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“Character, great food and attentive service.”
Review of The Shanty

The Shanty
Ranked #1 of 3 Restaurants in Wadsworth
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $1 - $20
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed November 8, 2012

Stopped in on a whim with my two kids on a Saturday night. We were seated after a short wait and pleasantly surprised at the menu. Plenty of seafood and steak options. I ordered walleye, my son ordered fetuccini alfredo, and my daughter ordered lightly breaded cod. Salads were fresh and arrived quickly and the entrees were excellent. Live music (jazz and blues) was a nice complement. We will be back again soon!

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1  Thank Vince Q
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (215)
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176 - 180 of 215 reviews

Reviewed October 25, 2012

We had a certificate from Restauarant.com so we were able to splurge a little more than normal. The atmosphere was relaxing, the service was great and the food was phenomenal. The black bean soup was the best bean soup I have ever had. Just a few minutes from Great America so we will be back.....even if it's just for the soup.

2  Thank Kathy W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2012

They were on the food network I believe. They have many interesting dishes. Fried Alligator. Yummy, tastes just like spicy chicken. Friday Fish Fry. They just remodeled. A little cramped. The owner is always in there walking around and greeting customers. Very involved which makes it special.

1  Thank Laurie A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 20, 2012

I, too, learned of The Shanty from "Triple-D," which probably rates as a guilty pleasure for me. I can't eat 75% of what's featured on the show - I think the main attraction for me is the dedication of the owners and chefs in these places, as well as Guy's presentation.

The Shanty sits at a crossroads on US41 just south of the Illinois / Wisconsin border; it's easy to miss as it's next to a meat market and gas station and doesn't stand out until one notices the rustic wood siding.

I'm an architect and I'm not sure how to describe the aesthetic, but "rustic" comes close. The entry door uses a cast iron weight on a rope as a closer. The interior is entirely clad in wood boards. Maybe a bit barn-like, with the requisite signs gathered from local salvage - I imagine locals feel nostalgic sparks for these. Overall, it's funky and clean.

I visited early, 4:30 PM, and was glad I did. The dining room was empty except for two tables, but by the time my entree arrived, the entire place was full. The horrendous weather apparently didn't deter anyone. The young service staff works hard here, polite and almost too attentive (though as the place got busier, this changed to something more appropriate. Better a little too much attention than too little!).

I was seated and within minutes was brought my drink and a small loaf of pretzel bread with cinnamon butter. German mustard would not have been out of line here; the bread was rich and warm. I ate all of it despite telling myself I would take some of it home.

The menu is the attraction here. Fieri did not steer wrong here. It is not anywhere near what one would expect. The closest comparison I can make is Bonge's Tavern in central Indiana. The menu is upscale takes on comfort food with a few interesting non-meat options.

I don't eat beef, pork or poultry so opted for the walleye, as it rarely appears on menus in Indiana and is one of my favorite fishes. It's prepared broiled with butter or fried. I opted for fried. The fish was excellent - very lightly breaded with seasoned flour and pan fried. I couldn't quite decide whether the flour was under-seasoned or if I should just enjoy the flavor of the fish. Walleye is very mild, so I'd have to say the flour could have used a touch more seasoning. It's a tossup and I won't fault the chef for this.

The dish is also served with a good tartar sauce and a little container of cole slaw. I was a little surprised to find them served on my plate in plastic to-go cups. It's always a little jarring to me to have these juxtapositions of casual and upscale. The food and prices are definitely upmarket, but the service and presentation somewhat too casual.

The garlic mashed potatoes would have been great had they been warmer, but the mixed veggie saute was excellent, with lots of fall treats. I'm a sucker for good sides, so I cleaned the plate.

The prices here are in line with the quality of the food IF the presentation and service were on par, but maybe this is part of the appeal of the place - great food presented in a no-nonsense unpretentious way.

I guess I will just have to try it again next time I'm in the area to see if I grow to like it!

Recommended for the high quality of the food!

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1  Thank Mark D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 10, 2012

We went to The Shanty to check it out, being on Diners, Drive-In's & Dives. We went early (5ish) on a week day to avoid the wait I've read about. Party of 4 (2 kids & 2 adults) got sat immediately.
I was expecting poor service after reading other reviews. I had the best service that I can remember. Being former servers, my husband & I are quite critical of service and that can make or break our experience. We had Jill as our server, she was excellent! She spaced our courses perfectly & was anticipating our every need. The bus boy, who was excellent as well (I believe his name was Leonardo).
The food was good. Not as outstanding as I would have expected. The alligator appetizer was very tender. The Whiskey Shrimp lacked flavor. The Tequila Salmon was good. The burger was great (fresh, good quality meat). Seasonal veggies were cooked perfectly w/ great seasoning. The chicken Parmesan-not so bueno (but should have known not to order Italian at a place who specializes in seafood).
We will go back, glad we finally found a restaurant that gives great service in the area (hopefully the other servers are as great as Jill). I like their relaxed atmosphere & the variety on their menu. The price is good as well.

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2  Thank JessSki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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