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How to Build Your PDX Breakfast Cred

Let’s say you were on a mission to uncover the best places in Portland for breakfast. Would you a) Google it; b) head to The Pearl; or c) hire a brunch sherpa? While Google may result in an array of choices and The Pearl may suffice, the correct answer is C. Why? Because hiring a brunch sherpa […]
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Polenta Hash with Pancetta at Accanto in Portland: A Hashcapade to Remember

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“Sept 11th, 10AM at Accanto for a #hashcapade. In?” That’s how I sent out the invite to my tweeps, purposely avoiding “9/11”. Would that somehow make it less serious? Would we ignore the proverbial elephant in the room? I wasn’t sure, but I was thrilled to welcome new hashcapaders to the fold and check out Accanto.


Accanto on  the corner of SE Belmont and SE 29th
I arrived early, taking photos of Accanto from multiple perspectives. A brilliant sun was already hard at work, intending to flirt with the mid 90s later in the day – glorious! I waited for the hashcapade crew at the sidewalk table, soaking in the sun and appreciating the stillness of a sleepy Belmont Avenue. Meanwhile, thousands of miles away, New York, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania were hours into solemn remembrance of 9/11.

Executive Chef & General Manager, David Anderson works his magic!
,Meeting new tweeps is always exciting and this day was no exception – Lars, David, and Jenn joined hashcapade veterans, Matt, Ori, Vivian, Lisa and Paul. Our waiter, David Jaworski (no relation to Ron – of course we asked!) treated us like royalty as he ushered us to our table. “We have the Polenta Hash on the menu and a special, Polenta Hash with Smoked Salmon,” he informed us. Are you kidding?!?! How awesome is that – Accanto added a special hash for my posse!!!

Da Posse: Paul, Vivian, David, Jenn, Ori, Clark, Lars, Lisa and Matt
I made it clear that a hashcapade is about 1) having fun, 2) ordering what you want, and 3) see rule 1! But, in a hashcapade first, everybody at the table, except the “Rebel in the Mist” ordered hash – huzzah! While we waited for our hash, we ordered Mimosas, Bloody Marys and The Cure – all excellent. Our conversation was energetic and buzz-worthy – football, work, wine, travel, twitter, blogs (OMG – we talked about PHP and HTML!) – but nothing about 9/11.

Polenta Hash w/ Pancetta, Caramelized Onion, Roasted Carrot, Fennel & Poached Eggs
Our potato hashes (two different types of hash are properly called hashes!) arrived and the chatter stopped as we tucked into the hash. The pancetta was chunky and tasty and the polenta “tots” were exquisite with a crunchy exterior yielding to creamy goodness! The caramelized onions were divine, helping impart a sweetness and texture that blended perfectly with the polenta and pancetta. And the poached eggs – can I just say they were perfect?

Completely sated, I marveled at the camaraderie of the table. Once strangers, twitter brought us together over potato hash. Thinking about 9/11, it had brought strangers around the USA together in solidarity. And today, the world was coming together to commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Why shouldn’t we?

“Where were you when you heard about 9/11?” I asked the table. Since all of us were living on the west coast at the time, the most common answer was that family or friends had woken them up to relay the horribly devastating news. Others had been watching the morning news, mesmerized by the unthinkably evil and cowardly act. Each account diverged from there with personal details, spinning individual threads of vivid memories. 

I imagined similar threads being woven by millions, perhaps billions of people around the world today in answer to my simple question. These unforgettable memories, these threads, have produced a rich tapestry, a testament to human courage and resilience. And our table, in its right and proper way, was a part of it!

This was a hashcapade to remember.

Happy Hashcapades,
Clark
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2 Responses to “Polenta Hash with Pancetta at Accanto in Portland: A Hashcapade to Remember”

  1. OregonFanLisa

    Clark, as always, you have such a delightful way with words. Thank you for bringing us together for a lovely morning among warm people and great food. Lisa

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