An old-school salt shaker spattered with BBQ sauce, a Bloody Mary not quite finished, rings of water from condensation on the table, and honey in a squirt bottle tipped over. Surveying the aftermath of what surely was mayhem on an epic scale, I wondered incredulously, “What the hell happened here?!”
|Post-Hashcapade Scene at Podnah’s Pit|
The tattooed waitress at Podnah’s Pit calmly explained how it all went down, as if such a scene were a daily occurrence. “A group of unruly social media geeks (probably part of a Twitter cartel) quietly stationed themselves in the back. I knew it was going to be trouble when one of the women ordered the Smoked Trout Hash. I told her, ‘Sorry, but we’re out.’ Her jaw dropped and her eyes totally bugged out! She was, like, cringing as she looked at this dude at the end of the table who seemed to be the ringleader. He furrowed his eyebrows then totally freaked, stood up and shouted, ‘This is a hashcapade!!!’ ”
|The scrappy armadillo, patron saint of the Bloody Mary, guards the good stuff.|
I stopped her to ask a few questions, “So this guy…have you ever seen him before?” “No,” she quickly answered. I ventured, “Recognize anyone else?” I could tell by the look in her eye that she did. She turned pale and blurted out, “The breakfast guy. The PDX breakfast guy. You know, he wrote a book!” I tried to keep my cool and probed further, “Did he say anything or give any indication what was going on?” She started to shake and practically wailed, “He said, ‘I can practically gum this brisket.’!”
Clearly I had struck a nerve. I called over one of her co-workers to bring her a slug of booze to calm her down. “Was he wearing glasses,” I asked out of curiosity, thinking he must have been in disguise. “Oh my God, yes!” she exclaimed. “And did he say anything else?” Here, she really started to break down as she despondently stammered, “He said, (choking), he said, ‘This was good, I’ve got biscuit crumbs on my glasses!’ ”
At this point, it was pretty clear that she wouldn’t be able to carry on, so I eased her sobbing frame into a chair next to one of Podnah’s massive wooden tables. A reflection from something on the table caught my eye…an iPhone! Grabbing it, I unlocked it and poked around and found Twitter. Scanning the tweets, I immediately found the smoking gun:
|The ring leader, cowboyecho, sent this tweet.|
So, an off-menu Beef Brisket Hash had been part of the hashcapade! I needed a better look, though, as the photo was grainy and out of focus. Fortunately, our image processing specialist at H.I.S. enhanced the photo from the original tweet. Just as I suspected: a spicy, tangy and delicious beef brisket with oven roasted potatoes (skin on) with green onion, diced jalapeños, two eggs over easy with lip-smacking BBQ sauce on the side!
|Digitally enhanced Beef Brisket Hash|
Sweat was beading down my forehead as I went through the rest of the tweets: Paul @pdxbreakfastguy, Lisa @runningchasey, Lisa @oregonfanlisa, Matt @mattdev, Lindsay @rosemarried and two accomplices, Matt and Stacey, were all in cahoots! This was going to be a tough case…perhaps luring them into a hashcapade sting might be enough to nab ’em. Then again…maybe I should join them.