Rodney’s Southern Style Home Cooking

Review by: Michael Stern


Halfway between Owensboro and Bowling Green, Kentucky, Rodney’s Southern Style Home Cooking used to be called O.C. Cafe, but I am told by longtime customers that only the name has changed. The new name is true in one way — the food definitely is Southern style; but I don’t see it as home cooking. Here you will eat town-cafe cooking: food that’s rarely made at home but is not surprising in Dixie diners where locals congregate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Country-fried steak smothered in white gravy and sided by hash browns, eggs, and a biscuit? To me, that’s downhome, for sure. But how many people nowadays go to the trouble to make such a meal at their own own stove? There’s nothing deluxe about it, just nice harmony of beef, crust, and gravy: basis of a fine lunch-counter breakfast, especially with a cake of crisp hash browns on the side.

A few not-too-homey items on the lunch menu include pulled pork egg rolls, loaded cheesy fries, patty melts, and beer-battered onion rings with house-made yum-yum sauce.

Then there’s the deep-fried honey bun, a banner dish about which my waitress enthused, “I don’t know how they come up with things like this. Crazy, isn’t it?” Yes, it is: a honey bun dipped in pancake batter and deep fried until its surface turns crisp while the inside gets all soft and creamy. It comes as-is or topped with strawberry compote or chocolate sauce. I say the fried bun is rich enough and sweet enough. The toppings are overkill.

Rodney’s is a happy place with a town cafe vibe. It seems to have expanded modularly, with three very different  dining rooms. The front room has a late 20th century diner feel. The second sports vintage wooden soda fountain booths. The one in back is more like a party room. A television plays in all of them so people can watch instead of converse. Like home?

What To Eat

Deep Fried Honey Bun

Country Fried Steak

Hash Browns


Rodney’s Southern Style Home Cooking Recipes


What do you think of Rodney’s Southern Style Home Cooking?

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