Omnivore - The Colonnade: still gay and gray

Still serving some of the city’s best fried chicken



For years, I ate almost every Friday night at the Colonnade. It was a ritual dubbed “Gays and Grays” night because the clientele was a blend of gay men and elderly women. (Actually, so was the staff.) The 80-year-old restaurant quit serving lunch some years back and the dinnertime crowds seem to have diminished significantly.

That wasn’t true Friday night. It was packed, and our party of five had a 20-minute wait. Most of us had not dined there in a few years and, believe me, the only thing that’s changed significantly is the prices. As I’ve whined before, I used to always eat the less-than-$10 lamb shank. It’s available only as a special now for over $20. Yeah, yeah, times change.

Friday night, I ordered the fried chicken - long considered among the city’s best - with a sweet-potato casserole and a wedge of iceberg lettuce with blue cheese. Because I devoured a bowl of the “Chex party mix” in the bar and three or four yeast rolls and corn muffins at the table with my lettuce, I didn’t have much room for more than a few pieces of the fried chicken. So, I took Saturday’s lunch home.

Three of the guys at the table ordered the pot roast with mashed potatoes. Like the chicken, it’s a huge serving. It tastes as good as any around town, but, please, eliminate those revolting canned peas. Seriously. There’s no excuse.

It was a fun experience. I ran into two people I haven’t seen in years. I guess the Colonnade is sort of an elephants’ graveyard.