I’ll blame the fact that we hadn’t visited the Silver Inn in Silver Lake prior to this visit on the fact that there are so many great places to eat that are more convenient to get to. Not that the Silver Inn is hard to get to – it’s a half block east of a state highway – it’s just a lot easier to stick to your hometown when considering places to eat at, especially when there are so many. However, if the Silver Inn was in Warsaw, I’d probably be in there way too much.
This was my last article for Ink Free News. While the exposure gained for local businesses through Ink Free’s Facebook page couldn’t be topped, I had taken on additional responsibilities for the press group I belong to so something had to be cut. Plus, I still had (and still have) my Bites and Bitters column for Flavor 574 so the opportunity to continue writing about the local dining scene was still there.
Article as it originally appeared in my Bites and Tidbits column for Ink Free News
As temperatures continue to drop and the cold fingers of winter’s grasp slowly squeeze away the last bit of warm weather, the yearning for comfort food to keep the chill from our bones grows as surely as the nights get longer and the days shorter.
To quench that desire, head to Silver Lake’s Silver Inn, located at 105 E. Main St., where a throwback facade more at home in an Old West silver mining village than the one block downtown of this tiny hamlet disguises a surprisingly pleasant dining experience. It’s the quintessential hole in the wall bar where comfort food is served heaping and hot at a cost that is yet another surprise. And the dishes are delectable, leaving not only your wallet happily content but your stomach as well.
The surprises begin as soon as you enter the Silver Inn. Even though smoking is allowed, it’s not an issue early in the evening because one, there probably won’t be a lot of people there and two, the owner keeps the fans running around the clock so fresh air is constantly escorting the smokiness off the premises.
The bar has a rustic lodge/classic pub feel to it, with its exposed ceiling, wooden beams and brick walls prolonging the sense of nostalgia the old time exterior first induces. The main bar extends almost the whole length of the Silver Inn, offering seating for at least 12 and coming to a halt only to allow access to the pool table and jukebox.
The surprises continue to the menu, where the more than reasonably priced food items are served on plates overflowing with “get in my belly!” goodness. From their appetizers (your inner Napoleon Dynamite will be dancing for Pedro over an order of the loaded tots) to their sandwiches (try the Silver Inn Burger if you dare — it’s served with a knife for a reason), the Silver Inn has numerous dishes under $10 that will more than do the job of soaking up any liquid refreshments that might be consumed later in the night.
Dinner options include the typical steak, chicken and fish dishes with only the 16 ounce t-bone and 12 ounce ribeye sniffing the $20 mark. Pizza is also available but if there’s one thing that needs to be sampled, it’s the chicken wings.
Ask the patrons of the Silver Inn what the most popular dish on the menu is and you’ll realize that the chicken wings are what people keep coming back for. They aren’t ordered as often as other dishes but once customers start chowing down on them, they rarely pass up future visits without inhaling a serving or two — they’re just that addicting.
I asked one of my favorite bartenders what they thought of the Silver Inn and he summed it up best: “If it was in Warsaw, I’d be there all the time.” I think it’s worthy of a short road trip south to find out for yourself, don’t you think?
The Silver Inn is also open on Sundays with an appetizers and sandwiches menu (all items under $4) available for their sports loving fans. You can stay up to date with their latest developments by “friending” them on Facebook.