It doesn't take a lot of ribbing to convince my co-workers here in the Warner Robins office to go out for lunch. Actually, it could be just about any hour of the day, and somebody somewhere is up for something to eat.
We had a girls day out last week and tackled the old Shakey's Pizza Restaurant a few minutes up the street on North Houston Road. The Shakey's franchise has been locally owned and operated since 1971.
The atmosphere is pretty casual once you walk in at Shakey's. Meals are paid at the front counter. You have the option of (surprise!) pizza with more than 15 topping selections, hot wings, sandwiches, spaghetti and side orders of fried mushroom, MoJo potatoes - really good by the way - garlic bread, cinnamon rolls and their famous fried chicken.
Shakey's is known for its tempting buffet bar that keeps itself stocked even to the last customer.
If you want a lighter lunch, you can order an 8-inch pizza and one trip to the salad bar for only $4.50, dine-in only, from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. during the week.
We all decided we'd hit the buffet bar. For $6.79 per person for lunch seven days a week, it's almost a dream come true for any true buffet bar buff.
Pans of pizza greet you as you first walk down the line, followed by a generous offering of fresh salad items. Head further down and you get spaghetti complete with noodles and sauce, meatballs, rice, vegetables, garlic bread, fried mushrooms, potatoes and fried chicken. There's even dessert, too, for all you cinnamon-roll lovers. Plenty of these could be found.
A lot of what is on the buffet line can be ordered as side dishes, but I'd advise going for the buffet. It's the most cost-efficient, and besides, you can sample about everything the place has to offer.
If you're in the mood for your very own pizza, there's definitely a lot to choose from. You've got deli pizza, Shakey's special, All-American cheeseburger, vegetarian, roll-your-own, Mike's choice, taco, bullfighter's special with sausage, pepperoni and hot jalapeno peppers, Rocky Mountain pie and Hawaiian delight.
Their fried chicken was steaming and came to the plate extra crispy and lightly greased. Marvelous is my favorite word for it. I think one of my lunchmates agreed, since she came back a few times with chicken and a few healthy doses of tobasco sauce.
If you've come to a pizza joint but don't want pizza, well then at Shakey's you can try some of their famous fried chicken, fried mushrooms and those tasty MoJo potatoes, which resemble sliced potato skins fried in a batter. Really there wasn't much we didn't like. Our table was a little sticky and needed a little cleaning, but the overall experience was positive.
Luckily their buffet bar is open for lunch seven days a week and there's a dinner one in case you miss out. Friday night buffet dinners even include catfish and shrimp.
Wednesday night is family night at Shakey's. Family-style pizzas are $3 off. And for the kids you can create your own birthday party atmosphere, complete with pizza, drinks and cake for up to 12 kids.
Shakey's is definitely a family-friendly destination. We'll definitely be making another lunch stop.
Shakey's Pizza Restaurant
785 N. Houston Road, Warner Robins
Phone: (478) 923-5381
Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday; Buffet bar: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. lunch, Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. weekends; dinners are 5-9 p.m. Fridays and 4-9 p.m. weekends.
Kids menu: Kids portions offered, along with birthday parties and family nights.
Payment: Cash, credit cards
Noise level: Moderate
Latest health code rating: 99