Don't be fooled by the name. The food's good. Seriously
Translation: I’m a Shithead.
Oh, those decadent vegans – always indulging in recipes crammed with olives, roasted red pepper, tomato and garlic slathered with basil sauce, or in tangles of rice noodles dripping with nut butter and squeezed lime. If only the rest of us could indulge ourselves the way they do.
The Decadent Vegans. If this opening paragraph doesn’t already have you reaching for something to cut yourself and/or others with... Read on! I’ve got some nut butter for you..
Wait – we can. The thick sugary frosting on that vegan black-and-white layer cake is just as creamy as you could wish for. Silly's Restaurant's vegan menu, likely the most extensive in town, is worth an investigation for nonvegans who have a love of vegetables – something only a few restaurateurs in town really cater to.
Non-Vegans who have a love of vegetables.... Anybody else getting upset at this point?
Silly's has been serving Portlanders since July 15, 1988. The small spot on Washington Avenue has been home base for 12 years, since a move in 1997 from 147 Cumberland Ave., according to Colleen Kelley, who bought Silly's in November 2002.
"I had never eaten here before I bought it," Kelley said.
Yeah. Because you probably wouldn’t have bought it if you did.
Kelley trained at Pizzeria Uno at the South Portland mall, where she was assistant general manager, and her parents owned a restaurant.
Pizzeria Uno? Really?
One of the most popular items at Silly's is the Slop Bucket – rice and beans, cheese and applewood-smoked pulled pork with barbecue sauce, coleslaw and dill pickles layered in a bowl.
Silly names are a specialty. Server Zak Taillon came up with "Tempeh of Doom," a special. "Chicken in a Boat" is "Tofu in a Dinghy" in its vegan version.
I still prefer “Moons over My Hammy” or “I’ve never Haddock Like this Before.”
Vegan customers dine on meals without any dairy, meat or fish, not to mention honey.
Yeah, don't mention honey. That gets them all riled up.
"I'm not a vegan, but it's fun to try different things. I want to be able to accommodate a lot of different people," Kelley said.
“It’s fun to produce food that I wouldn’t eat personally, but you people seem to enjoy.”
In early spring the patio out back is inaccessible, but the colorful Formica tables with chrome trim and even more brightly colored chrome chairs upholstered with vinyl are a perfect refuge inside. "Silly" framed photographs cover the walls – shots from foreign or funny places prominently displaying an "Eat at Silly's" bumper sticker.
The Chairs are even more brightly colored than the table? Now that’s pretty Silly. And Funny. And Foreign. And completely fucking irrelevant.The gorgeous stamped-metal ceiling is only one player in the vivacious decor, with lights – gaudy, feather-trimmed, some flashing – adding to the giddy ambience. Pokey and Gumby are likely perched in the table container with the napkins and paper menus. The teenagers who learned to like this place with mom are back with each other, completely at ease.
I’ve got some Giddy Ambience for you.. Ok I need to stop with that.. The brother and sister who use to come here on dates with Mom are back with each other. Great Nancy. That’s fascinating. We get it. It’s been here awhile. Will you get to the point??!! You know what, Don’t. if it’s good enough for Pokey and Gumby than I’m in. Damn It.,,
As they migrate from happy bliss at the end of a straw full of strawberry milkshake and become new converts of the vegan "silkshake" ($5.25) made with soy milk and soy ice cream, the transition should go smoothly.
What on earth are you talking about?
Wines called "House Red," slightly tart, "Good Chianti" and Arido, an Argentinian malbec as soft as velvet ($7 each for a generous pour) provide refreshment for grown-ups. A clear glass wine bottle full of water is set on every table, ready to quench one's thirst.
The clear glass wine bottle is going to quench the fuck out of your thirst. Whether you like it or not. Open up... Oh God!! YOU SHOULD HAVE OPENED UP!!! THERE’S BLOOD EVERYWHERE!! OH GOD! WHY DIDN”T YOU LET ME QUENCH YOUR THIRST!! STOP CRYING! PLEASE!
The Pokey Pig ($9.25) presents appetizing chunks of pulled pork dressed up in tangy barbecue sauce and piled inside a roll. Creamy coleslaw made with cabbage and carrots is perfectly good too, but the sweet potato fries (an additional $1) – wide, dark brown and creamy – are irresistible.
Well. Nice to know that the coleslaw, inexplicably made with cabbage, is perfectly good too. I’ve got something wide, dark brown, creamy, and irresistible for you. Sorry.
The pulled-chicken dish called Chickano ($8.95) wasn't much to write home about until the house hot sauce came to the rescue. Thick, creamy and deep red, the habanera-based sauce held a slightly sweet intensity in its burn, transforming the taste of the slightly dry white meat.
If only I could Actually Write..
But nothing could help the too-intense herbal flavor of the rice, which overwhelmed with rosemary and thyme.
Nothing. The rice was simply beyond repair. The too-intense herbal flavor of the herbs rosemary and thyme simply could not be tamed.
Much more fun to eat was the lamb dish called Mythos ($13.95), with a generous heap – and every plate is generously heaped – of browned lamb on top of tender couscous and not-so-tender chunks of zucchini, red and green peppers, and broccoli. Thick dill yogurt sauce provided its traditional cool presence beside the savory meat.
Well as long as you're having fun....
Sliced plantains ($5.50) fried to a dark brown still retained their creamy sweet texture under the crunch of the exterior.
The busy business, slammed on a Friday night, had run out of "Vegan Dreams" ($6.25) by the time the place emptied at 9:20 p.m. It's made of fried plantains with maple syrup, toasted pecans, toasted coconut and soy ice cream.
“The Busy Business” and “Got Slammed and Ran Out of Vegan Dreams” are the first two singles on my upcoming album. How did you know?!
Vegans and others can also enjoy a "whip" made with, on one visit, peanut butter and chocolate topped with broken pretzels.
Vegans will enjoy it more, though. Others – Look elsewhere.But the cake stands on the counter had been working their seduction, and we opted to try the vegan chocolate cake ($4.95) with chocolate frosting (except where it turned into white frosting, where the server said she could slice us a bi-colored piece).
Are you saying you want to fuck the cake-stands? This is a little much for me..
The icing was sweet as sugar – cane sugar, we learned, which might not address some vegan concerns about the use of animal bones in the charcoal filtering of cane juice.
The icing, made with sugar, was as sweet at sugar.It didn't bother us, however, although the relentless sweetness did. The firm-textured chocolate cake was more to my taste, its flavor verging on bittersweet.
It wasn’t the animal bones, but the inexplicably sweet sugar that bothered us.
Anybody? Please? Help?