Silly’s has long been one of my favorite places to eat in Portland. It’s not fancy fine dining; in fact, it’s the opposite of that. The two building restaurant on Washington St. has the fashion sense of a hobo and is the culinary equivalent of an antelope eating a cantaloupe; you just don’t see that every day. But that’s the sort of weirdness that keeps the fun and funny food purveyor full of customers craving their wares. If I don’t get there regularly, I feel a sense of sadness that can only be relieved by going back and trying something new from their eclectic menu of mayhem.
My most recent trip to Silly’s brought me to their Sunday brunch, hoping for some hangover relief after a night of hard drinking. We arrived to a crowded house, but not so crowded that we weren’t seated immediately. We asked to sit outside since it was a beautiful day and summer was creeping out the door. On the way to the table, I hit my head on a not-quite-overhead lamp and added to the pain already in my noggin. As I recovered, we sat and enjoyed the outdoor decor which matched the oddness of the indoor scenery.
We quickly got to sorting through the three menus – standard, brunch, and shakes and sweets. It was a lot, but I’d been there enough to have them pretty well figured out. I knew it would only be brunch for me. The brunch menu, an extension of their standard lunch and dinner fare, offered the same insanity they normally had, but with more bacon, eggs, toast, and taters. My wife was also on board for brunch and promptly ordered a build-your-own mimosa, cutely named My Mosa, with secco Italian bubbles, mango nectar, and orange slice. I really wanted a build-your-own Bloody Mary, since I’ve recently started drinking those here and there, but couldn’t stomach the idea of a drink after the prior night’s shenanigans.
Peering at my options, I was hoping to get something a little meaty, maybe with some eggs. I didn’t want anything too sweet like French toast or crepes so I avoided that side of the menu. Then I started down the other side. The Full Monte, Monster Hash, Ooh La La, Piggy Went to Market, 1 Foot in the Gravy. It all sounded good, but I knew I found the one for me when I got to Egganator – scrambled eggs with BBQ smoked pork, cheddar cheese and tomato, topped with jalapeno and scallions with home fries. Eggs, pork, and taters sounded like something I needed and I’d had their pork on other items in the past, so I knew it was good. Mrs. Portlandeater went with the EggCeption – choice of ham slices, fried buffalo tofu, bacon, tempeh sausage, chorizo sausage, or maple sausage; served with two eggs any style; sweet, red, and white potato home fries; and Silly’s own multigrain toast with cranberry honey butter. She took the chorizo sausage which she planned on giving to me and got scrambled eggs. We both prepared for our impending eggathon.
It took a while to get my wife’s mimosa, but eventually it did arrive. Not long after that came the food. My plate was full, half with potatoes and half with a massive egg mess. I could hardly even see the eggs because there was so much pork, sauce, and vegetables on top of them. Hers was half a plate of the taters and the rest split between eggs and sausage. We both had a lot of food ready to be consumed, but before we could get started, we needed some ketchup and Silly’s house made hot sauce. Once those arrived, I poured some of both into my side plate and took control of my wife’s chorizo.
The first few bites of my eggs went down with ease. They were a tornado of flavors – smokey sweet with plenty of cheese and veggies. The potatoes were fried to a critical crisp which is job number one on home fries. Good plain or with ketchup, I stepped it up by throwing some in hot sauce too. Silly’s hot sauce continued to be the single best hot sauce I’d ever had. Sweet and hot, with a heat that was cumulative over the course of the meal, the flavor gave everything it touched a killer jolt and brought a faint “I think I just won the lottery” type of glimmer to my eyes. I threw the hot stuff on the chorizo too which gave the nicely seasoned garlic chile sausage some extra fire. Without the sauce, it was mild, though still tasty.
All the food that had been in front of us was whittled down to nearly nothing. I ate the last piece of my wife’s toast with the cranberry honey butter. The spread was better than plain butter, though I felt it would have been even tastier with more cranberry as that fruit flavor didn’t stand out as much as the honey. I like cranberry so much that it could just be me, but I think others would also appreciate a heavier hand when throwing the bog berry into the bread spread.
With our plates empty and bellies full, we were ready to hit the road and go home to take a nap. My head was hurting less than when we arrived, my belly a little more from all the hot sauce I ate, and overall, I was happy to have had another decadent meal of Silly’s great food. I pondered the idea that Silly’s should consider dehydrating their meals, boxing them for sale in stores, and marketing them as “Hangover Helper”. Whether they do or not, I feel comfortable saying that any of their crazy comfort food would probably have helped with my rough morning. In addition to great hangover cures, they offer a selection of other specialized food. They have the second best vegan menu in all of Portland and also have lots of choices for those who are trying to avoid gluten. Don’t worry though, if you love meat and gluten, they’ve got plenty of both.
Our meal came to slim $41 after tip. Mine was pretty typical of what Silly’s offers. They throw a ton of good stuff together and turn up the volume to eleven. Their house made sauces are phenomenal and come on – and with – lots of their menu items. Their food is always huge, decadent, and contains lots and lots of flavors. If you like eating and you like food that makes a statement, you’ll love Silly’s, because their food always says something. And I’ll say this, go to Silly’s, because no matter how you say it, their food is straight up awesome.
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