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 Shoney's. like or not like?

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senor boogie woogie

  • Total Posts: 225
  • Joined: 12/11/2003
  • Location: Bucksnort, TN
Shoney's. like or not like? Mon, 02/22/10 6:23 AM (permalink)
Howdy!
 
I was wondering what people's opinion was of Shoney's. I always thought the food was pretty mediocre. Not horribly bad, if it was free, I would be happy to have lunch there. Just, mediocre comes to mind. Looking that their website reinforces my idea of them.
 
Their breakfast items are the best, and I had their breakfast buffet in a location in Jackson, Ms in the 90's and it was quite good. However, a lot of places do up a good breakfast, and it really does not take much skill to make breakfast food. (This is why sometimes we have breakfast for dinner, because it is quick to make.) Maybe it is the coffeehouse atmosphere, where one can buy a cheap burger and a cup of coffee and just sit there the afternoon unbothered by people. Who knows, that's the mystery of the place.
 
When I was growing up in Memphis, my family never went there. Ever. I went in there a number of times growing up and, again, the food wasn't awful, but it wasn't great. Why settle for mediocre when we can get good? Say what you want about Memphis, Tn but we have good restauants.
 
#1
    Michael Hoffman

    • Total Posts: 17804
    • Joined: 7/1/2000
    • Location: Gahanna, OH
    Re:Shoney's. like or not like? Mon, 02/22/10 7:01 AM (permalink)
    Back before Alex Shoenbaum sold Shoneys and it moved to Atlanta, or wherever, it was a really good chain. The burgers were terrific -- and they cooked them the way you wanted -- and the service was outstanding. After that, it became a dismal sort of place, lousy service, sub-mediocre food, lost or got rid of it's Big Boy connection, and started a buffet.
     
    #2
      carolina bob

      • Total Posts: 3420
      • Joined: 1/1/2005
      • Location: Chicagoland
      Re:Shoney's. like or not like? Mon, 02/22/10 11:51 AM (permalink)
      I agree... Shoney's post-Big Boy is mediocre at best. About twenty years ago, Shoney's bought the Wag's restaurant chain ( roughly thirty Chicagoland locations ) from Walgreen's and converted them to the Shoney's name. I never ate in one but my brother did; he said it was one of the worst meals that he ever had. About two years after the conversion, all thirty locations closed and Shoney's disappeared from the midwest. Many of the Wag's-turned-Shoney's are now IHOPs ( not much of an improvement, IMHO. )   
       
      #3
        Nancypalooza

        • Total Posts: 3778
        • Joined: 6/17/2004
        • Location: Columbia, SC
        Re:Shoney's. like or not like? Mon, 02/22/10 2:07 PM (permalink)
        I've probably eaten more Shoney's meals than I care to admit to in public, and truthfully it was never good.  (My experience would be entirely post-Big Boy.)  It was totally passable to on the worst occasions, inedible.  Now I would actively look for another place to eat if it were my most obvious option.
         
        #4
          David_NYC

          • Total Posts: 2162
          • Joined: 8/1/2004
          • Location: New York, NY
          Re:Shoney's. like or not like? Mon, 02/22/10 3:19 PM (permalink)
          It has now been three years since the company owned by David Davoudpour bought Shoney's with the aim of turning the chain around. There are now less than 300 restaurants, down from a peak of about 1,000 about 1983. They are now only located in a swath from Maryland to New Mexico. The market leaders in its category are IHOP, Denny's, Cracker Barrel, and Bob Evans.

          There haven't really been any reviews of Shoney's in the last few years here on RF. Mr. Davidpour did shake up management and new menus have been introduced. I probably have not been in a Shoney's in 6 or more years. I usually had breakfast there, because they were close to the motels I was staying at. By the luck of the draw,  I mostly ate at early, run down, dilapidated ones that eventually closed. What I liked about them was the breakfast buffet, for I could have a few more strips bacon that what you would get with a set breakfast without paying for an expensive side order. 

          If you look at the price point of chains like Shoney's, you shouldn't expect to get great meals. At least in the past, they served what I called at the time  "institutional food". Isn't one of the purposes of this site and the books to tell you about places that enable you to get great food cheap? You probably are not going to pay much more than going to Perkin's, Bob Evans, Cracker Barrel, IHOP, Denny's, Friendly's, and the 2 or 3 Howard Johnson's still open.

          Perhaps we could get a few more reviews from folks who have eaten at Shoney's recently.
          <message edited by David_NYC on Wed, 02/24/10 6:29 AM>
           
          #5
            badbyron722

            • Total Posts: 307
            • Joined: 5/25/2009
            • Location: Spartanburg, SC
            Re:Shoney's. like or not like? Mon, 02/22/10 4:27 PM (permalink)
            I ate at one last year,they had a buffet that looked horrible.Ordered a cheeseburger and as I recall it was decent.
             
            #6
              HollyDolly

              • Total Posts: 1065
              • Joined: 1/18/2006
              • Location: Schertz, TX
              Re:Shoney's. like or not like? Wed, 02/24/10 12:45 PM (permalink)
              There's one down on IH35 in Windcrest that i haven't eaten at in years, the same goes for the Schertz Denny's.I think the Denny's in Live Oak is closed,but not certain.I ate at the Schertz IHOP
              one night after getting out of TJMAXX at like 10:30 or 11 PM.It was tasty, but I just don't eat at those places. I'd rather go to the Red Lobster next door to Shoney's and get one of their Lobster Fest meals.The last time I was at Shoney's it was okay, but i was there with some friends.But this place  is always packed it seems, so maybe things have changed. You folks in San Antonio know where I'm talking about.
               
              #7
                Scorereader

                • Total Posts: 5546
                • Joined: 8/4/2005
                • Location: Crofton, MD
                Re:Shoney's. like or not like? Wed, 02/24/10 1:01 PM (permalink)
                like it or not? not.
                went to Shoney's in Winchester, VA several years back. Not my choice, but my friend's choice - it was his weekend event we were attending so I let him pick out eateries. The variety of the menu  and buffet was nice, so we could get what we wanted, but the quality was generic. But, so was the price. As they say, you get what you pay for. I haven't any intention of returning.

                 
                #8
                  mbrookes

                  • Total Posts: 1350
                  • Joined: 10/8/2004
                  • Location: Jackson, MS
                  Re:Shoney's. like or not like? Wed, 02/24/10 1:43 PM (permalink)
                  I used to love their strawberry pie... but I saw a mouse run up under the salad bar in Clarksdale, MS, in about 1984. I haven't been in a Shoney's since.
                   
                  #9
                    Sundancer7

                    Re:Shoney's. like or not like? Wed, 02/24/10 7:15 PM (permalink)
                    My family does Shoeny's every Sunday after church.  Many may not enjoy it but it my opinion, it is very good.  I am sure that there are many more that are much better but it works for my family.  They always treat us very good and our church members very good. They treat my grandchildren very good.  Our waitperson ha been there for about 20 years and she is very very good.
                     
                    Their food  (buffet )that they offer is always fresh and very good.  A combination of breakfast and lunch.
                     
                    Just my opinion.
                     
                    Paul E. Smith
                    Knoxville, TN
                    <message edited by Sundancer7 on Wed, 02/24/10 7:17 PM>
                     
                    #10
                      Greymo

                      • Total Posts: 3660
                      • Joined: 11/30/2005
                      • Location: Marriottsville, MD
                      Re:Shoney's. like or not like? Wed, 02/24/10 7:23 PM (permalink)
                      Mediocre  food for cheap bucks.....................that is my opinion.  Most of these places are dirty, run down and the patrons just want a cheap meal that fills their stomachs.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
                       
                      #11
                        mjsneddon

                        • Total Posts: 230
                        • Joined: 5/25/2007
                        • Location: Mattoon, IL
                        Re:Shoney's. like or not like? Fri, 03/5/10 10:41 PM (permalink)
                        My opinion is that their food is not bad and not particularly good.  I do believe that it used to be better twenty years ago.  I thought their breakfast buffet was decent but in more recent times I'd have to say the quality has suffered.  One thing I always liked was the soups they had on their buffet.

                        Just my two cents.

                        Mike
                         
                        #12
                          carlton pierre

                          • Total Posts: 2500
                          • Joined: 7/12/2004
                          • Location: Knoxville, TN
                          Re:Shoney's. like or not like? Sat, 03/6/10 5:32 AM (permalink)
                          Adequate.  Especially if you can find one that's open at 2 a.m.
                           
                          #13
                            rumaki

                            • Total Posts: 967
                            • Joined: 3/1/2008
                            • Location: Minneapolis, MN
                            Re:Shoney's. like or not like? Sat, 03/6/10 10:56 AM (permalink)
                            I haven't eaten at a Shoney's since I was in law school at Vanderbilt 30+ years ago.  One of my classmates liked to go.  It was edible, and in those days, decently-run and clean.  For a law student on a budget keeping odd hours, it was a not-bad choice.
                             
                            I grew up in Indianapolis, and in Indiana, the "Big Boy" franchise belonged to Frisch's.  My family rarely went there; if we wanted that kind of food, we went to a Jerry's which was closer to our home.  I liked Jerry's fried chicken much more than Frisch's, though of course neither was anywhere near the quality of Hollyhock Hill or the now-departed (and  much-missed) Laughner's cafeteria.   
                             
                            #14
                              carolina bob

                              • Total Posts: 3420
                              • Joined: 1/1/2005
                              • Location: Chicagoland
                              Re:Shoney's. like or not like? Sat, 03/6/10 11:07 AM (permalink)
                              I miss Laughner's too. Their E. Washington St. location was a handsome place, both inside and out, and their fried chicken was among the best in the Hoosier State.  Great desserts too; anybody remember Laughner's famed Millionaire's Pie?
                               
                              #15
                                mayor al

                                • Total Posts: 15058
                                • Joined: 8/20/2002
                                • Location: Louisville area, Southern Indiana
                                • Roadfood Insider
                                Re:Shoney's. like or not like? Sat, 03/6/10 6:56 PM (permalink)
                                On our family roadtrips (in the early 1990's) Shoney's was high on the list of breakfast stops. Having 6 sons in the Jr Hi and H S  age bracket had a big influence on that choice. Those kids (and their Dad) could do a lot of damage to the typical Breakfast Buffet. It also made possible a real small lunch budget !
                                 
                                #16
                                  claracamille

                                  • Total Posts: 414
                                  • Joined: 1/31/2004
                                  • Location: Idpls, IN
                                  Re:Shoney's. like or not like? Sun, 03/14/10 5:39 PM (permalink)
                                  I grew up in Charleston, WV during the 1950's & 1960's & eating at Shoney's was a huge part of my adolescence & teenage years. 
                                   
                                  I really miss their food- kingfish sandwiches, slim jim, big boy sandwich, onion rings, strawberry pie, hot fudge cake.  I still make strawberry pie & hot fudge cake.
                                   
                                  In the 1960's there were 3 Shoney's in about a 10 mile radius in Charleston.  My girlfriends & I would all pile into a car & cruise between the 3 Shoney's, just like in American Graffiit.  We would pull up next to a car of boys, preferably from a different high school & flirting would ensue.  When my husband  & I were dating(married 43 years) eating Shoney's curbside was always a part of our weekly dates. 
                                   
                                  I know I sound like an old fogey, but kids today don't know what they are missing.  I am so glad I grew up with rock & roll & Shoney's.
                                   
                                  #17
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