Notice: Finger lickin' is legal

. August 10, 2012.

Shorty’s True American Roadhouse
5111 Monroe St. Toledo
Sun-Thur: 11a.m.-10p.m.
Fri-Sat: 11a.m.-11p.m.

After living for five years in Alabama, barbeque became another food group for me. Though I no longer eat it weekly, the craving for it gets the best of me every once in a while. Unfortunately, my children have yet to develop the same appreciation. With a bit of prodding, I talked them into a trip to Shorty’s, figuring they could at least find a burger on the menu to appease them.

Fine food and great service

Shorty’s barbeque is one of four Mancy family restaurants. The exceptional quality of food, service, and attention to detail that Gus Mancy believed in when he opened Mancy’s Steakhouse in 1921 continues to be the heart and soul of all Mancy family restaurants; Shorty’s is no exception.

According to manager Danielle Hutton, Nick Mancy, along with his brother and cousins, traveled the country extensively in search of the perfect barbeque to determine  how they would do things at Shorty’s. “They focused on what would work best in our area”, said Ms. Hutton. Just a few of the places they visited are listed on the restaurant walls. They tried them all; from the famous names to the local favorites.  

As always, everything I ordered that evening was done just right, and my kids enjoyed our friendly waitress Taylor. Even though my brood is 12 and under, they too appreciate friendly service and a wait staff that acknowledges them at the table. After all, they are as much customers as my husband and me. After Taylor went to fill our drink orders my kids exclaimed, “Wow, she’s really nice!” And you thought kids didn’t notice.

Not short on flavor

Shorty’s barbeque earned its moniker from Nick Mancy’s nickname, ‘Shorty’, but their food is far from being short on flavor. Our waitress helped us narrow our appetizer choice by recommending the Memphis Egg Rolls that have received the bragging rights of “Most Addicting Menu Item” runner up by Toledo City Paper readers. The rolls contain  pulled pork, coleslaw and barbeque sauce.  Wrapped and deep fried like an egg roll, they are served with “boss hog” sauce. Yes, addicting indeed.

My boys were given an entertaining placemat and crayons to keep them occupied and out of trouble. It also serves as the kids’ menu for your little cowboys and cowgirls, 10 and under. Meals were only $4.99 and they included fries or green beans and a fountain drink.  Entrees included pulled pork sandwiches and ribs for those kids who DO enjoy barbeque but need smaller portions. My children, however, were into the burgers and Mac-N-Cheese.  

Taylor informed us that their Mac-N-Cheese was very good. We are self-proclaimed Mac-N-Cheese connoisseurs (“common sewers” as we joke), so most of us tried some on the side. My youngest took one bite and out flew “Holy Smokes!” Simultaneously my oldest blurted out, “Oh my God!” I’m not sure, but I think they approved. They also loved the ice cream for dessert, and I loved that it was only $.99.

My husband’s St. Louis style ribs were melt-in-your-mouth and had fantastic flavor. They were finger lickin’ good for sure. I loved the loaded baked potato with pork. Of course, as with any Mancy family restaurant, you can always order a fabulous steak. However, in addition to ribs, beef, pork and chicken, you can also order lake perch, salmon. Even veggie kabobs and salads are on the menu. So bring your non-barbeque-loving pals with you and they’ll still find something great to eat.

“Cool décor”

Quoting my boys, they thought the interior of Shorty’s was “cool." I mean, what could possibly be cooler than upside down galvanized pails functioning as illuminators above the tables? It is decorated as a rustic roadhouse, yet is very comfortable. The fireplace is a cozy focal point and sits in the center of the dining room. It was a bit too warm for a fire the evening we were in, but I’m sure they have it burning in the cooler months.

Bottom Line: No need to travel the country in search of great barbeque. The Mancy family has already done that for you and incorporated the best of what they found with their own spin on all things barbeque. The atmosphere is fun and family friendly and the service is wonderful.  

Karen Zickes is a mom of three active children and freelance writer who resides in Holland, OH.  She can be reached in c/o