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.
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…
…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!
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.
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!