Shorty’s Restaurant: Eating healthy never tasted so good

Mystery Diner • Aug 27, 2018 at 8:00 AM

Having to be particular about the sodium content in what I eat every day, it is pleasant to find a restaurant that doesn’t make a big deal out of my request for either “No” or “Low” salt on what I’ve ordered. Though you’d think I’d be more likely to find this at a “boutique” or health-related restaurant, it was at a comfortable family-style roadside eatery out on Tennessee Highway 107 in Chuckey.

The place: Shorty’s is located just next door to South Central Elementary School. It will take you a 10-minute drive through some picturesque farm land and country-side to get there from just south of Jonesborough. At first glance, Shorty’s seems a somewhat cluttered, but the wait staff can serve up to (but not much past) 50 diners. First thing I noticed was the number of dinner menu items that were crossed out, reducing the available choices by a good 25 percent. I mentioned this to our server Cathy, who related that her daughter had recently purchased the restaurant and was making changes to both menu and venue that would increase Shorty’s popularity. Also, Cathy said that the kitchen at Shorty’s was using less salt in the food, since so many of their customers were requesting it.

BBQ Platter: Confident that my order could be had with no salt, I chose Shorty’s BBQ platter that came with French fries and coleslaw as side orders, requesting it be made with no salt. Said barbecue, (pulled and shredded pork shoulder in this case) was simmered in a molasses and vinegar-base, no-salt barbecue sauce. The coleslaw was tasty enough, but otherwise unremarkable. Be aware that Shorty’s kitchen loads their barbecue pork onto the bun in such quantity that you may have to use two hands to make sure none of it spills out and winds up on your shirt front or in your lap.

Bacon Cheeseburger: My dining partner was still seeking the best bacon cheeseburger ever, and came near to accomplishing her task when our server Cathy set her bacon cheeseburger in front of her. This is a one-third (cooked weight) 100 percent beef burger that is coarsely ground, grilled the way you want it (medium and with no salt was my dining partner’s choice) and then served with American cheese, three slices of center-cut crispy hickory smoked bacon, and topped with garden-fresh produce. It required the use of two hands just to get it off her plate, and two chomp passes to bite completely through from top bun to bottom. Her eating one of Shorty’s bacon cheeseburgers is the only time I’d seen my dining partner set her burger down on her plate while she was chewing each morsel.

The bottom line: Despite the dwindling dinner menu, Shorty’s Restaurant has a well-prepared and received breakfast menu; their biscuit selections being especially popular. They have a kids’ menu that is pretty good, but I would still request you have your offspring order from the “adult” side of the menu. Get them used to doing so and to broaden their food horizons. Shorty’s also does a fish fry on Friday nights, with an all-you-can-eat catfish dinner with fixin’s for $10.99 per person, and they also do take-out service. As mentioned earlier, Shorty’s Restaurant has a new owner and is getting a new menu and a new look. Since one new occurrence is a “No or Low” salt use in what’s being cooked, Shorty’s Restaurant will have one more frequent diner and friend eating there.

Shorty’s Restaurant

2959 Highway 107

Chuckey, Tennessee


Mon-Fri 6 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Sat 7 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Closed Sunday

Available on Facebook

Credit cards accepted

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