Monday, May 30, 2011

Restaurant Review: Shorty's True American Roadhouse

Shorty's on Monroe Street
Shorty's True American Roadhouse
5111 Monroe St; Toledo, OH 43623
(419) 841-9505
Sun - Thr: 11am - 10 pm
Fri - Sat: 11 am - 11 pm

I've been in Memphis for the last month or so, and am now an official Yankee conny-sewer of real Southern barbeque. That is to say, I'm something of an experienced gourmand of barbeque ribs in all three styles; wet, dry and muddy. So I'm here to tell you that while the barbeque at Shorty's True American Roadhouse doesn't suck pond scum, telling anyone in the Memphis area that Shorty's has good barbeque is a lot like telling the Toledo Blade's food critic that he ought to try reviewing Wendy's. That may be an unfortunate choice of words. A better explanation might be to say that while Shorty's is not the McDonald's of barbeque, it certainly qualifies as the Wendy's.

The good news about Shorty's is that they can accommodate a reservation for 14 for lunch on the outdoor patio. The bad news is the service (your mileage may vary) and the food. Shorty's menu touts barbeque ribs, pulled pork and brisket among other things, and they offer the pulled pork "Memphis Style" which translates into a pulled pork sandwich with cole-slaw on top. Now, I live in Memphis. I've been all over Memphis eating barbeque, and the only place in Memphis that serves pulled pork topped with cole-slaw is Tops Bar-B-Q which really is the McDonald's of barbeque. I ate at Tops once, and once was enough. What can I say? I was hungry and I didn't know any better.

Our server made the obligatory greetings and took our orders before vanishing into the back. The food arrived in fairly good time, and that's when the problems started. I ordered half a rack of ribs and the first thing I noticed was that my half rack was the same size as the one-third rack delivered to the person sitting next to me. When we pointed this out to the waiter and explained that my half-rack was a little short, the waiter started an argument. The silly SOB argued that I had half a rack in front of me, but that he'd exchange it for a different half rack. He vanished with my plate, only to return ten minutes later with the identical rack still on the plate and delivered it with a smart ass remark. Well, screw him. If I wanted an argument I could have phoned a neurotic ex-girlfriend. I decided to take it out of his gratuity. I'll give credit where it's due though; our waiter was quick to refill our drinks as needed. Then we waited forever for the check, and when the genius finally decided it was time to put in another appearance we were about to get up and walk out. A check was produced and given to me after three requests. The clown is not hard of hearing so much as he is dense. I noted that an 18% gratuity had been added, and was calculated on the total including tax. Since do I provide a tip on the government's gratuity? This is stable dressing. I used a pen to make an adjustment to the bill, crossing out the gratuity and applying some public school education to the final amount due. Then we waited for the waiter to show up and claim the bill. After 20 minutes he had failed to appear, so I took the bill up to the front desk where our waiter immediately hustled over to run the credit card. After a quick glance he complained about the lack of a gratuity, and I assured him I was leaving it in cash. Which is true. I got my credit card back and left the little bozo 10% in cash, which was about 5% more than he deserved.

I'm not impressed with Shorty's. The place has gone downhill, both with food quality, portions and service. I like the outdoor patio, but with the quality of the food being what it now is and the lousy service, I doubt I'll be back.

  • Ambiance: 7 (outdoor patio)
  • Service: 3 (don't argue with the customer; don't be slow with the check)
  • Food: 3 (Think Wendy's, not McDonald's)

Rating: 4

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