Short's Burger & Shine
Ratings: 15 | Reviews: 9 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by AmericanGothic:
4.33/5 rDev +8.8%
Shorts is an old-fashioned burger joint in the middle of Iowa City's campus downtown. The inside is a bit dark, with old wooden booths and the feel of a bygone era. One nice touch for the ambiance is the dark wooden floor with embedded silver dollars.
The quality is very good, both for the beers and the food. All ten tap lines are Iowa beers, including Millstream, Peace Tree, Madhouse, Court Ave, Old Man River/Back Pocket and Toppling Goliath. Other (non-Iowa) beers are available in bottles. The food is sandwiches-- burgers, chicken and veggie burger. What sets it apart is the quality of the ingredients-- locally raised/process beef, cooked just right, fresh homemade buns, and other ingredients. The toppings are interesting combinations named after Iowa towns. I opted for the Popejoy burger that came with Muffaletta, capicolla and provolone. All very tasty, nice fries, and a pint of Court Ave stout made for a perfect meal.
Service was very good considering it was busy and crowded. There were a few people waiting for seats but the server didn't make us feel at all hurried.
With a combination of good vibe, great food, reasonable price and good service, all surrounding the nice Iowa beer selection, I'll definitely look forward to visiting again.
03-31-2011 21:14:40 | More by AmericanGothic
More User Reviews:
5/5 rDev +25.6%
They have six Toppling Goliath taps. If i need to say more, you need to be bitch slapped.
Oh and they have great burgers. Local Iowa ingredients (mostly).
Two Hundred Fifty Characters is tough to reach when you have said everything needed in the first one hundred and forty five.
Lesser reviews are from 3 years ago when TG did not have SIX TAPS, seriously.
05-29-2014 04:19:03 | More by EdwardFortyHands
3.88/5 rDev -2.5%
Visited twice: 11:45pm-1:15am (late night) on August 29/30, and for lunch 1:00-2:00pm August 30.
It was easy enough to find the slender little bar in daylight, but it's an unassuming place at night - it's moody darkness and chill Pandora playlist no match for the thumping bass and flashing lights of the many nearby college bars. I was only in Iowa City for one night (on business) and I'm a 40-ish year old beer lover - hmm, where would I rather go?
Short's is sited along Clinton Street, opposite the square where the gold-domed Old Capitol building sits. At night, the softly-illuminated brick walls, checkered lattice on the ceiling and narrow wooden bar has an 'urban' feel, more sophisticated; It transcends one of the space's former uses as a shoe repair business (hence the name). A few silver dollar coins embed in the worn hardwood floor, seeming to glow when the light catches them just right. I grabbed a stool at the far left end of the bar; at midnight there were less than ten patrons remaining, most engrossed in casual conversation, laughter interspersed. I was greeted by Matt (or as the regulars called him as they high-fived 'Swanny' [sp?]), the lone bartender of the evening - he's a very cool guy, matching the tone that Hendrix and The Black Keys were setting . The printed menu list about 20 taps, all from local Iowa breweries like Peace Tree, Toppling Goliath, and Millstream and including a few I'd never heard of (Angry Cedar, Van Houzen, Backpocket).. I spotted some macro-lager bottles in a cooler, but none on tap.
Drafts are listed as either 11 oz. or 16 oz. pours and were priced a good bit high compared with a couple other places I visited (for instance: all TG beers were $5.75 for the small pour and $7.50 for a pint!... and the Van Houzens -all 8%+ mind you- were $7.50/11 oz!!!). I was granted a couple of freebie samples and ultimately picked the PT 'Hop Wrangler' (good IPA) to start and a VH 'Symphony' (imperial stout with 'home-made' chocolate) to finish. Oddly, I was only charged for the second one... tipped for both plus the samples, too. Nice vibe, really enjoyed chatting with the bartender and one of the locals about topics as varied as baseball and beer, diet and exercise, the 2008 flood and where to buy the best hummus in town (New Pioneer Co-op makes one with nuts and peppers apparently, just so you know...).
Though I checked out the menu thoroughly at night, I didn't try anything from it until the next day, when I convinced my traveling coworker to go for lunch. The menu is full of (what else?) 'burger' options: 24 beef, 14 chicken and 6 black bean options; all are named after Iowan counties and are priced between $8.50-10. I picked the 'Essex' (grilled peppers, brie, mushrooms, pepper mayo); it was good but not as ridiculously delicious as the decadence we'd had a Zombie Burger (Des Moines) the previous day. My coworker said the same about her 'Maynard'... oh well. My last chance to drink Iowan beer locally (we were leaving town in a couple hours) meant one final Toppling Goliath 'Golden Nugget' - it was definitely my favorite beer of the trip. Alison was our server and did a nice job, working around a fairly brisk lunch crowd and our request to change tables to catch a little breeze on the tiny outside platform (a shady canopy on a 95 degree day helped only a little). I marked Value at '$$$', because a $40 (w/tax & tip) lunch, 2 burgers and 2 beers, just seemed a little spendy.
All in all, a pretty good spot ~ if and when I'm in town again, I'd return...
09-10-2012 20:14:06 | More by msubulldog25
3.83/5 rDev -3.8%
Stopped in at Short's yesterday for a late lunch after hitting John's, after it was recommended both by John's staff and the bartender at Sanctuary.
Narrow dark tavern, formerly a shoeshine business, thus the "shine" part of the name, and single shoeshine chair near the door. Inside, there are a few tables and 4 booths along the left side, with a long bar in the back. A single elevated patio table was enclosed in a black gate under the green awning outside. Inside there were exposed brick walls, modern copper lamps, dark wood floors and paneling on the lower wall, with bric-brac overhead. The bar was modern with a dark wood top, metal edges, and little inset window boxes in the wall behind it, holding random historical mementos. Industrial textures met with some salvaged antique elements. There were a couple muted flatscreen tv's and music playing.
Main draw here are the creative burgers and 10 exclusive taps of Iowa craft beer. There was a good mix, two from Toppling Goliath (Tsunami Dark and Dorothy's), a couple from Court Ave., Old Man, Peace Tree (sidewalk board outside advertising Blonde Fatale), Madhouse, and Millstream. There were 4-5 craft bottles too, and strangely about 20 typical macro bottles you can find anywhere. A redeeming sign on our table advertised a Peace Tree tap takeover coming up next weekend.
Food was great, the Baxter burger arrived as advertised with blackened bacon, melted provolone, and chipotle mayo. Spicy sauce on the table was great with the fries. Service was ok, they got a little busy before a 5pm shift change, and the one day shift waitress struggled to keep up until reinforcements arrived (probably not the norm). Overall I liked the place and would return to see what they had on tap again.
06-27-2011 15:03:26 | More by emerge077
Short's Burger & Shine in Iowa City, IA
90 out of 100 based on 15 ratings.