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How to Build Your PDX Breakfast Cred

Let’s say you were on a mission to uncover the best places in Portland for breakfast. Would you a) Google it; b) head to The Pearl; or c) hire a brunch sherpa? While Google may result in an array of choices and The Pearl may suffice, the correct answer is C. Why? Because hiring a brunch sherpa […]
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Trout Hash at Cafe Nell in Portland

Trout Hash, Vegan Hash and Sausage & Sage Hash – have I died and gone to heaven? No, but I’ve found hashcapade heaven-on-earth at Cafe Nell! Neatly tucked away and far from the madding crowd on northwest 23rd, Cafe Nell is simply lovely. Let’s step inside.

Cafe Nell on NW Kearney & NW 20th

Their tidy libation depot, a.k.a. the bar, greets you like an old friend as you enter. I imagine a brief conversation: “Hello, Clark. We’ve been awaiting your hashcapade. What’ll it be, friend?” “Well, Miss Everdene, I’m wicked parched. How about a Bloody Mary?” “You got it, Clark. Make yourself comfortable, but not with the sheep.” And so I did…

Cafe Nell’s bar serves an amazing Bloody Mary.
Fabulous Bloody Mary!
A cozy fire greets Cafe Nell patrons.

…passing into the dining area where a cozy, cheerful fireplace generated not only warmth, but ambiance with its glazed red tiles framing the dancing flames. Darren Creely, co-owner with Vanessa Preston, greeted me before the rest of the posse arrived. I explained how very accommodating his staff had been as the number of hashcapade guests grew and grew. Our excellent waiter, Conrad, handled 18 rowdy hashcapaders with style and aplomb as he patiently when over the potato hash options. My choice? The Trout Hash – yum!

Trout Hash with Potatoes, Corn, Green Pepper, Hollandaise & Egg.

Fresh Idaho trout grilled to perfection 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. Some folks stripped the skin off the trout and mixed it all together. I simple cut into the fish, well, maniacally shoveled it into my gaping maw, skin and all – delicious!

Dave actually ordered the Sausage and Sage Hash and reportedly inhaled the contents in under 5 seconds, besting Man vs. Food’s Adam Richman by about an hour – well done! Other memorable dishes were the Vegan Hash (pictured here with an optional egg), Green Eggs, Southern Style Shrimp & Grits, Arugula Salad and the Pumpkin Pancakes.

Vegan Hash, Green Eggs, Southern Grits & Shrimp, Sausage & Sage Hash
Post Hashcapade Pose – Dawn, Cory & Mary

Sated and libated (is that a word?), a few stragglers and I slowly left Cafe Nell, passing by the watchful Miss Neverdene, and captured the event outside. Thanks to my hashcapade posse: Dawn, Cory, Mary, Lisa, Mark, Gina, Janel, John, Tony, Dana, Dave, Lars, John & Lidia; and thanks to Cafe Nell for a lovely time!

Happy Hashcapades,

10 Responses to “Trout Hash at Cafe Nell in Portland”

  1. NubianOR

    Thank you again for a wonderful breakfast. What a surprise you had for all of us. So grateful that Lars and Mr. Super Inhaler introduced us to this wonderful group of hash groupies. Hopefully we will see you at the Hashcapade in March.

    • Clark Haass

      You’re very welcome! I’m glad that Lars and Mr. Super Inhaler introduced you to the hashcapade faithful 🙂 Oh, and thanks for sharing your pics!

  2. Dave

    The sad thing was I was trying to eat slow! Such a great time, Clark! Thanks again. So glad to be part of this group! Never want to miss a Hashcapade! Definitely impressed by Nell’s staff and the place is beautiful!

    • Clark Haass

      LOL. Food this tasty is in danger of inhalation 😉 Maybe Matt can shoot your hashcapade every day documentary!

  3. Mark

    To be met by a warm fire and the broad smile of our host was greatly appreciated after a brief trudge in the seasonal downpour Oregonians are used to in January. Being a first timer, such a hospitable welcome made Gina & I feel at home instantly – the sure sign of a good host comitted to the comfort of his guests.

    The bloody mary is amply chock full of garnishments; green beans, celery, a shrimp, & scewers – one with hard sausage & cheese and the other with pearl onion & olives. The spicy tang want down smoothly and was refreshing. Reminded me of my favorite morning boost at the Alta Mira in Sausilito before a day’s sail.

    Trout hash! Tender meat, fresh vegies, and a little spice. Perfect blend of flavors and well portioned. Nothing over done.

    Best of all – the conversation. What a great way to get to know new people whom you’ve admired virtually in the twittersphere.

    A gracious host, Clark, professional staff, tasty food & lively chats – who could ask for more for a Sunday morning?! We’ll be sure to return to Cafe Nell & future Hashcapades. Thanks to all!

    • Clark Haass

      I thoroughly enjoyed meeting you and Gina. I can tell by our mutual love of Monty Python that we could get in fabulous trouble together!

  4. Dawn

    Another great Hashcapade! Thanks for a wonderful morning Clark!

  5. Paul Gerald

    Man, this sounds like fun! I can’t even count how many people you had, either. And I love Cafe Nell: like you said, quiet, out of the way, classy, and tasty. Great post!

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