The voice on the phone was excited, yet teasing, “Guess who has pork hash on their brunch menu!” Before I could utter a word, Lisa exclaimed, “Beast!” Thinking this was the cruelest of all jokes, I pleaded, “Are you kidding me?” She quickly assured me that indeed Beast offered pork hash, explaining that her friend mentioned that it offered brunch. I quickly ran to my laptop while simultaneously executing cartwheels and hollering like a drunken cowboy winning at poker. And so it was with extreme anticipation and reverence, we set out for the superlative and amazing Beast for a hashcapade.
I’ve often wondered how potato hash differs around the country, imagining that the prevailing favorite staples would create new, iconic hashes: Texas – BBQ hash, Maine – lobster hash, Louisiana – crawfish hash. Well, it is true that regions differ, but what’s even more interesting is that potatoes aren’t the only anchor veggie. Say hello to Dirty Rice. I mean low-down-get-on-your-spurs-we’re-going-for-a-ride kind of dirty! This creation is really a combination of rice and picadillo, which comes from Spanish and is the equivalent of hash in English.
|Basic Building Blocks|
Can you imagine NPR’s new radio show, Potato Hash Talk? Click and Clack would trouble-shoot hashcapades gone bad. A distressed caller would complain about mysteriously lifeless potatoes as the brothers poke fun and then get down to business in their wicked accents: Click: “Did ya yooz Russet or Yookohn Gouhld puhtatoes?” Clack: “Did ya bake dem foist or were dey fuhrozen?” (Cue the guffaws and snorts that would ensue from Tom and Ray’s enthusiastic banter.) Such were my musings as I drove home from the Red Star Tavern listening to Car Talk and a woman calling from Connecticut. She wanted to talk about her prototype snow plow that would use ironing boards strapped onto her Subaru to clear the driveway…great stuff! And so was my hashcapade…
|Red Star Tavern on SW 5th and Alder|
A colleague of mine used to say, “Just remember, second place is the first loser!” In that case, I’m the second loser and couldn’t be more thrilled to have won 3rd place in the The Oregonian FoodDay contest. Dreamed up by Leslie Cole and dubbed the Twitter Recipe Contest, the rules were straightforward: tweet your recipe (only 140 characters or less) and provide a photo of you *and* the dish. Photo – check!
|Posing with My Smoked Salmon Hash|
As Yogi Berra once said, “It’s déjà vu all over again.” We planned a hashcapade at Screen Door and by the time we were sufficiently caffeinated to brave the Sunday crush, we were an hour out from heaven on the waitlist. Not gonna happen. Here’s where it gets more interesting. Astute readers will remember my sage advice to always have a backup, which was Podnah’s Pit. After driving past where I thought it had been, I realized it had moved and proceeded to NE Killingsworth. Needless to say, it was still under construction and by this time my stomach was protesting loudly. So much so, that it’s angry rumblings almost made me drive to Denny’s, but my stronger mental faculties put down the gastro-coup. Here’s another bit of advice: have a native Portlander with you on your hashcapade, because Lisa immediately recommended The Heathman Restaurant.
|The Iconic Entrance to the Heathman on Broadway|