Making the Grade –– Susie K’s Country Cooking

Photo by Mike Wallace

By Stacey
Patton Wallace

As I have mentioned before in this column, I am an Alabama girl who LOVES chicken on the bone. There. Is. No. Substitute. However, other than fast-food establishments, which can do in a pinch, I hadn’t been able to find a local restaurant which served the chicken of my dreams.

Not long ago, I discovered Susie K’s Country Cooking on Second Avenue in Opelika, a mere two blocks from my church, Central Baptist. Thank the Good Lord! Now after church, my husband Mike and I can drive over there for a REAL Southern meal.

My friend Lynda, who has lived in Opelika for 45 years, said that the restaurant had originally been Sara Jay’s; however, that restaurant closed a few years ago. Then Suzanne Lowery came to my rescue and opened up Susie K’s Country Cooking in 2017.

On Sundays, Susie K’s offers a choice of three meats; for instance, last week, you could choose from meatloaf, fried chicken breast (bone in) or grilled chicken breast (bone out). Diners then choose two sides, which may include: broccoli and rice casserole, field peas, turnip greens, cream corn, peach cobbler, strawberry cobbler or rutabagas. The sides change each week, but macaroni and cheese is available weekly.

In addition to meats and vegetables, a burger of the week is featured. Last week’s burger was an 11-ounce patty with homemade pimento cheese, fried green tomatoes and a choice of fries or onion rings. You could get both your Southern cooking and fast food fixes in one sitting. How great is that!  

In addition, Susie K’s has weekday lunch specials on Tuesday through Friday. A meat with three sides is $7.99 and a meat with two sides is just $6.99. This is really a bargain in this day and time; you get a delicious, complete meal for under $10, which, as I’ve stated before, really helps the economically challenged people such as myself, particularly at the end of the month. A variety of meats are offered during the week, including fried pork chop, salmon patties, hamburger steak, beef tips and rice, chicken livers, fried chicken (dark), country fried steak and fried catfish filets. The old cliché is true: there is something for everyone.

My favorite Sunday lunch (Again, dinner for Southerners) is chicken on the bone (no kidding), turnip greens, macaroni and cheese and a cornbread muffin. To me, no Southern meal is complete without cornbread. Also, no one should eat any greens, turnip or collard, without a bottle of hot pepper sauce. I am ashamed to admit that I didn’t have the required sauce in my pantry the first time. However, I am proud to say that my sweet husband Mike found a bottle of hot pepper sauce for me at “the Pig” in Opelika. My turnip greens were complete. Once, Susie K’s had dressing as a side; it was wonderful, and I have requested that it make a comeback.

I haven’t tried breakfast at Susie K’s yet because now that I’m retired, early mornings are now foreign to me. However, the breakfast platters, biscuits, sandwiches and sides sound very tempting.

Susie K’s is open for dine in or carry out from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Sunday and from 6 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Tuesday through Saturday. Breakfast is served from 6 until 10:30 a.m. and lunch from 10:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. (3 p.m. on Sunday). If you haven’t tried this restaurant, you need to do so; I am a regular customer. It’s important that we all support our local businesses in Lee County.

Susie K’s Country Cooking makes the grade with an A+ from this retired English teacher. Remember, “Pooh-sized” people NEVER lie about food. Enjoy!

  Stacey Patton Wallace, who retired from teaching language arts for 30 years, is a professional diner. Her column, “Making the Grade,” will appear each week in the Observer. Stacey may be reached at


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