Shake It, Don't Break It
When I was younger, Shakers seemed to be a regular on the list of restaurants my family enjoyed. It was a popular pick for Sunday lunch after church and a good place to have dinner during the week, but we eventually stopped going and I'm not sure why. Everyone liked the food and the menu had a good amount of variety, and it was a busy restaurant but I don't remember us having to wait very often. What I do remember is that I always knew what I wanted when we went...cheese toast (not sure why, there's nothing special about this), chicken fingers, and honey mustard. All three were magical in my 10 year old, food obsessed mind.
After reading about their recent remodeling project in the past couple months, I was reminded of Shakers and wanted to take a stroll down memory lane. After an adventure at the airport, my dad and I went over for dinner. The remodeling of the restaurant is very nice - the entrance is more impressive, the host area more useful, and the seating is arranged to provide a different feel depending on which dining area you choose. A casual dining area with plenty of windows, a sports bar area with tables and booths with views of various TV's, and a separate dining room that appears to be more formal. You can still see similarities to the old Shakers look, but it definitely feels like it has been cleaned up.
And to go along with these amazing chicken tenders, they serve a house-made honey mustard dressing that is just as delicious. I'm talking, "Waitress, please bring me a pitcher of honey mustard" delicious. Usually, I try to use a minimal amount of dressing with a salad, but that just doesn't fit with this bowl of goodness. Don't kid yourself into thinking you are being healthy by getting a "salad" - this tastes way too good to be healthy.
And just as I'd always remembered, it was still outstanding. It's a great combination of flavors and the portion is huge, reminiscent of a salad from The Cheesecake Factory, and the chicken tenders can't be beat. Now, I need to combine the chicken from Shakers with a waffle from Thelma's and all will be right with the culinary world.
So alas, I say "Thank You" to Shakers Restaurant. The remodeling is nice and the additions to the menu are appealing, but the chicken tenders remain the same. And some things are meant to stay the same.
1909 Valley View Boulevard NW, Roanoke, VA 24012