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“Great food great service”

The Shanty Seafood & Grill
Ranked #109 of 207 Restaurants in Portsmouth
Cuisines: Seafood
Restaurant details
Reviewed February 7, 2014 via mobile

Pizza is delicious. Reubens are the best in town. Friendly atmosphere. Great specials for happy hour. Happy bartenders

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank bgrace1221
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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23 - 27 of 27 reviews

Reviewed January 4, 2014

I work nearby the Shanty and was thrilled to have another option for lunch. When it first opened I thought the menu was much too extensive for any of it to actually be any good. I tried it in the first few weeks it was open and had the haddock sliders (since removed from the menu) with sweet potato fries. My co-worker had the steak tip appetizer over rice pilaf (also since removed). Both were very good and we were pleasantly surprised. Today, working on a weekend, our team grabbed lunch. I was happy to see the menu had been cut back substantially from the original options. There are still plenty of choices for most tastes and a better chance at getting it right. At least that is what I thought. I was clearly wrong. I ordered the chicken Caesar wrap with a side of sweet potato fries. The sweet potato fries (how can you go wrong) were clearly cooked in oil that might very well be the original from when the Shanty opened. Although they were not burned, they had a slight taste of it - just old oil. The chicken in the wrap was slightly overcooked and the dressing did not have a nice flavor at all. I am extremely disappointed knowing it is so close but yet I will not go back.

4  Thank mln3007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 18, 2013

Been to the Shanty four times, have eaten on three occasions. I find it to be frustrating, based upon weak bartenders/servers, a lack of flexibility when it comes to the menu, and confusion among the staff about what time they would close. After a while, I just stopped going. I think as a new place in town it is struggling to find its niche. The food is good, everything I have tried is above average. But the bartenders/servers are way below average, and it seems a huge deal if you want something that is even the slightest bit different than how they want to make it. I feel strongly that any good restaurant should bend over backwards to make sure people come back, and in this case, the lack of doing so drove me away. I don't know if I will be back. I like the TVs, but don't like that the girls don't know what should be on. I like the food, but don't like how hard it is to get them to make something my way. I met one of the owners, Joe, and overheard him telling a bartender to make something however the customer wanted it, but she said the cook (supposedly the other owner) was saying the opposite. I guess in general I wonder if consistency will be an issue. But again, they are new, just a few months I guess. Part of me wants to go back in and see if they have addressed any of my issues, but the other part of me feels like I gave them four chances.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
3  Thank SeacoastReviewer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 4, 2013 via mobile

My wife and I ate here a week after the place opened, based on a positive sounding article in the newspaper. The owners apparently have a good history of operating other restaurants.

The first thing we noticed was the slightly off atmosphere. The place bills itself as a "family friendly sports bar." It kind of exists in a Twilight Zone between cool sports bar and cheesy pizza place for the kids. When we arrived, there were kids. By the time we left, no kids, and the clientele was definitely more bar-ish.

Our server was relatively eager to please. It was her first day, so she gets a pass for not knowing the beers on tap. Very friendly though, which was nice.

Not so nice was being able to overhear an argument between a waitress and the owner about wanting to leave early, or the group of guys swearing a the next table over. Which leads to the only real gripe we had with this place. The ambiance, if you can call it that, is just bizarre. Is it a kids place, or a sports bar? I think the idea that it is a "fusion" between the two is likely to be short lived. I mean, how many parents want their kids hanging out at bar, no matter how good the pizza is? And how many guys looking to watch the football game and have a few beers want to hang out with someone else's kids? The point is, you're just as likely to sit next to a table full of 10 year olds as a table full of guys dropping f-bombs.

In its favor, the restaurant serves good food for the price. We've eaten on two occasions and enjoyed a variety of dishes without breaking the bank. The fried shrimp was delicious, as was the burger and Italian sandwich. The prices are very competitive for comparable quality pub fare.

A minor annoyance is the restaurant's policy on substitutions. My wife hates coleslaw, and asked if there was anything else available as a side. The first time we were here, the waitress told her she could have fries instead, and then charged her for a side. Annoying. The second time we were here we made it clear that we wanted to know if she could actually substitute the coleslaw, without any up-charge. The waitress had to check, and came back 5 minutes later with the news that there were no substitutions allowed. Annoying. Then she brought the coleslaw even though we asked her not to. Doubly annoying. We thought a place trying to grow its customers would be more accommodating. We were wrong.

Make sure you scrutinize your bill. You'd be amazed at how the charges accumulate. On our second visit we fell victim to a bunch of hidden charges. Our server presented a bunch of sides as options, and we chose onion rings, only to find out after the fact that they were an up-charge. We were even charged $.25 for adding onion to a burger, although as far as I could tell, this latter injustice was never mentioned on the menu. We must have arrived during an onion shortage or something. Thoroughly annoying, not to mention deceptive. If you're going to charge customers, tell them.

All in all, it's decent food on a budget. The fried food is tasty, the burgers are okay, the fries are good. I'd like it a whole lot better with some more attention to service and a more grown up atmosphere.

4  Thank ChrisBuck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2016
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    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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