This column offers a sampling of dining experiences in the area. It is not intended as a review of the restaurant other than to provide the reader with one diner's experience. It also appears in The Herald's Friday entertainment section, "Ticket."
LOCATION: 1263 E. Main St., Rock Hill
HOURS: 7 .am.-9 p.m. Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday
AMBIANCE: Clean, cozy diner
Looking for a quick and convenient lunch close to downtown Rock Hill, a friend suggested we try Susie's Restaurant on S.C. 5.
The stand-alone diner, with lots of parking, is most easily accessed heading north because of the road medians.
A front banner highlights the breakfast special for $3.49, as did the front board listing more morning meals. However, breakfast is only served until 11 a.m.
We grabbed seats in the left corner of the mint-green painted room, a color familiar in my grandparents' kitchen. This side of the room offers a little "lift" being a couple steps up, with a spectator view over the whole narrow dining area of four- and six-seat tables, each with one large, faux red rose in the center. If it's a hot summer day, this is where I'd sit -- right under the air conditioning vent.
On the walls are light-up scenic pictures and one television we could see. But the only thing we wanted to lay our eyes on was the menu.
The friendly waitress, who quickly greeted us at the door, came to our table just as quick with menus. She was just as quick bringing our beverages, too.
The lunch and dinner menu drew me in with twists on the typical and nice prices.
The meat-and-vegetable plates (1 meat and three veggies for $5.49) has the usual country-style chicken and hamburger steak with a long list of pot roast, meatloaf, pork chop, barbecue, ham, beef stew, honey ham, sliced turkey, salmon patties, flounder, tilapia, grilled salmon, beef or chicken liver, and fried or baked chicken, dark or white.
The 15-long list of veggies includes Southern musts -- fried okra, turnip greens, collard greens, and even fried green tomatoes -- as well as fried mushrooms or squash, steamed cabbage and cranberry sauce.
Susie's has steak (ribeye with fries, salad and garlic bread) for $9.99 or shrimp and fish with fries and slaw for $6.99, or Susie's Plate of chicken wings, shrimp and fish with fries and slaw for $8.99. There's also spaghetti plates and salads. I'd bet even a picky child could find something on this menu.
There's another unique diner listing -- Chinese food. The six dishes (all $5.49 and served with fried or steamed rice) are all chicken variations, except the pepper steak. Spring rolls are on the side order list.
On the flip side are sandwiches and lunch specials. Our orders happen to run the gamut of the prices listing from my friend's grilled cheese sandwich for $1.49 to my Po Boy shrimp sandwich for $6.95.
My friend added tomato to her sandwich with a side of fries. After her first bite, she was quick to say how good the could-be-ordinary grilled cheese was, saying it was crispy. She liked the spiced up fries, too.
My Po Boy came packed with lots of fried shrimp on a soft and tasty white hoagie roll and a light spread of mayo. It was delicious and, with a few chips, made for the perfect lunch serving.
We split a homemade banana pudding($1.69) for dessert. There's also cheesecake slices for $1.79.
Susie's Restaurant stuffs quite a bit into this small diner, too - great service, tasty food, nice portions, good prices, and a whole lotta variety.