J’Shanae’s Magnolia Tea, a soul food buffet located at 7601 Pines Road in Shreveport, is unlike most local soul food restaurants in several noteworthy ways. For starters, J’Shanae’s Magnolia Tea is an all-you-care-to-eat buffet. Buffet features change daily and, for the most part, run the gamut of traditional soul food/Southern cooking staples. There are chicken fried steaks, fried chicken, meat loaf, smothered turkey necks, beef tips and rice, hot water cornbread, red beans and rice, macaroni and cheese and more. On any given day, there’s usually a surprise or two thrown in; during my most recent visit, a platter of salmon croquettes was wedged between the turkey necks and the fried chicken. Dessert is included in the surprisingly low price ($6.95-$8.50, depending on the day), and usually consists of a few different types of cake.
Speaking of unexpected surprises: Every Friday, the restaurant hosts “Feel Good Fridays,” during which the buffet includes fried catfish and gumbo and live jazz music is performed in the dining room by Mr. Albert Lattier, 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. The first Sunday of each month is “Super Soul Sunday,” featuring a menu about three times as large as the average daily menu – a steal at $7.95. Some food items obviously receive more personal attention than others (the mac and cheese is the Kraft mac and cheese of your childhood), but when you’re given an entire buffet of options, it’s just a matter of skipping the items that aren’t homemade. And for $6.95 (the buffet price on Tuesdays), it’s hard to complain.
The hours do seem a little random: Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; Thursday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-8 p.m.; and the first Sunday of each month, 12-3 p.m. It may be worth calling the restaurant at (318) 505-7052 before your visit to make sure that they’re open…and to see what’s on the buffet.