Shannon’s Saloon & Restaurant started back in 1982 as a bar that served food in a small “strip mall” on Route 40 about a miles west of Route 29. Since then they’ve expanded twice taking over adjacent space and now can boast of three dining rooms.
You enter into the bar with bottle green walls offset by lots oflight oak woodwork and beveled glass which is far more attractive and full of atmosphere than you’d ever guess from the outside.
Shannon’s dining rooms leverage the same decorating theme and offers a mix of large booths, tables and banquet seating. The menu covers a wide range of light fare and entrees including crab and french onion soups ($6), light fare/appetizers ($6 – $10), entree salads ($10-$14 as well as Shrimp and Chicken Salads), a dozen sandwiches ($8- $13 with 1/2 burgers & fries for $9), and eight standard entrees (ranging from $14 meatloaf to $23 double crab cake dinners)
We started our meal by sharing an order of buffalo wings ($9 and available “traditional”, Old Bay, or “Chevy Chase” style; I confess that I’ve yet to find out how “Chevy Chase” style wings are prepared!) They were good yet not particularly memorable that wouldn’t have stood out in “taste taste” of wings. For our main course, John decided to get a Grilled Reuben sandwich with fries ($9), Tom went with the Meatloaf platter ($14 – a Shannon’s specialty) and Paul opted for the Chicken Cordon Blu off of the daily chef’s printed list of the day’s specials.
The good sized Ruben was excellent with plenty of corn beef; the rye bread had been buttered before grilling which had me enjoying it all the more. The fries were hot from the fryer and a light crunchy coating on them which I liked. I’ve also tried the Grilled Chicken salad ($10.50) and enjoyed that.
Paul’s Cordon Bleu looked fantastic but was a disappointment for him; he felts that the mixed veggies were undercooked and he wasn’t thrilled with the chicken (though in hindsight, it may have been that he might have done better with a plain Grilled Chicken sandwich) Paul also swears by Shannon’s Bloody Mary cocktails and thinks that they routinely provide one of the better (and biggest) “Bloody’s” that he’s sampled.
Tom’s meatloaf was a whole different story; to quote, “My meatloaf was deelish!“. (Sounds like a Thumbs Up! complement to me!) Unlike Paul, he was also pleased with the mixed veggies and mashed potatoes (he suspected that they were made from scratch instead from a box of “instant” mashed”).
Service at Shannon’s is mostly executed by a crew of friendly, young women who do a good job of keeping an eye on things while not being overly intrusive. By the time we got through eating our wings and our main course, we were too filled to consider dessert so we passed on that.
Shannon’s has pleasant space, good service and reliably good basic food at reasonable prices and worth knowing about.
FACTS: Shannon’s Saloon – Ellicott City; 9338 Baltimore National Pike (aka Rte 40); 410-461-4588; http://www.shannonssaloon.com/ ; Open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner; Sunday Brunch 10 am – 1 pm; Full Bar; Vegetarian options; adjacent free parking.