PICKY PEACHES HIDDEN GEM RESTAURANT CHALLENGE #12: Small Door, Giant Appetites at Owens Boarding House

One of the best parts of having a food blog is going to all the wonderful places that we never would have visited if they hadn’t been on the list that P2 found online last year. That’s exactly the case with the last stop in the Hidden Gem Restaurant Challenge. We may never have known about Owens Boarding House in Warner Robins, Georgia. That would have been such a shame! Owens Boarding House is well-known in middle Georgia and now we know why. This hidden gem has been serving traditional soul food for more than 50 years. Whether you call it soul food, home style, or country cooking, it’s so satisfying. You may be wondering how it got its name. Well, it really is a boarding house. Tenants reside in the back of the building and the restaurant is in the front.

Put the address in your GPS and don’t panic when it tells you to turn by the railroad track and drive past some warehouse type buildings. It’s a good idea to look at a photo of it online so you’ll recognize the building when you see it. If we’ve learned anything on this journey, it’s that you really can’t judge a book by its cover. The outside of Owens Boarding House isn’t fancy or cute. Don’t let that fool you. The inside of this nondescript, light blue building contains food treasures. So park the car and go inside. Be sure to duck as you enter the front door, even if you’re not tall.

This is family-style dining. That means you get to share a table with people you’ve never met. Even for introverts like P1, it was a fun experience, especially since we were blessed to share our table with a retired pastor, who was a wonderful conversationalist and talented singer. Yes, he actually sang to us. You never know who you might meet. People from all backgrounds and beliefs break bread together here. If the idea of Sunday dinner at grandma’s brings back fond memories, you’ll love this place. There’s nothing like dining at a table with someone saying, “Please, pass the biscuits.” Or “This is the best fried chicken!”

Deciding what to order can sometimes be the most difficult thing to do when you visit a restaurant for the first time. That’s one of the great things about eating at a family-style place. They bring you everything, so you can see it before you decide. At Owens Boarding House, we encourage you to try at least a bite of everything. Who knows? You may find a new favorite. The selection changes daily.

Tuesday: Meatloaf, stewed potatoes, peach cobbler.
Wednesday: Baked ham, potatoes salad, banana pudding.
Thursday: Pulled pork, liver and onions, mashed potatoes, rice, peach cobbler.
Friday: Pork ribs, potato salad, banana pudding.
Available Daily: Fried chicken, corn, cabbage, turnips, butter beans, snap beans, macaroni and cheese, cornbread and biscuits. Yum! Yum!

It’s all delicious. However, if you have a favorite that you crave, we encourage you to call them to make sure it’s on the menu on the day you plan to visit.

Here are some things we highly recommend:

The Fried Chicken is so popular that they serve it every day. It’s easy to see why people crave it. The perfectly-seasoned chicken is crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. This is how fried chicken is supposed to be.

Everyone knows that fried chicken needs a side dish and that the perfect side is mashed potatoes. Whether you call them mashed, creamed or whipped, you don’t want to miss this pinnacle of comfort food. These are the real deal. Made with real potatoes and, probably, a fair amount of butter, all they need is gravy.

We hope that the toughest decision you have to make all day is whether to have a biscuit or cornbread. Both were good, but we liked the biscuit best. It was golden brown on the top and the bottom. The inside wasn’t doughy and the outside wasn’t greasy like it is at so many fast-food chains. This one was like a biscuit should be.

Save room for dessert. The homemade peach cobbler and made-from-scratch banana pudding are definitely worth the calories. These iconic, southern desserts are far superior to the frozen, instant or mass-produced desserts many chain restaurants serve.

You’ll need a beverage to go with this abundance of goodness. We suggest an icy, glass of sweet tea, also known as the table wine of the South. To have anything else would just be wrong, in our humble opinion;-) So go hungry and get there early. We wouldn’t want you to miss a thing! We got there at 12:30 and they were running low on some things. Also, it’s a cash only establishment. You know, the kind with dead presidents on it. No debit or credit cards.

Owens Boarding House, 106 Young Avenue, Warner Robins, Georgia 31093.
Hours: Tuesday – Friday 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Closed: Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
(478) 923-9108
No website. Find them on Facebook, Yelp or TripAdvisor.

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Join us next time for a visit to one of the largest and most awe-inspiring museums in Georgia. The jaw-dropping exhibits will give you chills…in a good way. You don’t want to miss it!

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3 thoughts on “PICKY PEACHES HIDDEN GEM RESTAURANT CHALLENGE #12: Small Door, Giant Appetites at Owens Boarding House”

  1. Welcome back, ladies! This place sounds like my kind of place! The fabulous sounding food and family-style serving make it almost irresistible! Thanks again, friends! ❤️❤️❤️

    1. Thank you so much! Good to be back with new material and fun places to visit! Owens Boarding House is a throw back to a different era and worth the drive!

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