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Shady Glen

840 Middle Tpk E, Manchester, CT - (860) 649-4245
Posted By Michael Stern on 4/22/2015 4:25:00 PM
“What’s good to eat?” we ask the uniformed waitress when she steps to our booth.

“You are at Shady Glen,” she responds like a schoolteacher addressing especially slow students. “At Shady Glen, you must have cheeseburgers!”

Amen to that good advice. Although this fine old dairy bar has a menu of sandwiches and hot meals and is justly famous for its homemade ice cream, its way with cheeseburgers puts it in a class by itself. The meat is not extraordinary and the cheese is merely tasty, but assemble the two of them together on the Shady Glen grill and magic happens. Three or four slices of cheese are carefully placed in a mosaic that extends far beyond the edges of the burger as it cooks, so the cheese melts directly onto the surface of the grill, turning chewy and crisp. The hamburger with its soft cheese on top and its halo of textured cheese all around is hefted onto a bun to become one memorable sandwich!

A boat of condiments is brought to every table -- relish, mustard, ketchup, raw onions -- and tomatoes and lettuce are available if you want to be deluxe. Good slaw and French fries come on the side of a cheeseburger plate; and the great thing to drink is an old-fashioned milk shake, the first serving of which is carefully poured by your waitress from its tall silver beaker into a glass. Of course, she leaves the beaker on the table, from which you’ll pour a couple of refills.

All kinds of milk shakes are available, taking advantage of Shady Glen's huge repertoire of ice cream flavors -- from chocolate and vanilla to frozen pudding, grape-nuts, and Almond Joy. Fruit ice creams are made from fresh fruit from local and regional farms and available topped with a semi-sweet chocolate sauce that hardens as it hits the cold ice cream and turns into fudgy chunks. In addition to the regular list of flavors, Shady Glen has seasonal varieties, such as Christmas ice cream (with red and green cherries) and Thanksgiving ice cream (pumpkin-flavored).

38 out of 39 people found the review helpful. Was it helpful to you?

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
cheeseburger
Milk Shake
Frozen Pudding Ice Cream
ice cream
Grape-Nut Ice Cream
Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream
Vanilla Ice Cream
Hot Fudge Sauce
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This is a lone cheeseburger, but of course Shady Glen also serves burgers with French fries and cole slaw.
"This is a lone cheeseburger, but of course Shady Glen also serves burgers with French fries and cole slaw. "
Michael Stern





There is nothing especially great about the patty of beef, but the griddle-sizzled cheese and a good bun -- and Shady Glen's utterly charming mid-20th century dairy bar ambience -- make this a cheeseburger that belongs on every burger-lover's hit list.
"There is nothing especially great about the patty of beef, but the griddle-sizzled cheese and a good bun -- and Shady Glen's utterly charming mid-20th century dairy bar ambience -- make this a cheeseburger that belongs on every burger-lover's hit list."
Michael Stern


Don't try this at home ... unless you have a WELL seasoned griddle, or unless you like the smell of burning cheese.
"Don't try this at home ... unless you have a WELL seasoned griddle, or unless you like the smell of burning cheese."
Michael Stern


Only available in February, this flavor is filled with big juicy cherries and chocolate chips. Mmmm...marvelous!
"Only available in February, this flavor is filled with big juicy cherries and chocolate chips. Mmmm...marvelous!"
Robin Olson


While this little masterpiece lacked the lovely symmetry we have seen on cheeseburgers during past visits to Shady Glen, it supplied all the chewy, gooey, greasy goodness we have come to expect.
"While this little masterpiece lacked the lovely symmetry we have seen on cheeseburgers during past visits to Shady Glen, it supplied all the chewy, gooey, greasy goodness we have come to expect."
Michael Stern


Truly spectacular!
"Truly spectacular!"
Robin Olson


Shady Glen has a wide variety of flavors; they are in the freezer display as you enter the restaurant.
"Shady Glen has a wide variety of flavors; they are in the freezer display as you enter the restaurant. "
Mark Kaupe


A very unique cheeseburger, with batter-dipped onion rings and a very good chocolate malt.
"A very unique cheeseburger, with batter-dipped onion rings and a very good chocolate malt."
Mark Kaupe


Shady Glen's spectacular cheeseburger was invented by Bernice Reig in 1950. The Reigs' restaurant was surrounded by dairy farms ... which it still is.
"Shady Glen's spectacular cheeseburger was invented by Bernice Reig in 1950. The Reigs' restaurant was surrounded by dairy farms ... which it still is. "
Michael Stern


A classic dairy bar, located in Connecticut cow country
"A classic dairy bar, located in Connecticut cow country"
Michael Stern



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