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San Francisco Bay Area Grits

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


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

rworange | Jul 20, 2008 03:41 PM

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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