A pork chop sandwich at Snappy Lunch is one of the great meals of the South. A boneless, tenderized loin chop is dipped in sweet-milk batter and fried in a shallow pool of oil until golden crisp. The finished cutlet has an irresistibly luscious character, moist and porky in some areas, crunchy in other areas where the pork is thin but the batter is thick. As created at Snappy Lunch by the late proprietor, Charles Dowell, this lovely piece of food is too broad for bread or bun, but it is sandwiched in a bun nonetheless, along with a battery of condiments that include a slice of tomato, chopped onion, mustard, cole slaw, and special chili sauce.
The chili is extraordinary, a sweet, tomato paste that, along with homemade slaw, perfectly haloes the creamy richness of the pork chop. One sandwich is such a substantial meal that even cut in half it is virtually impossible to lift to one’s mouth without major spillage. At the counter and booths of this old diner, it is served wrapped in wax paper without a plate; and the beverage of choice to accompany it is sweet tea.
Another item on the menu that adventurous eaters will want to try is the “breaded hamburger” – an economical item left over from depression days when precious beef was stretched by adding breadcrumbs as a filler. Some old-time customers got to liking it that way and still order it today. For us, it’s a curiosity … but no match for the truly superb pork chop.
Much as we adore the pork chop sandwich for lunch, we also treasure breakfast at Snappy Lunch, for that is when pans of big hot biscuits come out of the back oven, perfuming the whole place with their bready steam, and when the little restaurant is occupied almost exclusively by locals, engaged in classic café repartee concerning issues of great import to early-morning diner denizens everywhere: weather, sports scores, and politicians’ foibles.