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Try Cookie’s Café for a homestyle meal

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The sign on the front of Cookie’s Café is about as welcoming as you can get.

It reads: “Where You are Treated Like Family.”

OK, so it may not feel exactly like a gathering with your family, but this tiny soul food restaurant on Sixth Avenue in Dothan serves up helpings of dishes you might just as easily have at grandma’s house or a family gathering.

Food

I first heard of Cookie’s Café from a co-worker who had heard about it from a friend. (How’s that for word of mouth?)

The menu at Cookie’s is simple. You get a meat and two sides withmeat choices including baked and fried chicken, beef tips with gravy, pork chop, meatloaf, barbecue ribs, pig feet and oxtails. When I dined at Cookie’s, the sides included butter beans, macaroni and cheese, white rice, green beans, rutabagas, and yams.

For sides, I chose the rice with brown gravy and green beans. They were good and about what you would expect for a restaurant serving Southern-style food. On another trip, I went with the butter beans and was not disappointed. And the fried chicken? I was happy with my choice. The skin wasn’t thick but still had a good crunch. I selected a breast, and the white meat was moist and tender.

I recommend the cornbread at Cookie’s Café. The hush puppy-style cornbread has a hint of sweetness to it. And if you go for a dessert, the Key Lime cake is tasty.

Prices for the meat-and-two plates vary depending on your choice of meat. While oxtails will run you nearly $11, a chicken plate costs anywhere from $6.81 to $7.90 depending on if you get dark or white meat.Other entrees run around $8 to $10. A kid’s plate is available for $5.34 as are vegetable plates at $5.45 for three vegetables and $6.54 for four veggies. Dessert costs $2.45 and typically includes slices of Key Lime, red velvet or pound cake. Drinks are extra and include tea and soda choices.

For two people at lunch with drinks (no dessert on this trip), the bill came to $18.01.

If you like a good Southern-style meal, Cookie’s Café will likely appeal to your taste buds.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Service

The service and staff at Cookie’s Café was nice and helpful. Despite the bustling pace in the restaurant, everybody seemed genuinely happy to greet customers and it was clear that many of the customers are regulars who the staff knows by name.

You are served cafeteria-style, pay at a register at the end of the line, and then choose a table. There’s not a lot of contact with a single waiter or waitress. But when you need a refill on a drink, somebody always seems to show up at just the right time.

Even with a wait in line at high noon, my visits to Cookie’s Caféonly took about 45 minutes. But if you can’t take a full hour for lunch, I’d suggest going early.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Atmosphere

Cookie’s Café is nothing fancy to look at. It’s located in a plain block building on Sixth Avenue, but the front has been dressed up with a nice sign and hanging plants. A word of caution, don’t let the restaurant’s old locationon Columbia Highway fool you – it still comes up in Google searches as does the restaurant’s former name, Cookie’s Corner Café.

Inside, the restaurant is small with about a dozen tables for seating.

Cookie’s can get crowded at peak lunch time, but I didn’t find the noise bothersome.In fact, on my visits, the atmosphere had a warm, friendly feeling. Customers chatted with each other andjoked with the staff. That’s part of the charm of small, local restaurants in my opinion.

Cookie’s Café felt welcoming, and it takes a special place to deliver that kind of dining experience.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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