The Shack started with a simple idea—to serve the highest quality food with as little pretense as possible, communal seating at 7 tables in the 26 available non-matching chairs. Food served on plates that don’t cost more than the meal itself. Fortunately enough, it’s located in Staunton, Virginia, in middle of the Shenandoah Valley—an area which provides a full 25% of Virginia’s farm product, from out of the ground to the hoof and beak. But an idea, to work, has to reflect its environment.

For atmosphere and inspiration, Chef Ian Boden didn’t have to look any further than his wife Leslie’s family. Tissy, her Grandmother, lived in the ‘shack’ (that now serves as the logo), a home in Swoope where she cooked up all of the Appalachian and Southern dishes that inspire much of the current menus. The pictures of the family and the old shack that hang inside serve as homage as much as they do decoration.

The Shack, Ian Boden Chef/Owner from Peter Taylor on Vimeo.

The a la carte menu at the Shack is served on Wednesdays and Thursdays. This mid-week meal is designed for those busy times, when a multiple-course meal may not be feasible for the average family. Burgers and sandwiches share menu space with a variety of sides and starters as well as entrée-style dishes of fish, meat and pasta.

On Fridays and Saturdays, the Shack serves a prix fixe menu, with a series of starters, entrées, and deserts. These nights allow the staff to create the sort of plates that diners can take their time to savor and enjoy. The option is for either a three or four-course meal—to suit a variety of appetites.