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.

Sushi Bistro Opens On Main Street; Other New Eateries Include Fireside Grill, Bolton’s Spicy Chicken & Fish, Dominica’s Caribbean Kitchen

At the Thursday meeting of the city Beer Board, four consumer beer licenses were issued to restaurants and bars. Alex Thai Food & Sushi Bistro, 26 E. Main St., is on the ground floor of a new apartment building. The restaurant has a capacity of 65, with hours from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fireside Grill, 3018 Cummings Hwy. is being opened as a restaurant/bar in Lookout ... (click for more)

Art Of Cooking Teaches Children About Farm To Table

Contemporary Performing Arts of Chattanooga’s arts education program, Full Circle Teaching Artists Program, presents Art of Cooking at Barking Legs Theater. Running every Thursday from 5:30-7 p.m. until Oct. 13, Art of Cooking seeks to provide families of preschool children with nutritional education and problem solving opportunities through the magic of performing arts, dinner ... (click for more)

School Board Chooses Charlotte Firm For Superintendent Search Firm; Lennon, Testerman Want To Keep Kelly

The County School Board on Thursday night voted 5-4 to choose a Charlotte, N.C., search firm to pick a new county school superintendent. Coleman Lew and Associates was selected over McPherson & Jacobson of Omaha. That vote came after board members Kathy Lennon and David Testerman started the session by saying they are very pleased with Interim Supt. Kirk Kelly and would ... (click for more)

Judge Finds Young Guilty Of Lesser Charge In Fatal Wreck On Highway 58

Judge Tom Greenholtz on Wednesday found William Henry Young guilty of a lesser charge in a fatal traffic accident on Highway 58. The judge, who heard the case without a jury, ruled the 56-year-old former TVA employee guilty of criminally negligent homicide. He had been charged with vehicular homicide. Sentencing will be in December. Judge Greenholtz dismissed charges ... (click for more)

Accountability Doesn't Have To Be A Bad Word

Am I making a difference? Isn’t that the basic question we all ask ourselves, and seek to demonstrate to others?  Ronald Reagan said:  “Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem.”   We would argue teachers do not have that problem either.    Educators make a huge difference ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Guess Who Backed Kelly?

Two weeks before the August election where three members of the Hamilton County School Board were angrily replaced, the organizer of what was called “a great way for the (challengers) to raise great money to help them run smart campaigns” made a bold statement. “I'm sure the current board is well-intentioned, but the results are not there," said Paul Brock. "Leadership matters ... (click for more)