The tip came in from the Hashcapade Scene Investigator (HSI) computer lab. The crew had uncovered a disturbing facebook post: a “flash hashcapade” was in the works – but where?. I cursed under my breath as I hung up the phone and wondered aloud, “How do I stop this madness?!” Just then, a text alerted me to breaking news: “Circa 33, hurry!!!”
When I arrived, I knew it was too late. The waitress led me to the back patio where I found the table in disarray, toast halves in the coffee cup, butter pats scattered around like a deck of cards, knocked over glasses and a receipt with SOS scrawled on it. For having witnessed the entire episode, she was oddly calm as she smiled and offered, “They paid their bill and tipped me.”
|The hashcapade scene…disturbing…SOS receipt…what the hell?!?!|
A million questions popped into my head. “Did you notice anything odd about them?’ I asked. Rosie, the waitress and chief witness, replied, “No, typical bunch. But, now that I think about it, yes! They all ordered different types of potato hash! I thought they were crazy, but then again, they had quite a few mimosas, if you catch my drift!” “Show me,” I barked. Startled, Rosie shoved a menu under my nose and pointed out Circa 33’s cornucopia of different hashes.
|Circa 33 Brunch Menu – Holy frijoles – the permutations of potato hash are endless!|
“Do you really expect me to believe that you have this many potato hashes?” I asked incredulously. Rosie looked at me sideways and sarcastically said, “Maybe you could use a cup of joe and a donut. I’m finished talking to you. Leave me out of this!” She cut me down a few sizes, but I knew she was right. I deserved it. “Sorry. It just busts me up knowing they did this to you,” I managed to stammer. “Please, just a few more questions,” I begged like a moron.
Reluctantly, Rosie sat down, arms folded and looking annoyed. She was wearing a white apron with a sun dress and cowboy boots. I noticed her necklace and tried to gain her confidence by asking, “What kind of stone is that?” “Tourmaline,” she answered, smiling slightly at my awkward question. “Nice! (long pause) So, did it seem like one of them was the ring leader?” I inquired. “Yep, there was this guy with a camera and he asked me to take pictures,” replied Rosie. “And what did he order?” I asked. Just then, another waitress walked by with a plate of potato hash and Rosie immediately pointed to it and excitedly blurted out, “That! Our Mushroom & Potato Hash with Smoked Trout. OMG, it is soooo yummy!”
|Circa 33’s Mushroom & Potato Hash with Smoked Trout|
Of course, I had to sample the next best thing to evidence and was impressed with the richness of the brined and roasted potatoes, crimini mushrooms, trout and poached egg – simply delicious! “Hey, mister! Are you going to pay for that?” an annoyed Rosie asked. I snapped out of a my brief food coma and quickly apologized and then asked, “Can you show me how you make this?” She stood up, rolled her eyes in disgust and quickly went inside. “Please?” I begged as she disappeared through the alleyway.
|Circa 33’s Alleyway from the back deck|
Dumbfounded for a second, I ran after her, but she had vanished. The main dining room was empty as all the patrons had opted to dine al fresco on the back deck. Looking for clues, I happened upon a framed kit of kitchen instruments and mused that these were pioneer tools for making hash!
|Ancient hash instruments of vegetable and meat destruction!|
Suddenly, a light in a back door switched on and I ran over, pushed the door open and found Rosie sitting on a desk holding a camera in her hand with a smug look on her face. “Um, maybe you should check this out. They left it at the table, super investigator,” she teased. Unbelievable! “Rosie, I owe you!!!” I gleefully shouted. I wanted to hug her, but opted to grab the camera instead. A flip of the power button, push play and…voila!!!
|The Flash Hashcapade Team?|
I showed it to Rosie and asked, “Is this the flash mob? Are these the people?” I looked at Rosie. My heart sank as Rosie stared at the photo, confused. “These aren’t the people, I must have thought they left it. I’m soooo sorry,” she said dejectedly. “It’s okay,” I lied, trying to hide my disappointment. I turned and I left without saying a word. Damn – so close!