If you think a dollar will only get you a junior burger from a value menu, you haven't heard about The Silly Goose.
If you've got a buck, you can get a Sidecar. Or a French 75. A Manhattan or a Cuba Libre. In fact, you can choose from 15 classic cocktails or a Pabst Blue Ribbon beer on Mondays from 5 to 7 p.m. The Depression Era Monday happy hour also delivers a bonus: A free grilled cheese sandwich and a cup of tomato soup.
"It's a take on the soup lines of the Depression," explained co-owner Daniel Masters.
Busy on Monday? Head down for Two-Buck Tuesday instead. Can't manage that? There's $3 Wine Down Wednesday and Hangover Sunday, with $3 Bloody Marys and mimosas and $6 brunch dishes.
And, oh yeah, there's a decent selection of food for a place clearly devoted to libations.
The Silly Goose is in the Peabody Place space formerly occupied by Swig, another spot more focused on liquids than solids. Consequently, the kitchen was designed to serve mostly ready-to-eat small plates and that's what The Silly Goose inherited.
"It's pretty much a closet," Masters said.
Nonetheless, the staff manages to turn out tasty flatbread pizzas, panini, salads and appetizers. Additionally, they make a mean chili.
I liked the chili so much that I was astonished to find out it wasn't house made. It's all meat, heavily spiced with cayenne, cumin and oregano. The color is deep chili-powder red and the flavor reflects it -- this is not a sweet, safe, tomato-y version. Served with a sprinkle of cheese and onions, I commented to my lunch companion that it tasted similar to what I make at home.
Yet Masters freely admits that it comes in prepared and they take it and work a little spice magic on it. Kudos to him for being honest about it, and to the hand behind the spice shakers on the day I tasted it. I tried to order it again the next time I visited, but they'd run out.
The flatbreads are both tasty and reasonably priced at $7 and under. The garlic chicken was indeed garlicky, but the flavor of the pesto came through. I preferred the pepperoni, which tasted just like what it is: a pepperoni pizza. Simple but serviceable.
On Two-Buck Tuesday, though, you can get a plate of two huge tacos for $2. They don't come with cheese, so you'll need to request it and you might have to pay a little extra. The $2 hot dogs (two per order) were proclaimed to be good ones by a hot dog-lovin' pal, and they tasted pretty good to me, too -- though I'm not a huge fan and certainly no connoisseur of the tube steak.
We sampled a wide variety of drinks on a Two-Buck Tuesday -- and sampled is key, because these are not watered-down drinks. While the "Sex on the Beach" was too frou-frou for me (the peach schnapps reminded me of my underage drinking days, like, you know, a couple of years ago), I liked the tart Pink Lemonade (vodka, cranberry, sweet and sour and lime juice) and the Madras (vodka, cranberry and orange juice).
The Silly Goose, named in honor of a fictional character Masters' grandfather told tales about when Masters was a child, has a good thing going. In addition to the bargain drinks, the bar is stocked with top-shelf whiskey and Scotch and tastings are planned down the road.
It's a 21-and-older spot and there is smoking. You can smell the smoke, of course, but it's surprisingly light. There were people smoking when I was there, so I credit either the ample space or a good ventilation system. It also seems that most of the smokers congregated at the bar and we were at a table. Outdoor seating is available, too.
-- Jennifer Biggs: 529-5223
The Silly Goose
Address: 100 Peabody Place, suite 190
Hours: Open 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. daily. Specials: Mondays, Depression Era Classic Cocktails 5-7 p.m.; $2 domestic longnecks 7 p.m.-2.am.; Tuesdays, Two-Buck Tuesdays 5-10 p.m.; $3 Wine Down Wednesdays, 5-10 p.m.; Hangover Sundays, noon-4 p.m.
Handicapped access: Yes
Alcoholic beverages: You betcha
Don't miss: The drink specials, of course. For food, go with the flatbreads and the chili.