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Jul 20, 2008 03:41 PM

Goodness, gracious great bowls of grits ... and white gravy chicken-fried steak at Sukie's Country Kitchen, San Pablo

For years I've been reading Dr. Biggles of Meathenge evangalize about the country-fried steak at Sukie's.

Today the spirit finally moved me and I ordered the CFS a la cart with a cup of grits ... them were good eats.

Anyone who reads my posts know I have a high dive tolerance. Tu Lan looks swell to me (apperance-wise). Yet, from the outside Sukie's looks like a Denny's that was condemned to hell. Despite the good doctor's advice, I couldn't bring myself to walk in the door.

It is like Sukie's is a buried time-capsule of the mid-20th century coffee shop ... including the pink and green color scheme. It is the coffee shop without irony down to the food. This is what it was like, folks.

Wanting to take in the ambiance at its best ... I went prime-time ... late Sunday morning ... the lot filled ... the tables full of families and seniors. It is a roomy place and there were still tables, booths and counter seats available without a wait.

I've read good things about the grits and since I didn't want the whole breakfast I had the steak a la carte ($5.25) and a cup of grits (95 cents).

This is coming from a Connecticut Yankee who has never much seen the point of either CFS or grits ... and I've traveled and worked in the South.

So good. The steak needed no knife ... the fork cut through it like buttah. I can't say why that gravy was so satisfying ... it didn't shout flavor ... it was nicely speckled with black pepper and bits of meat. Sukie's is generous with the serving sizes and the meat almost covered the dinner plate.

More suprising were the grits. There was not a thing in them and it is the first time I saw the point to plain grits ... so light and wonderful. What kills me is these were probably just from a box and nothing special brand-wise ... but they were done right. There was a side bowl of either whipped butter or margarine ... but it would have been a sin to have adulterated them ... and I try not to sin on a Sunday.

I walked out as comforted as after some services by a good preacher.

Glancing at other tables, the eggs benedict and pancakes looked tasty.

Sukies is nicer inside than out, dated but clean and not worn coffee-shop classic.

I was also curious about the Asian dishes. There are three. Chicken teriyaki, Mongolian beef and fried rice. The rest is straight-foward ... French dips, club sandwiches (chicken, turkey, avocado, hamburger, or CFS), burgers, tuna melts, Monte Cristos, grilled cheese, hot roast beef or hot turkey sandwiches, etc.

Breakfast is pancakes, Belgium waffles, French toast, skillets, omelettes, hash browns, country potatoes, corned beef hash, pork chops, steak (NY or T-bone), sausage, bacon, etc

The kids menu has a pancake combo ($3.50), French toast with sausage ($2.99) or Happy Face ($1.99 - one fluffy pancake with fruit topping smile).

They have a special for lunch and breakfast during the week. There is also a special senior breakfast Monday - Friday ($4.70)

The weekday breakfast special is $4.95 for
2 eggs, 2 strips of bacon or 2 sausages, and a choice of one of the following items
- homefried potatoes and toast
- grits and toast
- hash browns and toast
- fluffy buttermilk pancakes

It is what Denny's tried to be and failed.

This isn't breakfast with a pedigree. It is no 900 Grayson, Brown Sugar Kitchen, Hidden City. There are no culinary fireworks or stars here.

Sukie's is just plain, modest, decent comfortable and good.

Other Sukie pics from Meathenge

Hot turkey sandwich and club sandwich

Skillet and pork chop

Sukie's Country Kitchen
20 San San Pablo Ave Road, Pablo, CA

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  1. >> never much seen the point of either CFS [...]

    If you think of chicken fried steak as the american wiener
    schnitzel, it starts to make a certain sort of sense.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Chuckles the Clone

      Yeah !!! That took a few years, eh?

      Sukies has been through some changes lately, and am not quite sure exactly what the scoop is. Our favorite waitress of all time has been removed, but they're all real waitresses. For the most part, no nits. I think the kitchen has been worked on because the food is being prepared better, more care.

      Big D and I usually go about once a week, but it's been less lately due to being busy. Go for the dish that RW recommends, oh yes.

      xo, Biggles

    2. That chicken club looks awesome. Thanks, RW and Big.

      (Oh, and RW, that liquor store was so... pretty. In a very podunk kinda way. I was almost tempted to get a Fuzzy Navel for the sake of nostalgia, but friend saved me from myself.)

      3 Replies
      1. re: adrienne156

        Ya know, it's funny you mention the club. I get that pretty much each time now. I have changed the fries to potato salad (can cover in 3 different kinds of hot sauce). The salad changes from time to time, and it doesn't seem like it comes from a tub. Ahhh, good times.


        1. re: DrBiggles

          Have you ever tried the chicken teriyaki? I read a positive mention of it and it is not officially on the menu but there was a big sign on the register saying "Chicken teriyaki is still available"

          The 'Oriental Platters" section of the menu only mentions the Mongolian beef and fried rice
          Mushrooms ... add $1 ... to the beef or rice?

          1. re: rworange

            I only had 1 of the Oriental Platters quite a few years ago and it wasn't enough to go back for.

            I read the "still available" sign each time and giggle to myself, still available. Heck, maybe next time I'll try it and let you know. Mebbe tomorrow?