Oh, Suzie Q!

A local breakfast nook takes a step back in time.

Suzanne Schneider and her staff pride themselves on serving up the freshest meals possible; that’s why meals shouldn’t be expected in minutes. Each and every item coming out of the kitchen is fresh and made to order.

It was no easy feat turning the long-empty restaurant at the corner of Bay City’s 38th Street and Broadway back into a family-friendly restaurant.

BBQ Pulled Pork

Purchased by Alwilda Jones, it was up to her daughter, Suzanne Schneider, to turn the former Paul’s and Gavord’s restaurants into an inviting atmosphere.

Rolling up her sleeves, Schneider got down to business. It wasn’t long before a theme emerged—a red-and-white motif that harkens back to another time, to a place where saddle shoes and poodle skirts could be the outfit of the day, and Richie and the Fonz might be sitting at the next table.

“Once we started putting the diner together with the red-and-white checkered floor, the Coke stuff, it just came together,” Schneider says. “Everything in here is Coke [themed]. We are across the street from Coke (Coca-Cola Bottling Co.), the valances are Coke, there is a Coke bench. It’s the red-and-white ’50s look.”

It wasn’t just a cosmetics redo. Schneider, who has been in the restaurant business for 20 years, had the kitchen and bathrooms redone, and added a smoker and barbecue pit out back. Once completed, Schneider knew she needed a name to match.

It was Schneider’s niece, Danielle Reno, who came up with the name, Suzie Q’s. Schneider added “Breakfast Nook.”

The nook opened last March. Schneider, waitress Elizabeth Jajo, and chef Erick Hanoff serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week.

Take, for example, the corned beef and hash for $7.49.* The corned beef is flavored with a special seasoning, and before it is smoked on site, the hash browns are made from freshly cut French fries, sliced into bite-sized pieces.

Corned beef hash

“We’ve been told it’s the best in town by quite a few people,” Jajo says. “Not many people do homemade corned beef anymore.” Plus, she says, that same corned beef makes one fine Reuben sandwich.

Reuben sandwich

Another mouth-waterer is the slow-cooked prime rib French dip sandwich. The meat is smoked with its own seasoning blend to medium rare, covered in mozzarella cheese, and served on Barney’s Bakery hoagie buns with a side of house-made au jus for $10.

French dip

Schneider also suggests steak and eggs any time of the day. The six-ounce sirloin comes with two eggs, hash browns or American fries, and choice of toast for $8.99.

Fish fries—featuring perch, cod, and walleye—are served on Fridays, and barbecue pulled pork, ribs, and chicken are available always.

Suzie Q’s Breakfast Nook, 2410 38th St (corner of Broadway), Bay City, 989-402-1792. Hours: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. on weekdays, and 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. on weekends.

*Prices are subject to change. 

Photos by: Doug Julian