Foodies

Feast with unfamiliar faces at this $10 buffet hidden in plain sight in Warner Robins

This hidden gem serves food like you are at a ‘family reunion’

Reporters Justin Baxley, Wayne Crenshaw and Jenna Eason traveled to Warner Robins to eat at Owens Boarding House for this week's #FoodieFriday for The Telegraph and Positively 478.
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Reporters Justin Baxley, Wayne Crenshaw and Jenna Eason traveled to Warner Robins to eat at Owens Boarding House for this week's #FoodieFriday for The Telegraph and Positively 478.

There is no sign out front.

The only thing that separates this building from the others around it is the line of people in front of it most weekdays, starting at 11 a.m.

Owens Boarding House in Warner Robins has been around since the mid-1950s. The back of the building is still an operational boarding house. Manager Evelyn Garrett said people go through a standard rental process when applying to live there.

The boarding house only has a couple of tenants right now, Garrett said.

The restaurant has been a hot spot since it first opened, but people in Middle Georgia still don’t know about it. Garrett said she constantly gets restaurant guests who are trying the food for the first time.

“We don’t have a sign. We don’t really advertise. It is kind of word of mouth, ” Garrett said. “For it to thrive that long, it speaks for itself.”

Inside feels like you’re grandmother’s living room during a family meet on Sunday evenings. Bowls, platters and plates are carried out to each of the long tables inside.

Guests are seated until a table is filled. You’ll most likely be seated with people you’ve never met before.

“You always strike up a conversation and make a new friendship,” Garrett said. “It is a little different. It is more homestyle.”

At Owens, the all-you-can-eat offerings come family style, so be prepared to pass dishes to your neighbors. Servers replenish the food when the dishes start to get empty.

This week we found a gem hidden in plain sight, where we mingled with other residents over fried chicken and turnip greens for #FoodieFriday from The Telegraph and Positively 478.

Meats:

The menu at Owens changes daily, but fried chicken is always served. The crust is crispy and full of flavor and the meat is juicy. I had two pieces of white meat and each delivered the same great taste.

One meat is served alongside the chicken every day, and that additional protein changes depending on the day. We went on a Tuesday, which is their meatloaf day. Meatloaf is one of my favorite meals because it was one of my dad’s favorites to cook me as a kid. This one is as close to my dad’s that I have ever been able to find. It was very flavorful and did not need ketchup.

List of meats by the day:

  • Tuesday: meatloaf
  • Wednesday: baked ham
  • Thursday: liver and onions as well as pork shoulder
  • Friday: pork ribs

Veggies:

Owens daily side offerings include offer macaroni and cheese, field peas, snap beans, cabbage, turnips and butter beans. A potato dish is also served but changes daily.

While Jenna and I will argue forever over whether macaroni and cheese is a vegetable in the south (it is), neither of us could get enough of this delicious side item. The cabbage and turnips were two of my favorites. I doused each in the pepper sauce that was on the table.

Overall, my favorite side was the stewed potatoes that they serve every Tuesday. The stewed potatoes are buttered and broiled and were the epitome of Southern cooking.

List of rotating potato dishes:

  • Tuesday: stewed potatoes
  • Wednesday: potato salad
  • Thursday: mashed potatoes
  • Friday: potato salad

Desserts:

The desserts rotate as well, with peach cobbler on Tuesday and Thursday and banana pudding on Wednesday and Friday.

The peach cobbler might have been the star of the entire meal and worth the drive alone. Wayne and Jenna both raved about this for the rest of the day. The top was crunchy and the peaches tasted fresh with a sweet taste overall.

Cost: $10 (cash only)

Owens Boarding House:

Location: 106 Young Ave, Warner Robins, Georgia

Hours: Tuesday to Friday 11 a.m. to 1 p.m

Justin Baxley is the fan life reporter at The Telegraph and writes stories centered around entertainment, food and sports in the Macon community. Justin joined the Telegraph staff after graduating from Mercer University in May 2017 with a degree in criminal justice and journalism. During his time at Mercer he served as the sports editor for The Cluster.
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