The Cooper’s Family Restaurant in Los Lunas serves up soul food

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It’s hard to get tired of enchiladas, but it happens, and when it does, The Cooper’s Family Restaurant has come to Los Lunas to save the day.

Bringing “soul food and much more,” Cooper’s is the new place to go when you find yourself sick of the same old thing.

Ungelbah Daniel-Davila-News-Bulletin Photo: Dee Alva Cooper, right, and her husband, Jim, left, owners of The Cooper’s Family Restaurant, bring a taste of Southern cuisine to Los Lunas.

With a menu overflowing with cuisine more commonly found in the South rather than the Southwest, Cooper’s specializes in down-home cooking to feed the body and nourish the soul.

Barbecue, fried chicken, gumbo, greens, fried okra, corn bread and more can be found at the new Los Lunas eatery, located in the shopping center at 1603 Main St. SW.

Your mouth might start to water just thinking about it and your pocket book will be grinning at the reasonable prices and big portions.

When a location opened up two months ago and Dee Alva Cooper got the opportunity to open the restaurant of her own she’d always wanted, she said it was “like a dream come true.”

“Everyone’s looking for something different in the community,” said Cooper. “We’re bringing the South here.”

“It’s the first soul food restaurant in Los Lunas,” said Ralph L. Mims, economic development manager for the village of Los Lunas, who gave the couple the heads-up about the location. “It’s unique … It just gives us more of a variety of places to eat at.”

Mims said the food is a “very tasty, Southern type of pallet” and that his favorite dishes are the collard greens, fried chicken and macaroni and cheese.

Cooper said that she taught herself to cook by going through cookbooks while growing up in the California Bay area as an only child of working parents.

She said her friends, who she’s cooked for over the years, have always encouraged her to go into business and now she finally has.

Cooper and her husband, Jim, are the parents of seven with one on the way. She says her goal is to bring the same kind of home-cooked meals she feeds her family at the dinner table to the public by “sharing what I share with my family every night.”

She is the only chef at the restaurant, and you can be sure that everything that comes out of the kitchen is cooked from scratch. She says her restaurant, where members of her family can often be found lending a hand, is a place where individuals or families can feel comfortable sitting down to a good, wholesome meal in a family friendly environment.

For Christmas, Cooper will be busy making pies, such as sweet potato pie and sweet potato cheesecake, that people can buy whole for $12 to add something different to their holiday meal.

There will also be plenty of gumbo simmering to ward off the winter chills. For those unfamiliar with this exquisite dish, gumbo is a stew that originated in Louisiana in the 18th century. There are several different types, but they are generally made up of shellfish, tomatoes and vegetables served over rice.

 


-- Email the author at udavila@news-bulletin.com.