Good old Shays. Over the past several years, I’ve probably eaten there about 15 times, and it’s always been a terrific, satisfying experience. So it’s high time I profess my adoration in writing.

From its respectable prices and frequent specials to the wonderful world of beer and cocktails, Shays is always a hit for this kid. Speaking of hits, now that we’re well into April, you can always expect to find the Sox game on the wall-mounted TV that hangs near what I consider to be Shays’ famous Red Sox ballcap painting.

Shays is a midsize joint with bar, table and booth seating. It’s in the heart of Monument Square, and when the weather outside isn’t frightful, the outdoor seating is so delightful. Suffice to say, the people watching is an event unto itself.

But it’s the food that keeps me coming back, and through the years I’ve had my share of sensational burgers, pub meals, wraps, paninis and appetizers.

One place I had yet to stray was the land of salads, but with the Beach to Beacon looming in the not-so-distant future, I’m in, shall we say, “reduction” mode. So after conning my lunch date into ordering sweet potato fries that I could nonchalantly pilfer, I took a breath and ordered the Chicken Chop Salad ($10.49).

Along with the grilled chicken, which was tasty (but I would have loved an ounce or two more of it), the salad was adorned with romaine, mixed greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions and fresh mozzarella. The dressing, which I ordered on the side, was a zippy blue cheese vinaigrette.


My lunch date had the Caesar Wrap with Salmon ($9.99) and a side of the aforementioned and entirely delicious sweet potato fries. As for the wrap, she raved about the freshness of the salmon and somehow managed to take half home with her. I, on the other hand, ate every possible molecule of my salad, and plenty of her fries.

Next time, I’ll be dining after work and after a major workout so I can partake of a beer or glass of wine and sink my teeth into something more substantial, like the Shays Cuban Panini ($9.99) or the Good Ol’ Burger ($8.99).

Or I might head there on a Wednesday night, when all the pub meals are $3 off. Think beer-battered haddock, pan-seared gnocchi and a bistro steak, among other temptations.

I won’t even talk about the fact that on Tuesday nights, martinis are $4, and on Mondays $5 quesadillas!

The staff of GO anonymously samples meals for about $7.


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