Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Shanty Grille - Ellicott City

Restaurant CLOSING December 31, 2014
Read the announcement from the King family here

We went to the Shanty Grille  (formerly Crab Shanty) for Saturday lunch. It's been a landmark in Ellicott City for over 34 years! 
I remember my mom telling me that it was well known when she was a kid growing up in Howard County. It still is today.
The decorations seemed old fashion - a cross between antiques and western. Almost everything in sight is made of wood and more wood. For some reason, they had Christmas decorations on the upper walls of the restaurant such as a non-working fire place next to a huge red sleigh, and a miniature train display. Weird since we ate there in March.

Christmas decorations - huge red sleigh and giant fireplace
 The place was dimly lit, (which made us a bit drowsy) and there was a flurry of senior citizens who came in. I guess people have been coming here for many years. Our waiter was very nice but we waited a long time to order and receive both our drinks and meals. Which was curious because there were only a few other tables occupied. 

Maryland Crab Soup
The Maryland crab soup had a bit too much Old Bay seasoning for our tastes. But it did have a lot of vegetables. The other soup of the day was the Bacon Cheeseburger soup. This sounded very unique but the thought of a soupy hamburger was not appealing to us.

Calamari Bowl 

The Calamari Bowl appetizer is one of the top five best we've ever had. Some calamari can be chewy, but this was soft to the bite. It was fried with a light, crispy batter. It came with two sauces - house marinara & remoulade. We loved the remoulade sauce.
California Burger

Basil Chicken Salad

Three of our party members ordered the California burger - 1/2 lb. burger topped with red onion and pepper jack cheese on a brioche roll -  w/guacamole optional. We all agreed the burger was tasty but the bun and the fresh cut potato chips needed improvement.  The bread was chewy, doughy and bland. Plus, we were looking forward to the homemade chips but they were crispy in some parts and soggy in others.

If you want ketchup, mayo, or mustard with your meal, we recommend you ask for it when you order. We had to request it when the burgers we're served, then we had to wait a long time before the condiments came out.

The Basil Chicken Salad sandwich had the same issue as the burger: the chicken salad tasted good but the bread and the chips were not great.

Lastly, we had to try the Crab Cake sandwich because the restaurant is known for this dish.  It didn't disappoint.  While it wasn't the best one we've had, it was well seasoned and full of crab meat. It was served with asparagus and baked potato.

There are a lot of dishes we didn't try that sounded good like the Coca-Cola Ribs, Shanty Cuban, Smoked Carolina BBQ and Coconut Chicken bites.

Let us know if you try any of these dishes or other menu items. 

Shanty Grille on Urbanspoon