Feed Your Soul: Strong’s Southern Family Restaurant

Between Rayville and Winnsboro off Highway 425 in Mangham sits a single restaurant, Strong’s Southern Family Restaurant.
Published: Mar. 7, 2022 at 10:45 PM CST
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MANGHAM, La. (KNOE) - Between Rayville and Winnsboro off Highway 425 in Mangham sits a single restaurant, Strong’s Southern Family Restaurant. Owned by Debbie Strong, the place has been there for more than 30 years and had some other names, like Sander’s Country Kitchen.

The place is known for its buffet, and it has been going for years. The customers there love the food and the rotation.

“The recipes - I think that people are coming in like every other Wednesday. We have chicken and dressing and baked chicken, and then the following Wednesday, we have homemade chicken and dumplings. And we go through so much and it’s so busy,” said Strong.

They also host a seafood buffet on the weekends, but get there early, it gets busy.

At one time, she thought people might be tired of the chicken dishes. “I tried to take it off the menu one time and I got in trouble,” said Strong.

I had a plate, and now I understand why people were in an uproar. The chicken and dressing are amazing. But there are other items that people go there for, and one is the baked sweet potato. According to many who have tried it, you can skip the butter.

The head cook, Felicia Jones, has been there since it was known as Sander’s. She told me the secret behind the creation of the sweet potato.

“It was actually an accident. That didn’t cut one of them; I was like, there’s a whole sweet potato in here. And my boss was like, I’ll take this one home. She called me back; she’s like, man, that’s so good. How about we just do those like that? Okay, so that’s how it happened,” said Jones.

Jones learned her passion of how to cook when she was young.

“My grandma and my mom - they stay in the kitchen all the time cooking. I was always curious and want to be in there. We had these like eight-pound buckets. I used to stand on a bucket and help my grandma and cook all the time,” said Jones.

Jones has been the cook for 23 years in this same building, and she is happy where she is.

“I don’t really want another job; this is it. If I can cook in somebody’s kitchen, I’m happy,” said Jones. There is one thing she does not like. “I’ll do the cooking if somebody else does the cleaning.”

When you go grab a plate at Strong’s Southern Family Restaurant, you can be sure they will feed your soul.

Click here for the map of more places to feed your soul.

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