Surely this is the first Top 10 list where hash, as in corned beef hash, makes its debut. I’m here to expand your culinary horizons and invite you to Think Outside the Can as I reveal the best places in Portland to get your hashcapade on! What is a hashcapade, you ask? Think hash + escapade at your favorite restaurant or your own kitchen. Every month, I invite a growing entourage of hungry peeps to a cafe to try hash. Did you know I’ve had over 40 hashcapades in Portland alone?
Without further ado, I would like to regale you with the best of the best!
NUMBER 1 – Beast – Braised Pork Shoulder Hash
5425 NE 30th Ave Portland, OR 97211 – (503) 841-6968 – http://beastpdx.com
When I’m asked who has the best hash, it’s no contest – the superlative and amazing Beast. Naomi Pomeroy’s cozy and award-winning restaurant gives patrons a view of the action in the kitchen. Two large communal tables let you share the extravaganza with other foodies. My Beast hashcapade was a Tails and Trotters Braised Pork Shoulder, Market Potatoes, Garnet Yams, Leeks, Brussel Sprouts, Poached Farm Egg & Truffled Hollandaise with an artistic swirl of sweet balsamic reduction. The combination of roasted brussels sprouts were balanced by the sweetness of the yam. The pork shoulder was succulent, especially with the silky goodness of the egg and hollandaise. My number one hash is a must!
NUMBER 2 – Clyde Common – Lamb Hash
1014 SW Stark St Portland, OR 97205 – (503) 228-3333 – http://www.clydecommon.com
Site of my largest hashcapade to date, 28 folks gathered around two large communal tables for a family-style custom hash and quiche. I had high expectations, but Clyde Common simply hit it out of the park. Our food arrived on large, dark wooden slabs – hash on one end, quiche on the other. Luxuriously named, the Smoked Lamb Hash with Parsnips & Calabrian Chili Sauce was topped with a poached egg. I can only describe the flavor profile as extreme comfort food – rustic smokiness in the tender lamb, sweet roasted parsnips, luscious yolk, herbs and a kick at the end. Be sure to call ahead as their selections change with the season.
NUMBER 3 – Mother’s Bistro – Wild Salmon Hash
212 SW Stark St Portland, OR 97204 – (503) 464-1122 – http://www.mothersbistro.com
Iconic is the only way I can describe Chef Lisa Shroder’s lovely bistro that draws crowds all morning long every weekend. The lively buzz, hunger-inducing aromas and friendly staff make you feel right at home! I have it on good authority that Robert Plant enjoyed the very same hash that I enthusiastically devoured in record time. Fresh wild salmon, chives, a light creamy sauce and roasted potatoes make the perfect combination. With or without an egg, her hash is an instant classic!
NUMBER 4 – Urban Farmer – Beef Hash in a Can
525 SW Morrison St Portland, OR 97204 – (503) 222-4900 – http://urbanfarmerrestaurant.com
I know what you’re wondering – isn’t this guy trying to get us to Think Outside the Can? Well, yes and in this case, Urban Farmer’s clever treatment won us over instantly. Served in a shallow bowl, we were greeted with a small tin can place upside down. Our waiter lifted the can for the reveal – Corned Beef Tongue, Potatoes, Onions and fresh herbs. Perched on top was a perfectly basted egg. A hollandaise sauce was expertly drizzled all over the cylinder of hash goodness. Staring at this delightful, innovative hash caused me to gain several pounds!
NUMBER 5 – Broder – Smoked Trout Hash
2508 SE Clinton St Portland, OR 97202 – (503) 736-3333 – http://www.broderpdx.com
Located on SE Clinton, Broder’s charming, cozy interior is intimate and simply divine. Broder’s Swedish heritage offers the classic Pytt i Panna, a Swedish version of hash with potatoes and beets, and a version with Smoked Trout. Our hash was served in a small cast iron pan and topped with a baked egg whose base forms a perfect square, thanks to the baking dish. One bite and you’ll be hooked on the smokey, robust flavor of trout balanced with roasted beets and potatoes. Fantastic!
NUMBER 6 – Gracie’s – Cold Smoked Salmon Hash
729 SW 15th Ave Portland, OR 97205 – (503) 222-2171 – http://graciesdining.com
Gracie’s is a hidden gem in Hotel Deluxe that exudes glamorous cool – vintage movie photos on large monitors in the lobby and white panels with gold trim. Gracie’s itself exudes luxury and class with its plush seating and attentive service. Gracie’s Cold Smoked Salmon Hash with capers, red onions, hash browns and crème fraîche is a game changer – silky yolk and crème fraîche balanced the salty salmon and capers perfectly. The shredded potatoes and onion anchored the heavenly hash in an understated, earthy way that made the whole greater than the sum of the parts!
NUMBER 7 – Cafe Nell – Trout Hash
1987 NW Kearney St Portland, OR 97209 – (503) 295-6487 – http://cafenell.com
Far from the madding crowd, Cafe Nell’s tidy libation depot, a.k.a. the bar, greets you like an old friend as you enter. Passing into the dining area, a cozy, cheerful fireplace generates warmth and ambiance with its glazed red tiles framing the dancing flames. Three outstanding hashes were served by Cafe Nell the day my hashcapade posse arrived: Trout Hash, Vegan Hash and Sausage & Sage Hash. I opted for the fresh Idaho trout grilled to perfection, which hid the southwestern style potatoes, green pepper, corn and bits of jalapeño. A sunny-side-up egg and hollandaise sauce with smoked paprika completed the remarkable presentation. Delicious!
NUMBER 8 – Toast – Sausage Hash
5222 SE 52nd Ave Portland, OR 97206 – (503) 774-1020 – http://toastpdx.com
Can I just say that Donald Kotler, owner of Toast and Yolk, creates the most innovative and varied hashes in Portland? Whether it’s lamb, rabbit, sausage, veggies, bacon or pork belly, Toast is the spice of life for hash lovers. I happened to catch a late brunch one weekday, enticed by a tweet about sausage hash. When the waiter served it, I was instantly smitten by the Brussels sprout leaves that adorned the plate, splashing it with bright green colors. The house-ground sausage was perfectly cooked with a slight crispness that was superb. The pièce de résistance, caramelized onion and parmesan cheese, anchored yet another sublime creation – omnomnom!
NUMBER 9 – Petite Provence Alberta – Pastrami Hash
1824 NE Alberta Portland, OR 97211 – (503) 284 6564 – http://provence-portland.com
I think of NE Portland and NE Alberta as a culinary gateway to great food – Beast, D.O.C., Cocotte, Yakuza and now Petite Provence. Their Corned Beef Hash was stunningly yummy with multi-colored peppers, a creamy horseradish sauce and house-cured corned beef. Had I opted for the decadent patisseries in their display cases, I can assure you a food coma of such epic proportions, you would spend the weekend, dazed, but satisfied. Bon appetit!
NUMBER 10 – Trader Vics – Veggie Hash
1203 NW Glisan St. Portland, OR 97209 – (503) 467-2277 – http://tradervicspdx.com
Known for fabulous tropical libations, Trader Vic’s is now known by this hash aficionado for their tasty Confit Duck Hash and a truly remarkable Root Vegetable Hash. How would the veggie hash measure up? With carrot, spinach, parsnip, potato, onion, mushroom and bean sprouts, this superb mèlange of veggies was simply delicious – earthy flavors, succulent veggies and a creamy yolk sent me over the edge – amazing!
Compiling a list is always challenging because as soon as your list is set, you think about another hashcapade that was equally fabulous and the process begins anew. I would be remiss if I did not mention Ned Ludd, Country Cat, Podnah’s Pit and Besaws. Hopefully, you now have a greater appreciation for the styles of hash available around Portland and will consider joining us soon. Oh and if you see a restaurant that deserves attention, leave me a comment, please!