Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Shorty's Pizza and Smoked Meats

Shorty's is my new favorite place.

This is another bar I've frequented on multiple occasions prior to the culinary and drinking odyssey I've decided to undertake.  Being new in town, I was unaware of its back story upon my first visit.  And one of my best friends and I have a running inside joke about trying in vain to find authentic Philly cheesesteak sandwiches outside of Philadelphia.  So I tagged him in a Facebook photo that said:

This is what Superior calls a Philly cheesesteak. It is, without question, the best we-don't-understand-what-a-philly-cheesesteak-is-so-this-is-what-you're-getting sandwich you will ever have.
As it turns out, I didn't know what Shorty's is most famous for, which we'll get to momentarily.

Shorty's quickly became a destination for me when there were multiple NFL games I wanted to watch simultaneously, because not only are there TV's across the entire bar, but most tables also have their own screens.  In theory, you could have a dozen or so different sporting events viewed at the same time.  It's like The Matrix Reloaded if Neo and the Architect were watching sports instead of spouting bad philosophy.

"Concordantly, while your first question may be the most pertinent, you may not realize it is also the most irrelevant."
"What do you want to drink?"
"What kind of beer do you have on tap?"
"You haven't answered my question."
Why is it called Shorty's?

There are multiple rumors floating around about this.  One server just didn't know.  Another friend posited that it's because a fire at the location meant that the top floor was demolished while the rest of the building remained standing.  (This is an unconfirmed rumor, but I'd love to know if it's true.)  But Guy Fieri got to the bottom of this.  The owner, who is not short at all, just wanted a fun, simple, easy name to remember.

Is there anything interesting about the business or building's untold history?

Another rumor that gets repeated is that the owner won some money in a Canadian lottery, and used that to start the business.  That part is true, but people turn it into a tall tale by exaggerating the amount and then say that it doesn't even matter if the place makes money because the owner is so rich.  The firsthand accounts I've come across downplay that aspect of the story.

The building previously housed a VFW or American Legion, accounts vary, and later was the CC Tap night club.

Is there a specialty drink or menu item?

The sign outside and the menu make it clear, the smoked meats are the specialty.  Those meats infuse and influence almost every menu item.  Their Rueben sandwich, for instance, doesn't include the usual corned beef, which is replaced with their smoked beef.  It's delicious, but like the Philly above, if you're in the mood for more traditional fare, this is the wrong place.

The owner brings his Canadian background to the fore throughout the menu as well.  I don't know what "Canadian style egg rolls" are, but I do know I'm trying them the next time I go.  The serving sizes are humongous!  Sandwiches come in a regular and a jumbo size, and the smaller size is so filling that with two beers and an entree you'll be loosening your belt notch and waddling out after the game.  I've honestly been afraid to find out what they think "jumbo" is.  Because here's their poutine.

This photo does not adequately capture the mammoth quantity of poutine on the plate (topped of course with Shorty's smoked meat).  When we ordered it, our server narrowed her eyes and cautiously advised us, "You've HAD the poutine before, right?"  There were seven of us dining that night, and this was one person's entree that he shared for the other six to take as much as we wanted.  After all that, the leftovers STILL filled two plate-sized take-home containers.  If memory serves me correctly, the dish costs about $14 and could feed you for a week.

I'm convinced Jesus didn't feed the five thousand with loaves and fishes and a miracle.  He had an order of Shorty's poutine that he'd been nibbling on for a few days and told his disciples, "Pass this around because it's going to go bad if no one eats it."  And remember that according to the book of Matthew, the five thousand refers just to the men; it didn't include women and children.  Yet there were twelve baskets of leftovers when everyone was done eating.  Once you see this massive culinary feat, you'll say, "Yeah, that sounds about right."

"Last Dance with Mary Jane" running tally:  3.

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