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Shady Glen

840 Middle Tpk E, Manchester, CT - (860) 649-4245
Posted By Michael Stern on March 30, 2008 9:46 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 is nothing short of spectacular. 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 as it cooks. 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 good refills.

Milk shakes are available in every flavor of ice cream made at Shady Glen -- a huge repertoire that ranges from chocolate and vanilla to frozen pudding and grape-nuts ice cream and our personal favorite, chocolate Almond Joy ice cream. 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 rich, fudgy chunks. In addition to the regular list of flavors, Shady Glen always has seasonal varieties, such as Christmas ice cream (with red and green cherries) and Thanksgiving ice cream (pumpkin-flavored).

5 star rating
Overall Rating
cheeseburger
Milk Shake

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Posted By Eileen Kinsella on March 24, 2012 9:26 AM
By far thee most 'unique' cheeseburger in Connecticut or shall I dare to say New England. The retro vibe of the ambiance takes it over the top. Eating and chilling in a place like Shady Glen will definitely be an "experience".
5 star rating
Overall Rating
cheeseburger
ice cream
Milk Shake

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Posted By Denice Jones on January 25, 2011 12:57 PM
This is the best cheeseburger we have ever eaten. My son in the Marine Corps, stationed in Cali. I have to overnight these cheeseburgers to him from time to time. When he comes home at Xmas-time Shady Glen is the first place he wants to visit. They should go nationwide! Happy they found the cheese again. Going in tonight to grab some.
5 star rating
Overall Rating
cheeseburger
ice cream
Frozen Pudding Ice Cream
Grape-Nut Ice Cream
Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream
Hot Fudge Sauce
Milk Shake
Vanilla Ice Cream

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Posted By Jane Johnson on October 28, 2010 9:57 AM
Had lunch at Shady Glen today and it was terrible......The hamburger was not cooked properly. The tomatoes were hard and white thoughout the center and the waitress could have cared less. Just a bad overall experience and will never go back again.
1 star rating
Overall Rating
cheeseburger
Milk Shake

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Posted By Joe Shilinga on August 13, 2010 11:53 AM
I have been dying to try the cheeseburger at Shady Glen so yesterday I drove to Manchester in search of what some say is the best cheeseburger around.

I walked into the restaurant and was told that being alone, I could not sit in a booth. I was told to squat on a tiny stool that stands about 2 feet off the ground. To sit at the counter, you have to squat like a major league catcher behind the plate.

The waitress came over and place a four ounce paper cup in front of me containing about two ounces of water. I do not know what that was supposed to be used for.

I asked for a menu and was rudely told that the menus are hanging on the wall and I should check the wall to find out what I wanted. So, I walked over to the wall to read the menu and found what I was looking for.

I told the waitress I wanted the "Bernice original" which is a cheeseburger, fries and cole slaw. I also asked for a diet Coke.

In a few minutes, the waitress brought me a small glass of diet Coke, perhaps a 7 ounce glass at most.

Eventually, she brought my cheeseburger and was I surprised. It looked just like the pictures on the Road Food website and I eagerly began to munch on the cheese. It tasted just like the Velveeta that my mother used to make baked macoroni and cheese. Not bad, but clearly Velveeta.

Then I bit into the burger or what they claim is a burger. Three ounces of overly cooked, tasteless, dry meet of some variety unknown.

The fires were standard crinkle cut frozen fries and the cole slaw was adequate but in a three ounce cup.

I cut the burger with a knife and tried another bite......Worse than before.

I called the waitress over and told her it was the worst burger I ever had.

She shrugged and asked me if I was done with my meal which was still sitting on the plate before me.

I grabbed the check and headed toward the guy behind the register at the door.

I told him that it was the worst burger I ever had in my life and he just shrugged his shoulders and said, $12 please.

I can honestly say that the $1 double cheeseburger at McDonald's has better beef and more of it than the Shady Glen fiasco. And for another $1 you get an order of really delicious fries.

Do yourself a favor....avoid Shady Glen at all costs and go to your nearest MdDonald's and enjoy a real treat.
1 star rating
Overall Rating
cheeseburger

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Posted By David Panagrosso on July 19, 2010 5:14 PM
First off, let me say I like Shady Glen. I like the atmosphere. The service is very friendly and extremely efficient. The ice cream is excellent. The way they do fried cheese is also excellent.

But the burgers? They can't stand alone. They need that cheese, otherwise this would be a sub-par burger. I'm sorry to say it, but the hamburger patty itself is about what you would expect from a McDonald's Quarter Pounder. It's a pre-shaped frozen beef patty. The cheese elevates the burger to something that should be tasted. If you're not going for the cheese, don't go there for the burgers.

Shady Glen could learn a lesson from some of the smaller fast food burger chains that are popping up - places like Jake's and Five Guys. If Shady Glen were to start using fresh, hand-shaped, beef, like a good ground chuck in their burgers, they'd have a thing of absolute beauty. Until they do that, go for some fried cheese and some ice cream.

Also - Shady Glen is going through some shaky times with their cheese supplier, who changed the milk used to make the cheese. They're trying to work out some kinks, to get back to a cheese that works for their technique, and they expect to have that shortly, sometime this summer. Stay tuned.
3 star rating
Overall Rating
Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream
ice cream
cheeseburger

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Posted By Pat Siegmund on April 3, 2008 11:13 AM
I had my first Shady Glen cheeseburger recently and I have been salivating for another one ever since. I knew what I was in store for after I looked it up on the Internet, but no one can taste on the Internet; it was just delightful! Heart-healthy, no; but the best cheeseburger I have ever had, yes, and then, yes again.

The best way to order this is by the meal because the coleslaw is also very good; the french fries round out the dinner by deluxing it. The service is extremely prompt and we were lucky enough to have a seat right by the grill. We watched the cooks making the cheeseburgers right in front of us. I can't wait to go back again, and soon.
4 star rating
Overall Rating

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