John Boy's All-You-Can-Eat Country Buffet
The other day we ate at John Boy’s Restaurant in Marietta. It is a country cooking all you can eat buffet. We have eaten there several times in the past and the people are always interesting and their fried chicken is in a league of its own, delicious.
When you think of country cooking you think of country type down to earth folks running the place. Well, from what I observed, Asians run the place. And they have developed the country cooking into a culinary art and made improvements.
However, they do mostly appeal to the country type.
And almost everybody seems to know everybody else, if not by name, at least by face.
Overhearing some talk I thought of the old Waffle House radio commercial where the customers missed a person not showing up and called him up to see how they were doing.
I overheard one person asked another where was he the day before. And I heard three other people talking about one of the people that either works or owns the place hadn’t been there for several days. That person, a young Asian man, with a big smile, materialized and manned the cash register. The three talking about him asked where he was he, they hadn’t seen him lately. He told them he worked in the kitchen the past few days. Mystery solved.
John Boys has several waitresses. I think they skillfully picked each waitress to represent each ethnic group. All the waitresses seemed laid back in no hurry and willing to stand there and talk about things if you want to. One elderly waitress was telling a customer that she thought she could own a horse on her property if she wanted to because of the grandfather clause. I kept my mouth shut, but I think the grandfather clause would only apply if she already owned a horse. I don’t think she even planned on getting a horse, but it was still something to talk about with the customer.
One slim little old man eating alone had exercise on his mind – he just finished his daily walk and wanted to talk about exercise to anyone who would listen. Across the table from him a outdoors type worker sat and politely listened to the old man discuss various exercises – I don’t recall that he made any comments.
A handful of people came in and one of the waitresses asked how many and they said 14. I suppose it was an office group that all went to eat together, maybe somebody’s birthday. We thought no way would they fit 14 people in. But they did. The waitresses spun into action and the crowd of 14 suddenly dissipated and they all appeared to be sitting together.
Across Canton Highway from John Boys is a big restaurant looking vacant building that used to be a Shoney’s. Several restaurants opened their which proved a bad location for them – directly across the street from John Boys. The last restaurant was called Okra and had a subtitled of country cooking. We ate there once and it just didn’t compare to John Boy's. Ironically, Okra's staff all looked country. That goes back to my theory that you can see more of a group of people's habits by being on the outside looking in.
I noticed now they have a sign out in front of the Shoney’s/Okra’s vacant building a sports bar is coming. Now, that may work. A sports bar is a different type of eatery and would appeal to a different market.
Within two or three blocks either way you have all you could want to pick from in eateries: a seafood restaurant, Mexican, Asian, Italian, steak house, McDonald's, KFC, Wendy's and a deli sandwich shop. They all seem to do good. I think they all learned not to locate directly across from John Boy's and serve the same type of food.
Wait! I just thought, that area is lacking a roadhouse barbecue joint!