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The Shack

324 Flanders Road, East Lyme, CT - (860) 739-8898
Posted By Michael Stern on 4/23/2015 4:41:00 AM
The Shack is a good place to know about if you are traveling along I-95 in Connecticut and hunger strikes near Exit 74. One day when we stopped in, the list of available pies included apple crumb, Graham cracker, Boston cream, pumpkin, and coconut cream. Three puddings were on the menu: rice, Grape-Nuts, and bread. The specials were all-you-can-eat pasta, macaroni & cheese, and shepherd's pie.

We ordered that shepherd's pie, and wow!, it sure was a big hunk of food. The size of a brick, it was layers of chunky ground beef with potatoes and vegetables under a mantle of gravy. We had arrived with good appetites; midway through this meal, they were long gone.

We also enjoyed the workmanlike clam chowder -- creamy soup with bits of tender clam -- and beef chili, which is dense and meaty, albeit served no-frills. (What, no cheese to sprinkle on top? No raw onions?)

Good as lunch may be, the big meal of the day at The Shack is breakfast. Omelets are big and handsome; the hash browns that accompany eggs are four-star; and the coffee never stops coming.

Note: Connecticut has two other Shacks, in Groton and Waterford.

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Scorecard

3 - Overall: Excellent - Worth a Detour
Overall: Excellent - Worth a Detour
Grape Nuts Custard
macaroni & cheese
hash brown potatoes
New England Clam Chowder - Cup
beef chili
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

Chili at The Shack is traditional New England style: beefy with a few beans. This is a small serving.
"Chili at The Shack is traditional New England style: beefy with a few beans. This is a small serving."
Michael Stern





Today's soup of the day was macaroni and vegetable, packed with pasta and carrots and celery.
"Today's soup of the day was macaroni and vegetable, packed with pasta and carrots and celery."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


The Shack's Shepherd's pie is a stratified block of chunky ground beef, potatoes, peas, and corn, all topped with dark amber gravy. This is one mighty meal!
"The Shack's Shepherd's pie is a stratified block of chunky ground beef, potatoes, peas, and corn, all topped with dark amber gravy. This is one mighty meal!"
Michael Stern


A blackboard in the dining room lists the day's desserts. Among the dozen-plus choices is this cool banana cream pie.
"A blackboard in the dining room lists the day's desserts. Among the dozen-plus choices is this cool banana cream pie."
Michael Stern


Unheard-of in other parts of the country, Grape-Nuts pudding is found on many downeast diner menus. The cereal softens into sweet veins of flavorful grain among the custard.
"Unheard-of in other parts of the country, Grape-Nuts pudding is found on many downeast diner menus. The cereal softens into sweet veins of flavorful grain among the custard."
Michael Stern


Just baked custard on a homemade crust: the nutmeg-fragrant custard pie would be even better at room temperature.  If you're going to have pie for dessert ask them to take your slice out as soon as you sit down.
"Just baked custard on a homemade crust: the nutmeg-fragrant custard pie would be even better at room temperature. If you're going to have pie for dessert ask them to take your slice out as soon as you sit down."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


The Shack's baked mac and cheese is a real tour de force; the finest version we've had outside our own home.
"The Shack's baked mac and cheese is a real tour de force; the finest version we've had outside our own home."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


Creamy and with plenty of tender pieces of clam, this cup of chowder is a Yankee tradition.
"Creamy and with plenty of tender pieces of clam, this cup of chowder is a Yankee tradition."
Michael Stern


On a post adjacent to the daily specials is this nostalgic sign for coffee. At the counter nearby, breakfasters enjoy multiple cups.
"On a post adjacent to the daily specials is this nostalgic sign for coffee. At the counter nearby, breakfasters enjoy multiple cups."
Michael Stern


They are now located in Brooks Plaza on Flanders Road, about 1/8th mile from the old location.
"They are now located in Brooks Plaza on Flanders Road, about 1/8th mile from the old location."
Karen Hunter Bowen



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