The Shady Grove is another place I consider an Austin original. Their outside seating is probably twice that of the inside variety plus the stage for live music is outside too. This has been a particularly hot summer so I'll just ignore that for a minute and remember how fun Shady Grove was on most any day of the year. Living in Austin has made me miss the seasonal changes but love that I don't have to worry about the extremes. Too bad that seems to be over for a while with all the record temperatures we've been seeing all across the country. Let's agree that eating outside in 110 degree heat isn't something I'll ever enjoy though I do love outdoor living down into the 50's. Just put on a jacket and annoy people by asking if they're warm enough on this brisk and refreshing day. Which reminds me to check and see if I still own any socks. The grumpy fat man has lived in Austin too long. Let's get to the food.
I've ordered several things at the Shady Grove but this day found me wanting for that kids staple, the chili dog. They offer a regular size and a foot long version. I took the foot long version and was I in for a treat. This thing was a full half pound. It almost dwarfed the bun that cradled it's massive girth and was then covered in mustard, chili and onions. This is another example of a knife and fork dog. I've gone on and on about Tulsa coneys so I'll save you that rant. If you're new and want to catch up just read my take on Texas vs. Tulsa dogs here. Even though this dog clearly goes against my coney views they do call it a chili dog and well it is the size of Texas. I enjoyed every single bite of my chili dog. The frank was nice and juicy and cooked on the grill so it had that smoky backyard barbeque flavor to it and the chili was nice and meaty. The dish as a whole was as well balanced as a foot long chili dog can be. Plus is was a nice day as we sat leisurely among the trees. Life was good that day.
Steph had their Bacon Cheeseburger. It's a big 1/2 pound burger. And as always she had it plain and dry. They cook them to order so she had it cooked medium rare. It came out cooked correctly and she said she liked it. The meat was nice and juicy but not too fatty and the bacon was better than the usual with a little extra flavor in it. The cheese just brought it all together. We both had fresh cut fries for our side.
The staff has always been great at Shady Grove. They are just too busy to have anything but the best. At peak times it might take a little longer to get a table and then your food but what would you expect at a very busy restaurant. That's why it's nice to go there. To sit in the shade, relax and well, as Steph tells me to do, stop and smell the metaphorical roses.
Sniff, sniff roses. Sniff, sniff...