time, because I had difficulty fathoming how in the world it was cost effective to devote one billboard to pea soup, let alone boast close to a dozen billboards on the soupy subject. On the seven-hour drive back north for our wedding, I was bowled over yet again by these pea-green ads, and I told my sweet that his wedding present to me had to be a little pea-soup expedition on our way home. Neither my husband nor Pea Soup Andersen’s disappointed; in fact, the eatery proved worth its many billboards and then some…

Housed in Buellton, a town named after the restaurant’s founders, Pea Soup Andersen’s offers comfort food, its very own travel inn, a history museum, and several gift shops filled with kitsch galore. The place is also plastered in hand-painted renderings of Pea Soup Andersen’s mascots, a portly chef named Hap-Pea and a scrawny guy called Pea-Wee. I was in heaven with all the kitschy goodness (of which this post only includes the pea-related items – yeah, that’s right, there’s more awesomeness to come next week)…

Hap-Pea and Pea-Wee welcoming guests past the restaurant’s hostess stand

The restaurant actually sells bags of dried peas and includes their famous (yet non-secret) recipe

Don’t let your tongue have all the fun – your toes can also enjoy the wonders of pea soup with these socks

Rows of Pea Soup Andersen’s magnets – ah, how I love a plurality of kitsch

Painted wooden cutouts of Pea Soup Andersen’s mascots – look closely and you’ll notice Pea-Wee is a bit frightened

Psst: I should note that my husband ate the pea soup and said it was delicious. But, come on, who really cares about taste when there’s kitsch the likes of this? Leave a comment.

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  • Reply ellie August 25, 2011 at 6:54 am

    This is too funny! I honestly wouldn’t have been able to take it seriously, but it looks really cool!!

    • Reply Jennifer R. Coté August 25, 2011 at 12:51 pm

      I was right there with you, Ellie, and was unable to keep a straight face throughout lunch. At first I felt bad for my giggle fits, but then I realized the owners have to know that ridiculous humor of their kitschy place is what draws customers in. Thanks for reading! 🙂

  • Reply Kitsch Fix #65: Wild Christmas | coté writes December 22, 2011 at 10:52 am

    […] fix to kick off the holidays. I spotted these animal-print ornaments and bedazzled Santa hats at Pea Soup Andersen’s back in August, and it took all my self-restraint to hold off on sharing them until now. As if it […]

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