Did you hear that Chef Tim Love, of Iron Chef and Top Chef Masters fame, has opened a new love shack? (Note to self, make sure to capitalize the name of the restaurant)
In honor of this blog, Chef Love opened a restaurant with a giant wall on the outside, filled with holes. Thank you Chef Love. Can I use a picture of your wall as my new blog photo? I will take your silence as an affirmative answer. I will take your refusal as a sign that you are being coy.
For those of you who have been living in a Chili's, Chef Love opened the original Love Shack in the stockyards, to great acclaim, and provided our lovely tourists with freshly made, high quality burgers, fries, onion rings. hot dogs and milkshakes at an affordable price, right next to the White Elephant saloon. I have not been to this location but only because parking in the stockyards confuses intelligent people and...well, you've read this stuff.... But I have been to the new location on Matisse.
Where and what is Matisse you ask? It's an artist and a street just south of 7th Street in the SO7 development. That's the first development you'll come to on the south side of 7th, just west of the river on the west side of downtown. The restaurant is behind what will hopefully be my new blog photo and consists mostly of outdoor seating.
I have been a big advocate of outdoor seating at restaurants here in the Fort. Chef Love obviously heard my pleas. The inside seating is open to the outdoors and the outdoors is outdoors. But don't fret, there are umbrellas to keep you in the shade and we're entering fall so it should be very comfortable. The outdoor patio includes a stage, the bar-safe version of horseshoes (bean bag toss) and lots of tables. There is also half of a bar. The other half is inside.
On the inside you can order your food, find a few tables, and possibly meet Chef Love. Which is exactly what I did. I ordered my food. And met the Chef himself. For those of you who watched Top Chef Masters and Iron Chef, I have a major announcement: Tim Love does not always wear a cowboy hat and take shots of Tuaca. At least he wasn't doing these things when I met him. He was, however, confused as to why he had a male groupie.
I have been to the Shack of Love a couple times for milkshakes and can report that they are good. But don't go on vanilla day because its a waste of time. The flavored ice creams, however, are delicious (vanilla is not a flavor - its a level of bland). Each day they have a new homemade flavor so call before you go.
I have also been for lunch. When I went, I had the Love Burger with cheese and fries. I also tried my lunch-mate's onion rings. First of all, I have to tell you my view on burgers. I'm not a big fan of the notion that there is a "best burger". I think different burgers should be judged on their own characteristics and sometimes, burgers cannot be compared with other burgers. The Love Burger, for example, is one of those burgers because of the uncomfortably named, Love Sauce.
If you like a burger that is slightly crispy at the edges but juicy in the middle, with a unique sauce, you'll like this burger. If you don't, you wont. The burgers are all cooked the same way and everybody I was with was satisfied with the preparedness. Everybody was also pleased with the Love Sauce. I will admit that I liked it though I'm normally a mustard and ketchup type of person. So, the burger was a success.
I also ordered the fries with my combo. The fries are completely different from what you would expect. For some reason I thought the original shack had hand cut crinkly fries. The SO7 location has thin fries. But not like you'd think. They aren't potato strings. They are as wide as a traditional fry, but flat. Paradigm shift. I now understand that fries can be enjoyed in 2D. The big plus side to these fries is that the entire bite is crispy. Good stuff. Thanks to a generous lunch-mate, I also got to try the onion rings. They are the super stringy, pile 'o fried onion stuff. They were delicious, but if you like the traditional onion ring, you'll be disappointed. Luckily I'm not as close minded as you so I enjoyed them.
For eight bucks, I got a Love Burger, fries and a lemonade. That's not a bad deal considering that I also got to meet a celebrity and stole twenty dollars in ketchup and sweet 'n low (hahaha, just sort of kidding).
The Love Shack is open late and has great prices for really nicely done food. The location and atmosphere are also great for casual gatherings. If you go at lunch, be prepared for a line. Also be prepared to convince your coworkers that they have to stay.
If you've been, let everybody know what you thought. Please also voice your support to Chef Love regarding my use of a photo of his wall for the main photo on this blog.
I think the SO7 location is at 817 Matisse. The stockyard location is at 110 East Exchange in the stockyards.