Dining out: Shivers

Published: Friday, Jan. 12 2007 12:04 a.m. MST

I felt pretty stupid after visiting Shivers.

My kids have been attending preschool in the neighborhood for years now, and though we've given our patronage to fast-food chains up and down 3300 South, we'd never visited Shivers until just the other day.

And I'm the one who's always urging people to give their locally owned restaurants a try!

Anyway, we finally made it to Shivers, and henceforth, we'll be making fewer trips to McDonald's and Wendy's and KFC. Shivers makes a nice burger, is kid-friendly and has one of those broad, all-encompassing menus that includes everything from veggie burgers and wraps to 80 kinds of shakes.

On the day we visited Shivers, I stood at the counter longer than is polite during a busy weekday lunch rush, but I don't think it was really my fault. A quick perusal of the whole menu (let alone making a decision on what to order) takes a minute or two.

Even the kids' menu is pretty extensive, with burgers, hot dogs, chicken and grilled cheese, plus the choice of a sucker or toy with the meal. The sucker meal is cheaper, but most kids won't even notice the lack of a prize, as they'll be begging you to let them sit in the miniature train that runs down the center of the small dining area. It's got 10 pint-size chairs inside, so the gleeful kiddies (mine, at least) can down their chicken nuggets in style, jumping out often to play at the Lego table sitting where the train's cowcatcher would be.

The whole place, in fact, is designed for kids. The decor is lifted straight from a Candy Land board, with walls featuring 3-D ice cream castle, peppermint trees and the like, and a small train running continually around the dining area's ceiling.

But back to the food: It's prepared to order with the kind of care that endears you to a place. Plus, the self-serve soda fountain has that great, crunchable rounded ice. My husband had the supreme burger, a big, beefy patty topped with pastrami (diners also can choose ham) and the usual fixings, on a soft bun. The pastrami was more dry than I'm used to, but deliciously salty, adding richness to the sandwich.

I liked my meal better. I had the Hawaiian chicken sandwich, a thin grilled breast topped with Jack cheese, teriyaki sauce, ham and a pineapple ring. It was really goopy, but well worth the pile of napkins I went through eating it.

I also had the tomato basil soup, intrigued by the marquee outside proclaiming, "It's back!" I can see why it's a customer favorite, perfect for winter with its thick, creamy broth, tender tomatoes and earthy basil flavor. You can get it with a breadstick for under three bucks, or with a grilled cheese or grilled ham-and-cheese for not much more.

For dessert, we had those thick shakes that can hold up a spoon indefinitely (mine was still standing in my M&M shake after I drove around the valley for at least half an hour). We liked both the M&M and grasshopper flavors we tried, but if those don't float your boat, don't worry — there are about 78 more flavors to choose from, plus fruit smoothies and other ice cream and yogurt treats.

Burgers and sandwiches 99 cents-$3.65, specialties $1.59-$3.99, meatless burgers and "rollups" $3.05-$3.99, soup $2.59-$3.34, kids' meals $2.39-$2.79, combos (applied to any meal; adds a large fry and large drink) $2.25, desserts 89 cents-$2.49, shakes and smoothies $2.59-$3.79.

Rating: ** 1/2

Where: 3063 E. 3300 South

Hours: Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m.

Payment: No checks; major credit cards accepted

Phone: 466-9681

Wheelchair access: Easy, though the dining room is a little crowded and seats are attached to tables; there is room at tableside


Stacey Kratz is a freelance writer who reviews restaurants for the Deseret Morning News. E-mail: skratz@desnews.com