I’ve been to Silly’s on Washington Ave. more than any other restaurant in the greater Portland area. My wife and I absolutely love it. She took me there shortly after we first started dating and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since. But you might wonder what it is exactly that makes them one of my favorites and the restaurant I go to most often. Well here is a list of ten things I love about Silly’s.
1. The quirky atmosphere
The crazy atmosphere is one of the major components that makes Silly’s what it is. Random bright colors, interesting decorations, and a downright mish-mosh of design I’ll coin “modern madness” create a feeling that you won’t find anywhere else. Once you walk into Silly’s, you feel as though you left behind the outside world and walked into a fun house of food.
2. Names of menu items
With the most interesting food names in the city, just looking at the menu is fun. Not up for The Empire Strikes Mac – a meaty Mac and cheese concoction – or WeeBee Jammin – a jerk chicken plate? Check out the specials menu where you might see alternate choices like Faux-ghetti Bout It – a vegan spaghetti squash meal – and Turnip The Volume – turnip fries with dipping sauce.
3. Delicious food
I’m pretty sure the menu at Silly’s was made primarily by repeatedly taking a bunch of awesome stuff, mixing it all together, and coming up with a name for it. Take the KaaNoodling for example, with peanut butter ginger scallion garlic sauce, rice noodles, peppers and char-grilled chicken topped with cilantro and lime wedges. How could that possibly be anything but awesome? It couldn’t and it’s not. Plus, they have the second best vegan/vegetarian menu in town which means they’ve got something for just about everyone.
4. Hot sauce
Every time I ask about the hot sauce, I get a different answer as to what’s in it, but I guess it doesn’t matter. That’s because it is the best hot sauce I’ve ever had. I just can’t get enough of it and will put it on virtually anything they serve from pasta to nachos to fried chicken. The heat definitely adds up over time, so use caution when eating it if you’re sensitive to spice, but definitely try it, because it’s incredible.
Yes, Silly’s has awesome desserts too, but nothing quite matches up to their amazing cakes. With lots of fruit flavors, varieties of chocolate, and everything else you can think of, the list is always changing. On my most recent visit, I had the Peach Cream – peach cake with cream cheese frosting – and it was insanely great.
6. Eat at Silly’s
It’s not just a slogan I love, it’s a command I follow. Look around and you will spot the phrase in any number of places including tons of pictures with the “Eat at Silly’s” bumper sticker in all parts of the globe. Sure, it might be a little demanding, but eating at Silly’s does sort of seem like sound advice, so why not take it?
Like the non-brunch food, the brunch menu includes all manner of crazy options with lots of delicious ingredients you never thought to put together. Including the sweet and no-so sweet, your favorite tweener meal is sure to be downright awesome at Silly’s. And with create-your-own Mimosas and Bloody Mary’s, they’ve got some of the very best brunch drinks in town.
8. Lemonade, Limeade, Kool-aid, Tang
What do these four drinks have in common? Silly’s carries them all! Sure, lots of places have lemonade, but the other three are rarely seen around town. For me, the fact that they carry limeade is enough to merit some sort of award, but if you aren’t invigorated by a tall glass of Kool-aid or Tang, you might have forgotten what it’s like to be young. For those of you who prefer milkshakes as a reminder of your youth, they have those too.
9. Outside terrace
The outside terrace at Silly’s is definitely one-of-a-kind. With old wooden doors creating a barrier wall, toilets used as planters, and all manner of wild decorating, the terrace is the place to be when the weather is nice. The scenery is enough to keep your mind occupied while you’re out there, but add it to all the other great aspects of the restaurant and you’ve got something that makes Silly’s even more enjoyable in the warmer months.
10. Great value
Nothing at Silly’s is small. In fact, sometimes we go and only order apps like nachos or fried pickles which is often plenty. But the portions combined with with prices that are among the most reasonable in all of Portland always make me feel like I won when I leave. When you’re done, you’ll probably have enough to take home for tomorrow’s lunch too, all for a price that’s less than you’d ever expect.
Those are ten things I love about Silly’s. I’m sure you’ve been, but if you haven’t, stop reading and head there now to experience all they have to offer. I’m never more than a short time away from going, so maybe I’ll see you there.
Hungry for more? Get notified whenever Peterpeterportlandeater at BDN releases a new blog post by entering your email address and clicking “subscribe” below. Keep up on all the BDN Maine blogs by liking BDN Maine Blogs on Facebook and follow @BDNMaineBlogs on Twitter. Seriously, do it. What are you waiting for?
Feel free to email me at email@example.com with any thoughts, suggestions, criticisms, or otherwise helpful info or post your thoughts below. Also, like the Peterpeterportlandeater page on Facebook and follow @portlandeater on Twitter to keep up with everything in my world of food.