I decided to try Shea’s Express without Shane today. My older sister met me with her twins for lunch, so we chose a bonafide girly place, or so we thought. When we arrived at Shea’s, there were plenty of men there for lunch. Never having been there before, I assumed this meant large portions at great prices, but I was wrong. When you order at Shea’s, you do so at a counter. Then, you slide down the deli-style counter lined with pastries and specialty drinks to pay for your order. There is a self-serve drink area offering coke products and tea, including housemade mint julep tea. Then, you find your own table where you wait for your name to be called for pickup. When ordering, I was a little shocked by the prices of this lunch place. The menu selections ranged from $8 sandwiches (with no sides) to a $13 plate of crab cakes. I chose the Italian Hoagie Panini which was ham, salami, capicola, provolone, red onion, and olive and pepper relish on a rosemary garlic baguette ($8.79). When it arrived, it looked tasty, and it was. The olive and pepper relish had a nice briny bite to it, and the bread was soft and flavorful. The housemade pickle on the side was neither disctinctly sweet nor savory and left me with only the taste of vinegar in my mouth. It was a solid sandwich, but I couldn’t help wondering why it was necesary to charge nearly $9 for it. I suppose the profit margins need to be higher than other local joints because of the extensive decor inside Shea’s. If you are in the mood for a place with a good lunch atmosphere and are willing to pay for it, this may be the place for you. Lara, my sister, ordered the Real Man’s Quiche, described as a pastry loaded with applewood smoked bacon, ham, premium sausage, and swiss. It came with a small salad, but she substituted a cup of white chicken chili ($9.89). When she went to pick up her order, she surprised me with an extra plate that was brimming over with a cinnamon roll the size of her head. Her quiche was deliciously light and fluffy but her soup was loaded with black pepper yet lacked salt. Again, I was left to wonder why Parisian bakeries can serve pieces of quiche twice this size for half the price, but I suppose they aren’t worried about posh seating and modern decor. Lest you think I won’t be back to Shea’s, let’s talk cinnamon roll. This was possibly the tastiest cinnamon roll I’ve ever had, and from the looks of things, it was made in-house. The bread was warm, fluffy, and topped with a sinful amount of icing and buttery-cinnamon goodness. I might just drag Shane there for a cup of coffee and a cinnamon roll.Tips:
- Shea’s Founder (Cynthia) wears her faith on her restaurant’s sleeve. I appreciate it, but some patrons are turned off by it.
- This place is rockin’ during lunch. If you want to try it when it’s less busy, give breakfast a shot.
- Don’t get a full glass of mint julep tea. Fill it only halfway then top it off with unsweetened tea.