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Posted by Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 12:21 AM

Hot Dog
For the next couple of weeks, Chris and Amy of ayersian will be joining with Sue and Bruce to present a take on the Roadfood Tour of Connecticut, stop by stop. The beginning of each post will be written by whoever is identified in the byline. After that, well, you'll figure it out!

A bunch of us visited the Shady Glen  (see the review) for Roadfood Tour Eve. We'd marvelled over the photos of their amazing burgers with the toasted cheese wings whenever a photo popped up on the front page of Roadfood, but we hadn't realized how truly wonderful the Glen is, in ways that extend well beyond the cheeseburger. To begin with, check out that cheesefurter!

The burger is, of course, equally imposing, although they apparently are now using three slices of cheese, not four, which results in a less architecturally impressive cheese structure: with four slices, the cheese melds into a symmetrical cheese cup. Three slices looks a little sloppy.
Ice CreamWe absolutely adore Shady Glen's house-made ice cream. Pictured above is frozen pudding atop Grape-Nuts. While we enjoy pricey, urban, artisan ice cream as much as the next guy, we have to acknowledge that our ice cream preferences lean more towards the simple, ingenuous, old-fashioned country ice creams served at places like this, or made at home, the kind we imagine being whipped up and enjoyed on Andy Taylor's front porch on a warm summer's evening. Shady Glen serves it at just the right temperature too. When it's too cold and stiff, the flavor dulls.

Some of the other ice cream orders: a hot apple sundae topped with something very similar to Polly's Pancake Parlor's Hurricane Sauce (see the review of Polly's)...
Sundae ... and a maple walnut sundae over Grape-Nuts ice cream:
SundaeEven a glass of root beer is special, hand-mixed from syrup and soda water:
Root Beer 

Chris: Amy & I were really excited to visit Shady Glen again with Bruce, Sue, Pete & Dee, and Judy.  We used to eat there regularly when we lived nearby but hadn’t been back in a couple of years. The décor strikes me as the epitome of old-timey, especially the yellow-ish lighting that forces me to use a flash for every food photo. The cheesefurter was incredible—I might even like it more than the cheeseburger. They split the weiner and press it on the griddle. I know more than a few hot dog barons out there who say this cooking method dries out the dog, but it works so well with the cheese and bun: the meat is still snappy and still juicy:


My only complaint is the lack of any condiments more exciting than yellow mustard, relish and onions (seriously, would chili really be that hard to make?), but herein lies the charm of the Glen. And the frozen pudding ice cream is the best example of this New England-only flavor: chock full of dried fruit bits, raisins, and rum flavoring, perfect in every way:

frozen pudding

Though I still dream about the licorice chip ice cream I had here many years ago (which is still made annually but only during the month of October), this black cherry chocolate chip went above and beyond the call of duty...way beyond:

black cherry

And the doilies kill me! Take it away, Bruce...

Bruce: This was my first taste of frozen pudding. Chris is right, this is spectacular, much better than it sounds. The waitress warned me that it is rum raisin, which it is not, but that does convey the proper information to those who might imagine that frozen pudding is something like chocolate frozen Jello pudding pop ice cream.


We visited Shady Glen the evening before and I would agree, as a first time frozen pudding partaker, it was very good. I enjoyed the cheesefurter above the cheeseburger also. Good stuff!
Posted by ChiTownDiner on Tuesday, Oct 9, 2012 5:24 AM

I love going to both locations of Shady Glen. Not only are the cheeseburgers unique, the fries are always hot and crisp and the cole slaw is sweet and delicious. Often overlooked, the breakfasts are wonderful, especially the light and fluffy pancakes.
Posted by Equity6 on Tuesday, Oct 9, 2012 7:43 AM

How about as soon as you sit down, they bring over tiny glasses of water that only hold one sip? Frozen pudding ice cream is a nice occasional treat, but I am crazy over grape nuts ice cream.
Posted by buffetbuster on Tuesday, Oct 9, 2012 8:20 AM

Question with a (maybe) obvious answer -- how do you eat the burger or hotdog? Cut or pull off the fried cheese? A friend who grew up in Colchester used to go to Shady Glen and remembers the hamburgers fondly. I need to ask her how she handled them.
Posted by Ivyhouse on Tuesday, Oct 9, 2012 8:52 AM

Good question. I folded the cheese wings of my burger in, so everything was inside the bun. I think Chris wrapped the cheese around the dog. Is there a "correct" way? I have no idea. I could imagine some people would enjoy nibbling on the outer cheese by itself, like a frico, until they reach the burger or dog.
Posted by Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle on Tuesday, Oct 9, 2012 10:36 AM

Ivyhouse - I'd say that's a personal preference. I haven't been since they changed to three slices of cheese. But when it was 4, my game plan was to fold three of the corners onto the burger. I would eat the fourth corner as before I started the burger.
Posted by Foodosaurus on Tuesday, Oct 9, 2012 11:02 AM

Am I to understand that Shady Glen was *not* on the official tour, and that's why you went there the night before? Or could you just not stand to wait for it? :)
Posted by Suzy Gruyere on Tuesday, Oct 9, 2012 12:40 PM

No, Shady Glen was not on the official tour. But, we knew that ahead of time, so we could visit on our own.
Posted by buffetbuster on Tuesday, Oct 9, 2012 1:29 PM

After trying the grape nuts ice cream...I confirmed it was not my destiny!
Posted by ChiTownDiner on Tuesday, Oct 9, 2012 1:42 PM

Foodosaurus is right on. I did the same with the burger and tore off one slice of cheese before chowing down. Though it's not listed on the menu, you can also order a plate of just fried cheese...but I have never been so bold!
Posted by ayersian on Tuesday, Oct 9, 2012 9:55 PM

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