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Old 10-21-2005, 05:34 AM   #1
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Shakey's potatoes

I just had a certain deja-vu moment yesterday and this thing was dug out into my memory from many years of oblivion out of the blue. Does anyone remember going to Shakey's pizza restaurant (they sort of disappeared I think... whatever happened to them...) and then their pizzas were kinda pushed aside as you chomped down on their Ro-Jo potatoes? (I think they were called as such, if I remember it right) They were sliced up, then coated with some spicy batter and fried, I really loved it as a kid. Now that I remembered it, I got a sudden craving for them... Does anyone know or have any idea how this recipe can be recreated?

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Old 10-21-2005, 09:30 AM   #2
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Shakey's is alive and well in Southern Califorina, urmaniac! And the potatoes really are worth going there for - but they're called "Mojo Potatoes" (you were very close!)
Yet another reason to come visit California!


Here's a bit off of their website (maybe it'll help you figure out the cooking method!):

"Plus, Shakey's famous way of serving potatoes! Hefty slices of potato, coated with our very own special breading, and pressure-fried to a mouth- watering golden brown!"
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Old 10-21-2005, 09:38 AM   #3
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I found this on 3 different sites,( so maybe it's close) But, I'd make sure there's something else in there - perhaps hot pepper sauce in addition to the pepper. I'd also use Burbank Russets, rather than typical Idaho baking. They're much better when making fries.

Shakey's Mojo Potatoes

6 large Idaho baking potatoes
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons thyme
Salt and pepper
About 1/2 cup milk
Vegetable oil (for frying)

Bake potatoes at 425 degrees F for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let cool.

Cut each potato into 6 (1/4-inch) rounds.

Heat oil to 375 degrees F.

Stir together the flour, cayenne, thyme, salt and pepper to taste. Dip each potato wedge into the milk and then dredge thoroughly in the seasoned flour mixture. Deep fry wedges without overcrowding for about 1 1/2 minutes until crisp and golden. Drain on paper towels and serve.
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Old 10-21-2005, 10:08 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkath
I found this on 3 different sites,( so maybe it's close) But, I'd make sure there's something else in there - perhaps hot pepper sauce in addition to the pepper. I'd also use Burbank Russets, rather than typical Idaho baking. They're much better when making fries.

Shakey's Mojo Potatoes

6 large Idaho baking potatoes
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons thyme
Salt and pepper
About 1/2 cup milk
Vegetable oil (for frying)

Bake potatoes at 425 degrees F for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let cool.

Cut each potato into 6 (1/4-inch) rounds.

Heat oil to 375 degrees F.

Stir together the flour, cayenne, thyme, salt and pepper to taste. Dip each potato wedge into the milk and then dredge thoroughly in the seasoned flour mixture. Deep fry wedges without overcrowding for about 1 1/2 minutes until crisp and golden. Drain on paper towels and serve.
Ah!! so these famous MOJO's were double cooked...baked AND fried hence comes that rich texture... Thanx a ton for the recipe and the info jkath, we just got some good potatoes from the market, I am ready for this... U ROCK!!
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Old 10-21-2005, 10:50 AM   #5
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I think I had my 7th or 8th birthday at Shakeys! We always went there because we could watch them make the pizza through the window and they had that cheesy player piano.

In high school we went there because they would serve us beer

But this was way before they even thought of potatoes, I am sure.

The sign still looks exactly the same as I remember it in 1966!
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Old 10-21-2005, 12:28 PM   #6
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That brings back fond memories of my college days...sitting in Shakey's with pitchers of beer and singing to the "dancing dot" music. (sort of a forebearer of Karioke.) I loved the pizza...don't remember the potatoes
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Old 10-21-2005, 12:34 PM   #7
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The potatoes weren't an original thing - I don't remember having them till at least the 90's. The piano! Ah such memories! Now, it's just a cheezy arcade. I remember in the early 70's, they'd play really old black & white movies on the movie screen.
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Old 10-21-2005, 03:16 PM   #8
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I think the Shakey's we went to closed before the potatoes. Going there was a BIG once-a-year treat for me when we visited my grandparents when I was little. We'd go with my cousins and I remember being blown away by getting whole pitchers of soda for the table (soda was a rarity in my family, let alone in such large quantities!)!!!
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Old 10-21-2005, 10:57 PM   #9
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My parents used to take my brother and I to Shakey's when we lived in Sacramento, CA. Here is a history on Shakey's.

Shakey's Pizza

The familiar sign of a Shakey's Pizza parlor in 1977.


Shakey's Pizza was the first important pizza chain restaurant in the United States and in many ways pioneered the concept of the chain pizza parlor. Shakey's was founded in Sacramento, California on April 30, 1954 by Sherwood "Shakey" Johnson (1925-1998) and Ed Plummer. Johnson's nickname resulted from a case 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. The original store at 57th and J in Sacramento remained in business until the late 1990s. Shakey personally played dixieland jazz piano to entertain patrons, and that type of entertainment was a staple of the Shakey's experience well into the 1970s. 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.


A Dixieland piano player entertains at Shakey's in the early 1970s.


The second Shakey's Pizza Parlor opened in Portland, Oregon in 1956. Shakey's began franchising its restaurant to others in 1957. By the time Johnson retired 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, the company had expanded to the Pacific Rim, including Japan and the Philippines. The chain is now much bigger in the Philippines than in the United States.

Shakey's Pizza Parlors are noted for their unique features: The parlors are decorated in a variety of informal styles, traditionally having tables lined end to end the width of the dining room and seating provided on wooden stools. Some later designs included high tables and stools and stained and beveled glass designs. Parlors are usually decorated with antique-looking wooden signs bearing "Ye Olde Notice." Typical notices are "We made a deal with the banker. We don't cash checks, and he don't sell pizza" and "We have no quarrel with those who sell for less. They know what their product is worth." There is usually a window allowing children to watch the pizza being made. Family-friendly entertainment is still a staple at Shakey's, with many stores featuring large game rooms and featuring live performances by magicians and other entertainers on certain nights to attract business.


A "Ye Olde Notice" sign.


Besides pizza, Shakey's has developed other menu items into trademarks, including its MoJo potatoes (breaded and deep-fried potato slices) and fried chicken. Most Shakey's restaurants incorporate a buffet, which is usually responsible for more sales than the ordering of whole pizzas. Its classic thin-crust pizza remains more popular than its deep-dish pizza, which was introduced in the 1970s and has a sweeter crust more reminiscent of pastries than pizza.
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Old 10-21-2005, 10:58 PM   #10
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The rest of the story...... (it would not fit on one post)


Shakey Johnson sold his half of the company to Colorado Milling and Elevator in 1967, which acquired Plummer's half the next year. Shakey's was again sold to Hunt International Resources in 1974. Two franchisees bought the chain in 1984, and they sold out to Inno-Pacific Holdings of Singapore in 1989. Most of the U.S. stores closed in the time Inno-Pacific owned the chain. Some of the remaining franchisees took Inno-Pacific to court in 2003. Before this could come to trial, Shakey's was sold to Jacmar Companies of Alhambra, California, in 2004. Jacmar had been the franchisee of 19 Shakey's restaurants.

The decline of Shakey's is a case study in franchise mismanagement worthy of a major business bestseller authored by some competent reporter. Shakey's has gone from 325 stores throughout the United States when Hunt International bought the company in 1974 to 63 stores as of 2004, 55 of them in California. There are only four stores east of the Mississippi River: Springfield, Illinois; Warner Robins, Georgia., Janesville and West Allis, Wisconsin; and only four stores in the West outside California: Boise, Idaho; Nogales, Arizona, and two in suburban Seattle.

Most Shakey's restaurants closed not because of a decline in sales (although competition from delivery-based pizza chains such as Domino's and Pizza Hut has hurt Shakey's in-store sales) but because the franchisors (the owners of the Shakey's name and recipes) kept alienating franchisees by raising fees while at the same time providing a diminished level of benefit from franchising. As a result, many franchisees decided to convert their restaurants to copycats of Shakey's that offered a very similar menu but didn't have to pay royalties to Shakey's International. For example, the eight Shakey's Pizza Parlors in Minneapolis-St. Paul became Paesano's Pizza, and the four Shakey's in Bakersfield, California became Sharkey's. Unfortunately, this has the effect of alienating the customer base which comes to Shakey's for its unique and familiar pizza recipe, and most copycat stores close within a year. Even the original store in Sacramento closed in 1995, although this was due to a fire.

The new owner of the chain plans to revitalize it and expand in the USA beyond its California base by using techniques mastered by Krispy Kreme to gain maximum publicity when entering a new market.

The chain currently has about 400 stores; 63 in the USA and the rest in Asia and the Philippines.
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