By LOIS KINDLE
There’s something about comfort food that soothes the soul. Some would say it’s hard to find anyone who doesn’t find homestyle cooking hearty and satisfying.
Freshly prepared comfort food is the specialty of the Kountry Kitchen, a new eatery in Ruskin that opened Nov. 22. Formerly the home of a Whataburger, Grannies Restaurant and The Skillet, the A-framed building was recently renovated inside and out by its new owner, Barbara Detty, and diners are happy with the results.
“I just ate the best omelet I ever had here,” said Helen Ouzman, of Ruskin. “I’m so glad we have this nice place to meet, greet and eat in our town.”
Barbara Detty, an experienced restaurateur, has had plenty of help getting the Kountry Kitchen off the ground. Since buying the property at 514 U.S. 41 N. on Oct. 13 from The Skillet owner Paul Savage, Detty’s daughter Tina Detty, owner of the popular Hot Tomato restaurant on College Avenue, has been there every day.
Both Ruskin residents did a lot of scrubbing, purchased a new grill and appliances, painted the interior and exterior and put in new ceiling tiles, furniture and air conditioning. They scraped film off the windows, added blinds and even bought new dishes and utensils.
“The bones of the building were fine,” Tina said. “It was just dirty so we cleaned and livened it up.”
Ruskin resident Judy Flannery likes the changes.
“We dine here six mornings a week and have dinner maybe once a week,” she said. “I like both the food and atmosphere. They did a beautiful job. The difference is day and night.”
The menu also got a makeover, and anything on it can be ordered all day. Its offerings feature comfort classics like country fried steak and Saw Mill gravy; crispy fried chicken; biscuits and gravy; and liver and onions. There are seafood choices, fresh salads, homemade soups and 10 different made-to-order half-pound burgers, plus daily breakfast and dinner specials. The latter could include chicken and dumplings, salmon patties, cube steaks and mashed potatoes, beef and noodles and homemade meatloaf. Each comes with potatoes, a veggie, and soup or salad.
Desserts include freshly baked pies from the Hot Tomato, cakes and more. Folks who like sandwiches will find plenty of options, and there’s a children’s menu for the kids. The breakfast choices are plentiful.
Starting Friday, Dec. 16, the restaurant will feature an all-you-can-eat fish fry from 2 to 6 p.m. for $11.99. It will include French fries and coleslaw, salad or soup.
“We’re also introducing daily early-bird dinner specials from 2 to 6 p.m. for $7.99,” Barbara said. “It’ll be different every day.”
The Kountry Kitchen offers sit-down service and take-out. It’s open seven days a week from 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 5:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday.
Barbara is thrilled to have opened the restaurant.
“When I first moved here 11 years ago, I said how much I liked this little place and I’d like to own it,” she said. “So now I do, and I hope everyone will come and enjoy our new atmosphere and food.”
For additional information on the Kountry Kitchen, call 813-641-7444.