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Pizza Restaurant Chain

Pizza restaurant chain

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"Bad pizza" is an oxymoron, but...

  • Jun 3, 2000
  • by
Pros: Some unlimited foodstuffs, and pizza is still pizza

Cons: Consistently mediocre-to-bad quality

...but... "Shakey's" has bad pizza by many accounts, yet it is still pizza -- and so edible. It is also unlimited pizza at certain times of the day, making it by default not entirely "bad" pizza.

I am a fan of their thin crust, though others claim it makes for a pizza experience even further removed from what pizza should be. The sauce is bland and the cheese is cheap and stingily applied; the generosity of toppings is perhaps the best part of this pie. (I suppose, given the paucity of cheese and thin crust, it might make a good pizza for somebody not looking for a complete pig-out.) There are shakers of Parmesan and cayenne on the tables: use these, and you may end up with pizza with a margin of cheese and flavour. Damning with faint praise, yes.

Something called "mojos" (sliced, breaded and fried potatoes) seems to have a large following. This is both unsurprising, since they really are quite tasty, and absolutely amazing, since they are almost the same as Kentucky Fried Chicken's potato wedges, only soggier and not quite as tasty.

The "soggy and not...tasty" is a bit of a theme in the Shakey's buffet: inedibly wilted lettuce in the "salad bar" (aforementioned brown lettuce, old eggs, stale croutons, spilled Thousand Island dressing) is a standard. Hot dishes are all over the map: bland macaroni and cheese (see notes on whether or not "bad" pizza exists for that one), tacos lacking critical ingredients, and on and on.

I have yet to visit a "Chuck E. Cheese," but suspect the appeal of both restaurants is similar: children run amok at Shakey's (there is usually some sort of fund-raiser taking place, or at very least what appears to be three entire children's sports teams, in the restaurant) while the parents sit back and try to shout conversations and enjoy a watery American draught. This is all good, and it is well recommended if you have a large sticky brood and need a cheap feed...

...but virtually anybody else would be better served by almost any other pseudo-restaurant. Chains like "Hometown Buffet" or "Souplantation" serve up a buffet that makes Shakey's look akin to what might be expected at a soup kitchen, and most any local pizzeria can give Shakey's pies a run for the money. Two stars, rather than one, just because it provides the much-needed service of a place for three Little League teams.


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More Shakey's Pizza reviews
Quick Tip by . September 25, 2010
posted in Awesomeness
Great pizza buffet restaurant that are dissapearing from the US. Too bad, the pizza was good and the mojos are one of a kind.
review by . May 12, 2010
posted in Awesomeness
*sniff* I miss Mojo!
Mojo the dog, a mascot type for the Shakeys Pizza Restaraunt is becoming an endangered species these days.  I see fewer and fewer of these chains every day and will be lucky to go to one again.      Shakey's is a Pizza Buffet/arcade that used to litter the landscape in the 80s but sadly the times have changed and there are very few left in the states anymore with a majority of them now in Southeast Asia.      The pizza was juicy and delicous and the buffet …
Quick Tip by . May 12, 2010
A chain thats fading from the US landscape fast. It's pizza and exclusive Mojo potatoes are great. Keep these around!!
review by . June 05, 2007
Pros: Clean, free parking      Cons: Bad food, no customer service, rides/games were all broken     The Bottom Line: I am mystified how this restaurant has survived. I do not recommend Shakey's pizza on any level.     I have a 2 year old little boy. I thought taking him to Shakey's Pizza in Studio City would be fun...I was wrong and let me tell you why.      This Shakey's is billed as Shakey's Ye Old Pizza Parlor and …
review by . May 27, 2000
Pros: Mojo potatoes     Cons: Not aware of any      There are a few Shakey's Restaurants here in the Los Angeles City Basin. They are buffet style with take out pizza as well.       They are very popular at lunchtime for the business crowd. This would be between 11:00 am and 2:00 pm. The tables are spread out like cafeteria style and there are games for kids in the sitting area as well as another room full of games where you win tickets …
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K. Mennie ()
Member Since: Oct 27, 2010
Last Login: Nov 23, 2010 02:45 PM UTC
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According to Wikipedia:

Shakey's Pizza was founded in Sacramento, California, on April 30, 1954, by Sherwood "Shakey" Johnson and Ed Plummer. Johnson's nickname resulted from nerve damage following a bout of malaria suffered during World War II. The first weekend the parlor opened, only beer was served and Shakey took the profits from beer sales and bought ingredients for pizza the following Monday.

Shakey personally played dixieland jazz piano to entertain patrons. Shakey's initially became known outside Sacramento, not for its pizza, but for the jazz program it sponsored on a regional radio network. Shakey Johnson is honored in the Banjo Hall of Fame in Guthrie, Oklahoma, for his longtime use of banjo music at his pizza parlors. Other live music, including piano, was also a staple in the old Shakey's parlors.

The original store at 57th and J in Sacramento remained in business until the late 1990s.
A "Ye Old Notice" sign.

The second Shakey's Pizza Parlor opened in Portland, Oregon, in 1956. Shakey's began franchising its restaurant to others in 1957. According to Johnson, Shakey's Pizza engaged in little market research and made most of its decisions on where to locate stores by going where Kinney Shoes opened stores. By the time Johnson sold his interest in 1967, there were 272 Shakey's Pizza Parlors in the United States. The first international store opened in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in 1968. By 1975, ...
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