The food, barbecue or not, garners attention and earns the Mancy's name.
The Shorty’s Burger with green beans at Shorty’s True American Roadhouse.
It's the details -- wooden beams on the ceiling, pails used as lamp shades, a centerpiece fireplace, and tin dinner plates -- that make it feel down home but still upscale at Shorty's True American Roadhouse.
But it's the food, whether it's barbecue or not, that will garner your attention. That should be no surprise -- the restaurant is part of the Mancy family after all.
On a recent visit, we decided that ribs and other barbecue fare might be a bit much to eat on our lunch hour. So I went with the Shorty's Burger ($8.49) along with green beans. The half-pound burger had a crunchy crust and was cooked to a medium consistency. It came with jack cheese and the onion straws added a wonderful texture to the sandwich. The house barbecue sauce was neither hidden nor overpowering. It also came with a chipotle mayo that I scraped off (no offense, just personal preference). I am discovering that there are plenty of places in Toledo that know how to serve up a gourmet burger, and Shorty's is among the best.
My guest chose the Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwich ($8.48), which she said was a great combination of sweet and smoky. On a soft bun, piled high with cole slaw it is a large lunch option even without the side dish, which were the tasty, crunchy french fries.
The cornbread muffins are complimentary with every meal, but I would be remiss if I didn't mention how special they were: They weren't too heavy or too dry, which often is the case for cornbread served at restaurants. See, it really is the details.
We returned a week later for dinner and were prepared for a southern feast.
To sample more than one style of barbecue, I ordered the Double Deluxe ($14.99) combo platter, choosing the pork ribs and brisket along with the tasty BBQ beans and macaroni and cheese as sides. The ribs were moist yet firm with a hint of cherry, and they are the reason for Shorty's smoky aroma. The beef brisket had a wonderful smoky ring and was delicious, especially with either of Shorty's house sauces, sweet and hot.
One of my guests enjoyed the Honey-BBQ Atlantic Salmon ($13.99), remarking that it was moist and flaky with a bit of that smoky barbecue flavor and complemented with the sweet honey barbecue sauce. She especially liked the green beans, which were blanched and sauteed to keep their firmness and crunchiness. Her East Texas potato (an added $1.69) with butter, cheddar cheese, sour cream, and bacon made for a tasty and rich potato -- but unless you absolutely adore sour cream, you might want to order it on the side.
Another guest had the Pork Porterhouse ($14.99), a T-Bone chop that he said was perfectly cooked and juicy and when he added the hot barbecue sauce it made for a great entree. He liked the potato salad side but thought the cole slaw was bland. He also got a cup of the Smokehouse Chili ($2.99), which was thick and tasty, but it didn't have much kick.
The Pulled Pork Nachos appetizer ($7.99) brought barbecue style to the traditional appetizer with pulled pork, barbecue sauce, jack cheese, and green onions. It came with sour cream and salsa, but the barbecue sauces were our favorite.
The Simply Great Bread Pudding ($5.99) was aptly named. The huge serving meant to be shared was dense and rich with a custard flavor and came with a rich bourbon sauce and a scoop of ice cream.
Shorty's has plenty of other food and drink options on its extensive menu and we look forward to trying them in the future. It also is home to the Ultimate BBQ Feast ($54.99), which serves five with a full rack of ribs, a whole chicken, brisket, pulled pork, coleslaw, BBQ beans, fries, and four cornbread muffins. Wouldn't that be an excellent take-out choice on game day?
SHORTY'S TRUE AMERICAN ROADHOUSE
* * * *
Address: 5111 Monroe St.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Reservations accepted for parties of eight or larger.
Wheelchair access: Yes
Average price: $$
Credit cards: AE, Dis, MC, V
Web site: mancys.com/shortys
Contact Bill of Fare at firstname.lastname@example.org.