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Shorty's Somewhat Fancy Bar

Having heard they serve a great pastrami sandwich, Grant has been wanting to try lunch at Shorty's Somewhat Fancy Bar in downtown Des Moines. Shorty's is located in the long, narrow space below Sbrocco at 208 Court Avenue, with an alley entrance that reminds me of some cool bars in Milwaukee.

But first - you see, we have this little thing we like to call 'The Chapin Curse.' Similar to Murphy's Law, it means when things CAN go wrong, they mostly likely WILL, in our case. I can't tell you how many times we have driven 2 hours to eat at a certain restaurant only to find upon arrival that they are closed FOR ONE DAY ONLY.

Such was our luck (or lack of luck, I suppose) the first time we tried to eat at Shorty's. We sat down, asked for menus and a beer and were promptly told the kitchen was closed because they were having a chili cookoff. No $%#-ing way. However, the very nice young man who brought us a beer felt sorry for us and gave us several very tasty samples of the chili! So, it was a lose-win situation, if there is such a thing.

Anyhoo, on with the post. Shorty's has been through a few versions over the years, but the Full Court Press gang are certainly inventive, and the current rendition of the 'local tavern' serving Schlitz on tap is a great redesign. Serving a full menu of very value-priced bar fare, you'll be surprised at the selection of appetizers, sandwiches, entrees, and even desserts, available.

In addition to the aforementioned pastrami sandwich, the sandwiches include an Italian Sausage, the 'Shummer Shausage Shandwich', and even a Chicken Cordon Blue. The most interesting entree appeared to be the Chicken-fried Turkey, which Grant has vowed to have next time. You can check out the full menu here.

We started out with a lovely goblet of Schlitz (me) and a pint of Guiness (Grant).

Reminiscent of the High Life, Shorty's bar is lined with bottles and bottles of Schlitz. There are several good pours available on tap and lots of choices in bottles. Most nights they have drink specials, too, and happy hour is from 4 - 6pm Monday through Friday.

I love the long wooden bar and cozy seating - there are plenty of flat screens for the game and you can play darts, too. Great atmosphere.

So, of course, Grant ordered the Hot Homemade N.Y. Pastrami & Swiss. He chose Stone Ground Mustard from the choices of mustard offered and a side salad that was not your usual 'iceberg lettuce from a bag.' Piled high on marble rye, there was definitely a lot of pastrami on this puppy for only $5.99.

I went with the $3.99 1/4 lb. Beef Hamburger with Cheese & Pickle. A nicely seared quarter pounder on a very tasty buttered and toasted bun. The mound of fries were crispy and perfectly seasoned.

We left Shorty's Somewhat Fancy Bar stuffed to the gills and already talking about what we would order the next time we stop in. I mean, I need to get my Schlitz fix somewhere, right? Make plans to check out the great food and drinks at Shorty's yourself, you'll be happy you did. And we might call ahead next time to avoid 'The Chapin Curse.'

Shorty's Somewhat Fancy Bar

208 Court Avenue (Alley entrance)
Des Moines, IA 50309



Open at 11am daily, closing times vary as do Kitchen Hours

More information at www.shortyssomewhatfancybar.com

Check out Shorty's Facebook page here.

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Reader Comments (1)

You two have so much fun! Your curse might have been a blessing.

Jan 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSandy Nelson

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