When you walk into Suzanne's, it smells wonderful. It looks wonderful, too. A long, narrow shop with tile floor and shelves along one white stucco wall, it is packed with enticing bottles and jars, cans and packages of prepared foods.But the greatest interest is reserved for the refrigerated cases on the right and at the back, which contain the food for instant gratification.
And this is one place that gratifies. There is a very good curried chicken salad at $7.95 a pound with large chunks of white meat, apples and a lovely touch of cantaloupe. Two other salads, chicken with pasta at $7.95 a pound and sausage with potato and apple at $6.95 a pound, were good but not outstanding. The potato salad was flavored with dill; some said too much; others thought it was delicious. Overall the zucchini quiche scored well, a little salty for some with a crust a trifle tough, but the filling was creamy and well seasoned. It's available at $2 for a generous slice.
Suzanne's is probably the only shop in town to carry the delightful Italian cheese combination, mascarpone and gorgonzola, at $8.50 a pound -- a classic combination of the mild with the pungent. The gorgonzola in this one seemed too strong, but those who hadn't eaten it before found it to their liking.
Sourdough breads, at $1.75 a loaf, are made locally and are properly sour, dense and crusty.
All of the desserts are made at Suzanne's, which in its short career has become known for its chocolate chestnut cake. Rich but not cloying, the cake's sweetness is tempered by the pureed chestnut. The frosting is satiny smooth dark chocolate. Pecan pie did not fare as well. A wedge, at $2, had a tough crust but an acceptable filling.
Neptune pate, not made at the shop, was a disaster. It was old and rubbery and it cost $9.90 a pound. It was the only sour note in an otherwise fine place to buy your dinner when you don't want to cook it.Open 4 to 8 p.m. Mon.; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tues. through Fri.; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sat. Closed Sun. Moderately expensive.