Restaurants & Bars

Southern New England

Shady Glen, Manchester CT


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Restaurants & Bars 15

Shady Glen, Manchester CT

sundeck sue | Jul 20, 2012 06:24 PM

Went out of our way, traveling from Cape Cod to Sherman CT, to detour to Manchester CT, so we could see what all the excitement is about re Shady Glen (a restaurant/ice cream bar, beloved on this Board, that was recently given a big prize from the James Beard org.).

It is seriously adorable, w/ all the right retro touches in decor/uniforms, etc.

I ordered a cheeseburger platter w/ lettuce and tomato and cole slaw as my two sides (I saw french fries on other tables; and they looked like the frozen variety, which had me scratching my head before we even sat down). My husband got the a la carte cheeseburger.

The food arrived in timely fashion, brought by a cheerful young server. The lettuce on my plate, however, was beyond old--it was slimy and black around the edges, w/ the roughness of the very outside leaves of an over-the-hill head of Romaine. The tomatoes were cardboard (this is late July!), but I decided to triage and deal with the lettuce. I called the server over and said nicely that the lettuce wasn't edible. She said, mmm, that does look bad, I'll get you another piece. She picked the lettuce up and tossed it into a trash bin. She returned w/ a plate with a new piece that was in B- (as opposed to D-) shape and put it on the table, w/out an apology or offer to comp the platter mark-up.

On to the rest. The fried cheese was fun and sort of tasty. But I sort of expected more flavor, given all the build-up. The burger was skinny and gray and not very tasty. The cole slaw was generic. My husband got a slice of pickle w/ his cheeseburger. I assumed the absence of pickle on my plate was because I got the platter and had my two sides. But I learned from a blurb on the wall as we were leaving that mine should have had a pickle as well.

Ice cream for dessert--and that was good. A New England girl, I love grape nuts ice cream; and theirs was a good rendition. My husband enjoyed his chocolate peanut butter.

But I came away pretty clear that I'm not going back anytime soon (if I get hungry on that stretch of 84, I'll head for the Cromwell Diner or even Reins Deli).

Maybe it's one of those imprinting deals. There are lots of northern New England places from my childhood that I adore because I grew up with them; and they wouldn't necessarily have that same draw for newbies. Or maybe it was just an off night for the restaurant. Or for me.

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