Hangover Helper: Caribbean Hash from Silly's in Portland, Maine
If Albert Einstein came back to life and found himself in Portland, Maine, he might enjoy sitting under a rainbow umbrella in Silly's backyard garden. "As far as we can discern, the universe is a very silly place," he once famously said. That quote inspired the name of this kitschy, chilled-out townhouse eatery. Inside there are pom-pom-covered light fixtures but the backyard is really where you should be on a bright day.
Menus can be found in the red Silly's lunchboxes on each table. The dishes are listed in tiny font to squeeze in every word. Just when you think you've read it all, there's a whole milkshake menu on the back (!). The portions are huge; they must go through take-out boxes like water here. Look around and find very few members of the Clean Plate Club.
The Caribbean Hash is under the "Scramblin' in the coop and Brunchy Stuff" section of the menu. In addition to normal white potatoes, the hash includes sweet plantains that are soft, steamy, and sweet inside. They're fried up with spinach, onions, and plenty of jerk seasoning. It all stays in the skillet long enough to get those good crispy bits. Poke the sunny-side-up eggs on top to let the runny yolks touch everything they can.
Silly's has plenty of gluten-free and vegan options, including dedicated fryers to each. The eggs in the Caribbean Hash, for example, can be swapped out for tofu. That being said, Silly's is not a health fooderie. Case in point: the fried jalapenos, which you should munch on during the appetizer round. Lighter than a jalapeno popper (well, maybe not when you down a plate's worth), these are bite-sized slices. Just spicy enough, they're crisp without being greasy and ready for a dab of sour cream. It was the only plate we were physically able to finish.
40 Washington Ave, Portland ME 04101; 207-772-0360