If you've never eaten at Buckner's Family Restaurant, you've never eaten at a place like Buckner's Family Restaurant.
They've got something different. What they've got is a buffet in fifth gear, a turbo buffet.
Here's how it works, and I'm not making this up. You and your fellow chowhounds (and you want to make this a group experience, as you'll soon discover) are seated at a round table that has another round table centered about a foot above it.
The smaller round table spins. And on it is your food.
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Your buffet choices are in bowls on the spinning table. You reach out and take a bowl and then scoop or fork (say, corn or chicken) to your plate, put the bowl back and spin for the next item. Sometimes you have to wait for your wife or mother to put their bowl back before you spin or you'll get a wife or mother lecture about your selfish ways. Then you eat some tasty Southern food and chat away.
It's so fun.
The menu is determined by the day. Each day you get two meats and a slew of veggies. And a dessert. But, as the Buckner's waitress who kept our buffet bowls continually stocked told me, the only perfect dessert choice is peach cobbler; they are rightly proud of it. I ate at Buckner's with my wife and parents, and that peach cobbler bowl had to be refilled a lot.
We went on a Saturday, when the buffet items included fried chicken (white meat only, skin stripped and mouth-watering), barbecued pork (sweet, soft and tangy), boiled small potatoes (real good), green beans (ordinary), Brunswick stew (bland), cream style corn (didn't try it), coleslaw (OK), peach cobbler (almost started a fight at our spinning table because I kept being accused of eating the crust as soon as the bowl was refilled), and rolls and cornbread (good enough).
On other days, you get ham, roast beef and mashed potatoes, among other choices.
Buckner's is real destination dining, a great family event.
Give their spinning buffet a whirl.
Buckner's Family Restaurant
1168 Bucksnort Road, Jackson
Phone: (770) 775-6150
Hours: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday.
Price range: $12.95 for lunch, $13.95 for dinner (prices for children: free for under age 3, $6 for ages 3 to 8)
Payment: Cash, personal check (bank machine on site)
Reservations: No (but calling ahead is requested for 25 or more people)
Kids menu: Yes
Noise level: High (lot of folks eating in groups and talking)
Latest health rating: 100
Wheelchair accessible: Yes