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.

Chicken Salad Chick Opens Second Chattanooga Location

Chicken Salad Chick is scheduled to open its second franchise location in Chattanooga today. The new restaurant is located at 1820 Gunbarrel Road Suite 200, Chattanooga, TN  37421. “We are so excited to add another location to the new Chicken Salad Chick community in Tennessee,” said president Kevin Brown. “With our other Chattanooga restaurant located downtown, we believe ... (click for more)

Red White And Food Announces Petition Campaign Progress

Red White and Food, the nonprofit organization that supports allowing wine sales in Tennessee’s retail food stores, announced Friday that more than 119,000 signatures have been collected statewide for the wine in retail food stores petition campaign. “It’s encouraging to see the level of enthusiasm Tennesseans have shown for the campaign,” said Red White and Food campaign ... (click for more)

County Commission Chairmanship Up For Grabs After Exit Of Henry, Skillern

The chairmanship of the County Commission is up for grabs after the exit of two commissioners who have held the post in recent years. Larry Henry is moving on to serve as Circuit Court clerk. Fred Skillern was upset by Randy Fairbanks in the Republican primary. Most of the returning commissioners have their eye on the possibility of taking over as chairman, or at least getting ... (click for more)

KFC Manager Arrested After Staging Fake Robbery

Police were called Sunday night after a manager of the KFC on 3rd Street staged a fake robbery in order to take money. Fellen Hayes, 24, was arrested after police say she conspired with a man named "Ira" to make her theft look like a robbery. These events occurred shortly after noon.  She initially called police saying that a tall black male had approached her and taken ... (click for more)

Curtis Adams: Beck, Mackey Should Be Considered For County Commission Leadership

Just think about this;  a person highly qualified applying for a job.  As he is just about finished filling out his papers for his interview, he sees at the bottom there is a place for him to check Democrat or Republican.  He would think, “if I mark the wrong one I may not get the job.” Being a real leader requires honesty, integrity, and, most importantly, fairness. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Mark’s 50th Anniversary Toast

In the new book that celebrates the first 50 years of baseball’s Southern League, its splendid author Mark McCarter recalls that very early in his career as a sports writer, he was riding with his boss somewhere and mentioned that if the legendary Allan Morris ever needed help covering the Chattanooga Lookouts that he’d love to help. Today, as he looks back, he ruefully adds, “I ... (click for more)