Classic American food: Shoney’s

Shoneys2If you were to take a poll of the most frequented restaurants in Clinton, you might receive some of the following answers: Applebee’s, Froghead Grill, El Sombrero, Margarita’s, Takara, etc.

These are all great restaurants, and we are fortunate to have so many great dining options in town.  But there seems to be one restaurant that tends to be overlooked and forgotten, and that restaurant is Shoney’s.

Shoney’s is a chain, and they have several locations open in the Jackson area.

The awning has this description written upon it: “Classic American Food.” And that is exactly what Shoney’s is. The food may not be complicated or fancy, but it is still great food.

From the breakfast buffet to the All-American Burger to the Hot Fudge Cake, Shoney’s covers all the bases. They even have seafood!  This is food for the whole family to enjoy.

And that is what Shoney’s is really about: family. It is a restaurant with a truly family-friendly atmosphere. You will see the young and the old alike enjoying the all-American cuisine together. If you go early enough in the morning, you will likely even see a few Bible studies taking place. It is a welcoming and cordial place.

But that is not all. It is also a great place for birthday parties. I know this from experience. I had my birthday party there in 2013, and the staff was incredibly welcoming and even reserved a whole room for us at nine in the morning.

All of the party guests felt incredibly welcome, and everyone thought that it was a great setting.  I questioned a few of the party guests about their experience there.

One guest said, “My sandwich was great! They really promote a family atmosphere.”   Another guest exclaimed, “It’s the perfect place to host a birthday party!”

Mississippi College resident director Billy Stone has said, “I like their coffee!”

Another Mississippi College student gives her point of view: “The gingerbread pancakes were great, and you can’t beat unlimited coffee!”

Student Cade Perry Barlow said, “It’s all about the large quantity for the small price. ‘All you can eat’ really means all that I can eat.” Matthew Hubbard also said, “It just feels like home when you walk inside.”

Simon Babba wrote, “I was very skeptical about eating breakfast at Shoney’s because, let’s be honest: I love my breakfast. However, I was pleasantly surprised with how good their breakfast selection and taste was!”

Student and air pilot Elliot Royal said this of Shoney’s: “Because of its simple, home-cooked favorites served by friendly people in a cozy atmosphere, Shoney’s is THE place to eat in Clinton.”

Royal added, “Finding consistently good food while on a trip can sometimes be challenging.  I’m confident that when I stop at a Shoney’s, my appetite will be satisfied.”

Otis Pickett, an MC professor of History and Political Science, said, “I think what is so great about Clinton is that there is an abundance of public spaces and restaurants where you see a multiethnic reflection of the demographic variety in this area. It isn’t as segregated along racial or class lines like other spaces around Jackson.

“In Clinton, you always have a variety of different people dining at places like Shoney’s, Applebee’s and other local commercial spots. Shoney’s is a great place to have fellowship and meet folks from all walks of life…I also love taking my kids for the breakfast buffet because they can pick out what they want, and I don’t have to worry about their being loud disturbing other people, because they have their kids there too.”

So, you can see that Shoney’s is well respected by people in the Mississippi College community. But it is not just the Mississippi College community but also the Clinton area as a whole.

Tyler Miliken, a student at Reformed Theological Seminary, gave the following remarks:  “I first heard about Shoney’s from my friend James. We were at the beloved Cups when I first caught wind of Shoney’s.

“Since I hail from California and am a Shoney’s newbie, I had to ask, ‘What’s Shoney’s?  Is it good?’ Fast forward to three plates and a birthday party later, and I must say, Shoney’s is an experience. I went with eggs, bacon and a few trips to the biscuits and gravy.”

He added, “Where else can you find a breakfast buffet, right? As a group of 28 people, I think we can all say we had a great time.  One of the employee’s family members even joined in on our party!

“The atmosphere was in a league of its own, and this was definitely a breakfast to remember…Shoney’s is sort of like the Sasquatch of breakfast buffets.  You won’t believe it until you see it for yourself,” he concluded.

The next time you are looking for a restaurant to dine at for breakfast, lunch, or even steak night, give Shoney’s a try.  If you are looking for the classic American cuisine, it is the place to be.

– James Ritchey, Contributing Writer


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