ANYWHERE BUT SHAYS
(In the key of C)
Why do I appear to slur and stumble on this merriest of days?
I’ll tell you true, ‘til my face is blue! I was anywhere but Shay’s!
I took a trip to Phippsburg and fished for lobsters there,
Their pincer claws clacked angrily as they met the ocean air.
No, with good Gary, merrily we paddled Casco Bay,
The gulls in flocks of bastard culls cawed at us from the quay.
Oh wife please I swear it’s true where I’ve been today.
Rip off the ring and call off the thing! I was anywhere but Shay’s!
In Kennebunk I met a monk and passed a calm repast
No it was Boston, I lied, Austin that’s where I parked my mast.
Was it New York, where I put a fork into a hedonistic meal?
Or San Francisco, where I danced to disco in a suit of shiny teal?
Oh son please I swear it’s true where I’ve been today.
Set your room aflame and curse my name! I was anywhere but Shay’s!
In Kathmandu, I swear to you, I strolled the whole New Road
Or on the Nile, for quite a while, I drummed upon a toad.
I played some chess in Bucharest and mated with mighty ease.
No, it was with Putin, rootin’ tootin’ I went shootin’ in the trees!
Oh brother please I swear it’s true where I’ve been today.
Spill kindred blood in mud my bud! I was anywhere but Shay’s!
No, to the moon, I truly zoomed in a rocket made of steel,
And chock a block with dusty rocks I enjoyed a picnic meal.
Or far on Mars I shook the foot of a ghastly purple slug.
His grip was tight and with mighty might he gave me a Martian hug!
Oh father please I swear it’s true where I’ve been today.
Call me a liar and damn me to fire! I was anywhere but Shay’s!
I beat the yeti in a fair bet he, graciously, shook my hand!
I fought the Chupacabra with a candelabra in the Yucatan!
For the morn a unicorn took a ride upon my back.
But when I asked to switch he ditched and ran away, alack!
Oh Papa please I swear it’s true where I’ve been today,
Grab your gun and make me run! I was anywhere but Shay’s!
With force of will I forced my form to dissipate to dust
And back in time I bushwhacked to an age ‘fore guns and rust.
With Ogg and Utt in darkened hut I scratched out the whole deal,
For good and all I taught them to shave stone into a wheel!
Oh mother please I swear it’s true where I’ve been today.
Disown your own son publicly! I was anywhere but Shay’s!
In truth I briefly died and spent some time up with the lord,
Around us angels’ trumpets blared, the music of a horde.
He gave me quite a lecture on what was right and wrong,
Go up and see and he’ll agree to the veracity of this song!
You reader there I swear it’s true where I’ve been today,
Close the page in rage you sage! The truth? I went to Shay’s!
The best bar food in Portland. The fries have a crunch few can best. The burgers are top notch and sangitches are in the top two in town. It’s nothing revolutionary here as far as selection goes, but what they do, they do so damn well.
$9-$10 for most things you want. Burgers, sangitches, salads. Plus, they’ve got drink specials falling out of their pockets. Half-price this, $1 that. Very very good.
I don’t know what makes me think this place belongs at the base of a ski lift, but consider it a compliment. It’s got a nice, cozy (yet not cramped) atmosphere that just makes you want to hole up, eat delicious food and demolish beer-like objects.
Service has been top notch every time. And believe me, the sample size of my Shays experiences is vast.
EAT OR SKIP:
Let me burst the happy bubble here a tiny bit. If you’re in Portland for 2 nights, you probably don’t need to eat at Shays. That’s not a slight on Shays, just a testament to the amazing culinary scene in Portland at the moment. However, if you live in Portland, Shays is a goddamn miracle. Every time you go it delivers on everything you want and need. It is the most failsafe option in this entire city, providing delicious meal after delicious meal like clockwork. I love Shays. Seriously. I love Shays.