Susie’s Home Cooking – (Stay At Home!)

Sunday, February 17, 2013 - by Willie Mae
Susie's Home Cooking on Highway 153 in Hixson
Susie's Home Cooking on Highway 153 in Hixson

While getting my car serviced on Highway 153 in Hixson, I knew there was going to be a wait, so I thought I’d grab some lunch from somewhere close that I could walk to.

I saw Susie’s Home Cooking and thought I could get a pretty decent, home-cooked meal. I just don’t cook much anymore since I'm on my own.

I believe this place was where Shoney’s used to be and, when I walked in, it had the same look. There were a few hats to the left of the counter that said “I love Jesus” and other souvenir type things.

I was told to sit wherever I’d like so I chose a booth by the window. When the server came to take my drink order she said, “Help yourself to the bar.” Oh no! I do not like buffet-style restaurants! I didn’t see the banner out front until I left for my car - I had only paid attention to the top sign about home cooking.

I try to steer clear of all-you-can-eat places when I go somewhere for a story because I want to be fair and, most buffets I usually don’t care for. But I was there with no car so I determined to be as fair as possible in spite of my personal preference.

I already expected that with choosing a “home-cooking” place, I was already in for trying their Southern fried stuff. I keep saying I don’t like to eat fried foods often, but I seem to let curiosity win over when someone claims to have good Southern cooking and I want to compare it with all the wonderful Southern cooks I know.

I went to the one bar they had and I saw the same generic type salad makings you would normally see on these buffets. I passed on that.

The barbecue chicken looked alright - how can you mess that up? I saw a batch of fried green tomatoes and knew that would be the ‘fried thing I would try’ …for y’all.

I looked at the heated pans of food side by side all the way down the bar and I just wasn’t hankering for any of it. I did think their macaroni and cheese looked pretty good. It wasn’t hard or clumped up; it looked pretty creamy and the yams weren’t all doctored up with sugar so I got a few of those. The pintos looked okay, so I put some in a small side dish. I even plopped a fried chicken liver on my plate just to see if it was anything like my mother used to make.

That was all that I wanted to try so I took my plate full of starch to my table. I asked for hot sauce for the pintos and the girl brought me a big bottle of sauce that was clear bright orange. It may as well have been orange Kool-Aid; it wasn’t hot at all.

I still wanted to find something good about this place and hoped that between the fried green tomatoes and the pinto beans, I could tell you they tasted like Mayberry …but I can’t. The beans had the flavor of a tin can and the tomatoes were mushy.

The chicken liver was hard and the yams were not tender. When I tried the chicken, the meat was moist and tender but tasted like it had sat in the pan for quite a while and as if they had just dumped more of the messy, sweet sauce on it as the hours went by.

At least I could eat the macaroni. Nope! One bite of that and I was done with the whole thing. The ‘creamy look’ it had was probably just milk they stirred in the pan to keep it looking fresh. The macaroni was bland and had no cheesy flavor at all.

Now, I don’t like to say a place is terrible. I’d like to find at least one good thing about every place because I know we all have our own partialities and I try to be open-minded about all food. But folks, I just cannot recommend anything about this place except the price.

For $6.99 you can go fill your gullet with all the mushy, fried, sloppy food you want. But if you want to taste home cooking … you better just stay at home! I think some business owners who are not from here think us Southern folk just want cheap and all-we-can-eat-until-the-ambulance-comes.

After trying just a taste of each thing and leaving the meal, I decided to go back to Pep-Boys and get a Snickers from the vending machine.

Buffet-style food on the bar.
Buffet-style food on the bar.

Talus – Feeling A Little Jammed

Well, I got to Chattanooga again so Lois and I took off on another jaunt – this time on the other mountain since I know how Lois just LOVES to go up the mountains. We went up Lookout on Scenic Highway to a place called Talus Bar and Grill. Lois doesn’t think the drive up Lookout is as scary as Signal so she kept her eyes open. When we walked in, we noticed art from local ... (click for more)

Melting Pot Offers Financing To Re-Open Chattanooga Restaurant

The Melting Pot fondue restaurant announced that it is seeking qualified restaurant operators to re-open restaurants in Memphis and Chattanooga. To fuel development, interested candidates can take advantage of The Melting Pot’s new “Path to Grow” program, which provides financing to those who sign a franchise agreement to purchase an existing Melting Pot location in select ... (click for more)

Haslam Adds K-12 Funds In Budget Amendment

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam on Tuesday unveiled additions to the FY 2015-2016 budget that will be considered by the General Assembly in the coming weeks, including added funding for K-12. The governor last week met with school superintendents from the largest systems in the state over the issue of state funding for K-12. The next day, the Hamilton County Schools joined ... (click for more)

City Detective Who Was Arrested Twice In 4 Months Is Fired After Internal Affairs Investigation

A city detective who was arrested twice in four months has been fired by Police Chief Fred Fletcher. David Catchings had been charged with DUI last September and then with domestic assault at the end of the year. Police said, "After a complete review of both investigations – which included recommendations from Internal Affairs, the Administrative Review Committee and Officer ... (click for more)

Physicians Thank Their Patients On Doctor’s Day

March 30 has been set aside as National Doctors’ Day since 1933 as a time to recognize the contributions made by our physicians. While the recognition is appreciated, our greatest satisfaction comes from caring for our patients.  For 132 years, the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society has been the physicians’ voice as we worked together to improve health of our community. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Goodbye, Dr. Nassour

About 51 years ago, right after Jim Creel had graduated from the University of Texas and was in Guadalajara for medical school, he was surprised to find a complete stranger sitting on his battered and dusty Volkswagen. “He had seen my Longhorns sticker and was thrilled to find somebody else in Mexico who loved the University of Texas. “That’s when our friendship started and it ... (click for more)