A hashcapade – my nearly religious and, at times, quixotic mission to sample and create potato hash – is always an adventure. Getting recommendations (thanks, Sabrina – @thetomatotart), coordinating schedules, and getting there take on a sense of urgency and expectation. Will there be a line? Will it be good? Are the proprietors cool?
And so my adventure began on a particularly gorgeous June morning in the Mission. I strolled from my brother Jeff’s flat and walked right by Mission Dolores…on my way to Mission Beach Cafe. I immediately interpreted this as a divine blessing for my sacred mission! The weather was perfect for a stroll. I had ample time before business meetings. Finally, I had confirmation from other friends that MBC was da bomb. Onward, potato hashing soldier!
|Mission Dolores Basilica|
But first, some history. The Misión San Francisco de Asís was founded in 1776 by Fray Junípero Serra and is known as “Mission Dolores.” Apparently, a nearby creek named Arroyo de los Dolores, or “Creek of Sorrows” was the inspiration. Sadly, I missed the picture of the original mission, but the bright sun gloriously venerated the Mission Dolores Basilica, which was built 1913-1918. Surely my hashcapade would be epic!
|Mission Beach Cafe on 14th and Guerrero|
|Delightful pastry case greets customers.|
From outside, Mission Beach Cafe is unassuming and low-key. Inside, the vibrant colors, Euro furniture, pastry display case and feng shui mirrors impress! An assortment of decent music played while I waited for breakfast service to start at 9AM. As I sat down in my comfortable oasis listening to Steely Dan’s Aja, cars zipped along Guerrerro and 14th, driven by dreamers bent on their own missions.
|Delicious Pain au chocolat au Pain and mug of joe.|
My brother’s friend, Jaina, insisted (or dolores would ensue) that I order any of the pastries created by Alan Carter, MBC’s talented pastry chef. So I did. Can I just say how incredible the Pain au chocolat was? The flaky, buttery croissant gently gave way to rich, creamy chocolate. The combination created a sublime symphony on my palate. If this was sinful, I’m pretty sure no amount of confession could ever atone! (Pssst! For the sharp-eyed readers in-the-know: Yes, that is a Heath Ceramics mug!)
|Braised Prather Ranch Short Rib and Sweet-Potato-Apple Hash|
When the short rib hash arrived, I was impressed by yet another presentation innovation: the eggs were on the bottom. How smart is that?! It let the short rib hash dazzle the eye instead of coyly hiding under common breakfast eggs. Divine inspiration? I think so! Similar to my Huckleberry Cafe Hashcapade in LA, the short ribs were “stewish” and succulently delicious. Zucchini, roasted red pepper, carrots, corn, potato, horseradish creme fraiche and basil played supporting roles, but were equally tasty.
As I finished my hash and looked at the bill, Steven Winwood’s, “Bring me a Higher Love” played over the speaker. Then, I proffered my credit card…(insert scratchy record noise).
Emily (the waitress): “Sorry, we don’t take American Express.”
Me: “Yikes! I left my Visa at my brother’s apartment. Is there an ATM?”
Emily: “Laundromat or Safeway”.
Nadia (barista): “I’d go for the Safeway.”
Devil (on my left shoulder): “Dine and dash, Clark!”
Angel (on my right shoulder): “You’ll do no such thing. Hurry back!”
Me: “So sorry. Here’s my driver’s license and business card. I’ll be right back.”
Nadia: “No problem!”
…(re-cue Steven). Ahhhhhh! Mission Beach Cafe in the Mission with awesome staff – heaven!
Oh so sorry I missed you. I will find us an equally (perhaps)fantastic hashcapade for your next visit. Can't wait!
glad you liked Alan Carter's pastries 🙂
Sabrina – I'm absolutely looking forward to it. I'll be there July 29th-31st 🙂 And thanks again for hooking me up with MBC!
Jaina – How could I not? 🙂 Do they have hash in Germany? If they do, make sure you have Jeff record the Deutsche Hashcapade!
Hi Clark, I am in SF later this week. Maybe I'll get a chance to visit the Mission Beach Cafe. By the way, nice picture? Do you do that with your phone, or are you bringing along something nicer?Tom Pribyl