Biggest Ball of String

Our road trip adventures, quirky roadside attractions, generally in the United States or Canada (and with occasional travel off the mainland into Hawaii, Alaska, Caribbean and Europe – so far)

The Shanty (Diners Drive ins and Dives)

on November 13, 2012

Well, it finally came to our last morning with Richard, Shannan, and the boys..  😦  We wanted to just spend the time visiting, but instead, of course, we had to pack up the trailers, get everything organized, get the puppies and kids settled in their respectable vehicles…

Oh, AND, we had to clean up after a pesky raccoon from the night before! (Which, I kinda was excited about, having never been a victim of a raccoon’s mischief before, and Daisy & Coco (the puppies, if you are reading for the first time) were REALLY excited about it!!) (We thought we’d taken care of all of the food items, but apparently we’d missed a plate…)
RaccoonCoco Raccoon hunting

By the time we had time to sit around and visit…we had nothing to sit on…

But, Shannan and Richard had one final surprise for us.  We were instructed to follow them down the highway, towards Chicago – no questions asked.

Well! It was a GREAT surprise (PLUS, it lengthened our visit by another hour or so) – you probably have guessed what it was, based on my blog title…Shanty

They found a restaurant featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, from the Food Network – The Shanty, in Wadsworth, Illinois.

We arrived just before lunchtime, and were seated right away.  There were a few other people there, but it certainly wasn’t crowded.  And, we had the personal attention of the servers…which is good, because we felt like visiting with them.

First, of course, we ordered.  I don’t remember exactly what I had for an entree, but it was a yummy burger of some sort.  I think maybe we all had burgers, actually.  hamburgerCheeseburger

I DO know exactly what we had for appetizers, though!  I had the Whiskey Shrimp (the menu describes: “Four fresh jumbo shrimp flamed in our signature Jack Daniels cream sauce served over garlic toast points with sautéed vegetables”).  MMmmmmmmm.. We also had Alligator Tail, which I’m sure was yummy, too, but the shrimp was really my favorite!  We must’ve gotten a few orders, too, because I don’t remember sharing.
alligatorWhiskey Shrimp

While we waited for our food, we had a nice talk with the server – about:

    • the impact of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives on the business and the design of the building – (Since The Shanty episode aired on The Food Network, the Shanty had to double the size of their eating area, and change their kitchen around – I think they had to expand the kitchen and add more cooking area, but I don’t exactly remember those details…)
  • Reclaimedthe wood covering the walls – (in the main eating area, the wood is all “reclaimed” wood, so weathered and multi colored – reclaimed barnwood from local farms – I love that look!)
  • Olive Oil – (the owners of The Shanty,
    the Kallianis family, have their own olive oil, imported from their own grove in Sparta, Greece.  It’s called “The Lonely Olive Tree”, so named because in 1910, the grove was destroyed by frost – all except the one lonely tree… Parts of that tree were used to replant the grove.) (There’s a nice article about that at
    http://newssun.suntimes.com/photos/galleries/12866741-417/olive-oil-brand-next-project-for-shanty-owners.html).

Of course, we had to take home a bottle of this very special olive oil!Oil

Unfortunately, we did eventually have to leave, and after a tearful “see-you-soon” in the parking lot, we were back on the highway, heading towards St. Louis, Missouri.

Sunday – Springfield, Illinois and the tomb of Abraham Lincoln.

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