Sabbatical. Yep, I’m in the midst of mine, but I’ve been busy getting my cookbook ready to publish. Inches from my goal, San Francisco seemed like the perfect location from which to launch an epic 6-day, 5-restaurant hashcapade blitz! But which restaurant would trigger my latest hash feeding frenzy? A classic old-school diner? Something high-end with white table cloths? Nope. I decided to start from the article that kicked my hash obsession into high gear: The Humble Plate of Hash Has Nobler Ambitions. In it, Julia Moskin mentions Serpentine and its remarkable Red Flannel Hash…sold!
Located in San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood near AT&T Park, this former warehouse makes for an industrial, yet inviting space. Exposed concrete beams, high ceilings, and polished concrete floors envelope a hipster bar and surrounding leather booths and sheet metal tables. Of course, finding a spot for your car requires infinite patience or the intervention of a parking god. Fortunately, the latter interceded on my behalf!
Now you’re thinking, “Clark, what’s up with the hipster label?” I confess that the dwindling lunch crowd contained few hipsters, but I had a hunch. So, I scoured online for proof: urban messenger bag maker, Rickshaw Bags, calls Dogpatch its home; Bay Area Bites described hipster vibe as far back as 2009; and Yelp’s “ambience” classification shows “hipster, trendy.” And so it is.
But my mission is not to label patrons. My mission (hash obsession) is to segue to the main event – Serpentine’s hash. Described by Julia as “gussied-up red flannel hash,” I was delighted (über stoked, actually) when Henry presented me with the equivalent of eye candy in the refined world of hashcapades. In fact, only my supreme self-discipline kept me from whooping and hollering over this culinary masterpiece!
After a quick fist pump and twirl of my fork, I tucked into the hash with gusto. Roasted red beets anchored the hash with an earthy sweetness, followed by the robust, meaty, and fork-tender beef brisket, both of which were nestled on top of crème frâiche and arugula. Two poached eggs on top and a side of boiled & fried potatoes complemented the hash as I mixed it all up for a satisfying symphony of “gussied-up” goodness. Hot damn!
Completely sated, I relaxed in my comfy booth and finished my Anchor Liberty Ale as I pecked out notes on my iPad. Special thanks to Henry and Victor for great service and to Chef Deepak for a marvelous hashcapade – cheers!