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Hail to the Haystack: The Silo's steak sub lures to Lewiston

The round-shaped building that overlooks the Niagara River in Lewiston has held its ground there since the days of the Great Gorge Railway in the 1930s when it stored the coal used to run the steamers keeping the bustling waterfront going.

It didn't become the restaurant called The Silo until April of 1998, but has since made a name for itself and won awards for its delicious food that has even been featured on Travel Channel's "Man V. Food" with Adam Richman.

The casual atmosphere with plenty of outdoor, open seating makes it a great place to stop for a bite after the jet boats, shopping or hiking in the Lewiston area. Place your order with the cashier before sliding into your booth or table overlooking the water.

There is seafood ($8.49-$12.99), chicken ($6.99-$9.49), burgers ($6.99-$10.49), dogs ($3.79-$10.99), a healthy menu ($5.99-$8.99), specialty items ($5.49-$13.99) and a delicious beef on weck ($8.49). You can even grab a seasonal beer, a glass of wine or hard cider.

We had to try the famous Haystack ($8.49) that brought "Man V. Food" to Lewiston. The Silo’s soft, doughy hoagie roll holds juicy pieces of charred, slightly crispy bits of seasoned rib-eye steak. After loading the mayo-coated bun with tender steak, it’s topped with fresh, melted mozzarella cheese and crunchy pieces of hash browns.

The Silo is known for the Haystack sandwich, right, which was featured on the reality show "Man V. Food." It's pictured with the Silo Split - a basket of half-fries and half-onion rings. (Shuran Huang/Buffalo News)

The combination of flavors gives you a slight acidic, tanginess from the mozzarella, that crisp charcoal flavor from the rib-eye, and a salty finish from the crunchy potato sticks. If you’re vegetarian or looking for a healthier version of the haystack, you can try the meatless version using a garden burger instead of the rib-eye ($8.49).

The smoked turkey salad ($8.49), another popular healthy choice option, is Thanksgiving in salad form. The fresh garden salad full of plump tomatoes, crisp bell peppers and plenty of other seasonal summer veggies is topped with tender, smoked pieces of turkey and sprinkled with tart Craisins.

An order of the Silo Split, half-onion rings and half-fries, is a must ($4.49). There are other unique fry baskets perfect for sharing, like the smelt basket, a great app to pass around the table. The smelt, a small lean white fish, are savory and crunchy once fried. They taste delicious with a squeeze of fresh lemon and a dollop of cocktail sauce. A serving of creamy cole slaw and fresh, hot fries complete this easy-to-share meal ($10.99).

Kayla Washington, 2, and her father Gregory Washington, from Atlanta, Ga., enjoy ice cream from The Silo. (Shuran Huang/Buffalo News)

For my next visit, I have my sights set on their Austin burger ($8.99), loaded with spicy pepper jack cheese, a hint of chipotle, and plenty of tangy guacamole to top it off ($8.99) for my next visit along with beef on weck with salty, savory au jus right from the tray for dunking ($8.49).

End the meal right with a banana split ($6.79) from the caboose with a scoop of bright pink strawberry, vanilla and chocolate ice cream topped with crushed nuts, whipped cream and a cherry.

For grilled classics taken to the next level in terms of quality and toppings, check out the Silo during your next trip to Lewiston.

CHEAP EATS

The Silo

115 N. Water St., Lewiston (754-9680)

Hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily May through September.

Price range: $3.99-$13.99

Wheelchair-access: Yes, no stairs.

Gluten-free options: Yes, gluten-free burger rolls and hoagie rolls plus salads.

Parking: Yes

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