Thursday, March 05, 2009

Mmm, hmm! That is a tasty burger!

I met a friend at Shoney's this evening to talk b'iness. I had a hamburger, and it was a pretty darn good hamburger.

Here's something I posted 'bout Shoney's back in November 2007:

Before my grandmother entered a nursing home, my mother and I often took her to our local Shoney's after church on Sundays. I was never a big Shoney's fan, but my sainted Granny Ruby absolutely loved the Shoney's Breakfast Bar.

From 1997-2002, I reckon that I ate at Shoney's well over 200 times -- no kidding. During that period, the quality of most of the food served there declined precipitously. The dining room's floor was often dirty, and the bathroom floor was even more dirty. And if the entire staff of servers had been replaced by monkeys, customers probably would've enjoyed better service.

When my grandmother could no longer get out and about, I vowed that I would never, ever go back to Shoney's -- unless I was starving to death and that was the only place in which I could find nourishment.

Well, I broke my vow. Last month, my mother and I went to Shoney's after visiting the Nashville Flea Market. I ordered a cheeseburger and fries, and let's just say - I'm borrowing a line from Pulp Fiction here - it was a very tasty burger. The fries weren't bad, either. What impressed me the most, however, was the fact that the restaurant (the same one I used to visit with my grandmother) had been spiffed-up since the last time I'd dined there, and both the dining room and the bathrooms were clean. Upon leaving the restaurant I made a new vow:

Whenever I have a hankering for a quick, cheap, quality hamburger, I'm going to Shoney's.

Be sure to check out the profile of Shoney's, Inc.'s new owner in this morning's Tennessean. A sample:

The Nashville-based res taurant chain's new owner, CEO and Chairman David Davoudpour, said he is determined to bring the brand back. Since he acquired the company in January, Davoudpour has taken over several underperforming franchise locations and turned them into company-owned restaurants. He has vowed to use fresh — not frozen — meat and fruit products and try to improve service through spot checks of stores and better employee training.

"We want every restaurant to shine," Davoudpour said. "Basically, I want to be the model of excellence."

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