If you try finding it using Google Maps you will get directions to a place that does not exist. A GPS will tell you it is an invalid address and please try again. Ask anyone in the nearby town of Elgin, Iowa and they will tell you it is just down the road on your left.
The Irish Shanti, home of the famous Gunderburger, is located in the small town of Gunder, Iowa. While the town is small, the reputation of The Irish Shanti is far from it. People from all over the world come to taste the renowned Gunderburger while immersing themselves in the friendly Irish atmosphere.
The original Irish Shanti building was used as a convenience store for Gunder back in 1927. In the 1970’s the store turned into a popular local restaurant. One day in the 1980’s a group of boys walked in and wanted to order some large burgers. Thus the Gunderburger was created, and with it the desire to put Gunder on the map.
As word spread about the Gunderburger, so did its size. Now served as a half-pound or one-pound burger, the Gunderburger is not for weight watchers. With a variety of types ranging from Bacon Cheese to the Mushroom-Swiss Gunderburger, you will not be leaving with an empty stomach.
An Irish restaurant would not be complete without a varied selection of beer and Irish whiskey. The Irish Shanti carries unique brews such as Topling Golaith’s steamed lager, Dorothy’s New World Lager and Backpocket Brewery’s own Slingshot Dunkel.
“I tell people I am a connoisseur of beer, with an emphasis on the ‘seur’ part,” said The Irish Shanti co-owner Kevin Walsh. “We also have one of the best selections of Irish whiskey in Northeastern Iowa.”
With 12 types of Irish whiskey Walsh is not exaggerating. The Irish Shanti serves Kilbeggan, single malt Tyrconnell, Jameson, a rare single malt Michael Collins and more. The drink selection does not stop there thanks to Walsh’s knowledge of Irish beverages and builds. One of the more popular Irish drinks served is the Guinness Shandy. The build starts by pouring lemonade into a 20 ounce Irish pint, followed by pouring Guinness over a spoon into the pint. After the Guinness and lemonade settle for eight minutes, the Guinness Shandy is ready to drink.
Walsh put it best when he said, “We give them food they’ve never had before and beer they’ve never had before.”
For seven years now owners Kevin and Elsie Walsh, with the help of their son Hans, have kept The Irish Shanti true to its goal. While doing more than putting Gunder on the map, The Irish Shanti offers a welcoming Irish atmosphere and dining experience. May the road rise to meet you, may the wind be always at your back, may the sun shine warm upon your face in your travels to The Irish Shanti.