I had been waiting to try Hash Kitchen for brunch. I'd heard some amazing things and seen some amazing photos. I'd seen pictures of the Bloody Marys and the skillet dishes. I'd heard of the DJ spinning tunes, the flights of mimosas and the clean, modern decor. I had my foodie fedora on, my stretchy dress donned, and my appetite prepped. I was goin' in!
It was busy, and to me busy is a good sign, but it's also a test. Will the hostesses be calm or stressed? Will the servers rush to turn my table or will they be kind and courteous? Will the crowd make it uncomfortable, or will it be an outright party?
The answer was very clear the second we walked in. We were greeted by pretty much the most adorable woman I've ever seen. Her name was Bonnie. She was dressed from head to to in vintage, mid-century clothing, hair, make-up and accessories. She was older, perhaps in her mid sixties with perfectly curled silver hair. She was beautiful. And she was dancing. And I just don't mean bopping her head to the DJ's music. She was swaying, she was stepping, she was waving her arms. I immediately wanted to grab her and spin her around. I wanted to dance with her. I wanted to party with her. I wanted to BE HER.
We were seated in the corner, with a view of the entire restaurant, and assured by the hostess that Max, our server was one of the best on today's crew. My husband didn't really care. He just wanted to run over to the enormous Bloody Mary bar, the centerpiece of the restaurant, and start constructing an enormous dose of "hair-of-the-dog."
Max came out right away and escorted us over to the Bloody Mary bar and ordered me a Blueberry Mimosa. I'm not much of a Bloody Mary girl, but I had to see the spectacle. The bartender suggested a jalapeño vodka with a bacon salt rim for my hubby's Bloody Mary. It was an excellent start that propelled into adding salami, cheese, olives, celery, ravioli and MEATBALLS to the drink! It was delicious, and I'm not sure if my husband needed anything else at this point for breakfast, but he ordered the Carnitas Hash anyway, Max's favorite item on the menu.
Now as a devout sugar monger, I felt compelled to try the sweeter side of the menu. And at this point, I had decided we were going "over the top" today. I started with the Cannoli Donuts. These are fresh, warm cake donuts, filled with a sweet, marscapone cream and topped with powdered sugar. There are few things more pleasing to my palette than a warm, fresh, soft donut. The sweet marscapone cream softened slightly with the warm donut and melted in my mouth. I quickly devoured an entire donut. And then another. It took everything I had NOT to eat the third and last, but I HAD to save something for my fellow sugar monger son at home.
Now at this point I didn't need anything more for breakfast, but proceeded to stick with the "over the top" theme of the morning and ordered some Herb Fried Chicken Eggs Benedict. I was putting my stretchy dress to good use this morning.
The party continued. Groups of people with bouquets of birthday balloons were seated. Hung-over bachelorettes with luggage in tow were looking to get the party re-started before catching their planes back to adulthood. The DJ began reading the crowd...upping the beat, increasing the volume and throwing back the tunes to old school hip-hop. Bonnie was singing and swaying, dancing and laughing. It was a typical Sunday brunch at Hash Kitchen, and I was all in. I was having so much fun, I had almost forgotten why we were there. And then the food arrived.
Both of our dishes were piled high with a delicious deep-fried "hay". Mine of leeks and his of onions. I immediately picked a piece off and popped it into my mouth. It was crispy, savory and salty. Not normally something I'd see on an eggs benedict dish, but today was all about being "over the top," and so far I was NOT disappointed. To describe the rest of the dish, just imagine eggs benedict and chicken and waffles having a baby. The fried chicken was well seasoned and crispy, with the balance of a sweet, warm, maple reduction finishing it off. The eggs were poached perfectly, on top of a split, fresh biscuit and the traditional, warm hollandaise married together and played with the maple reduction they both dripped over the side. It was rich and playful, flavorful and fun and absolutely over the top!
Now, let's talk about hubby's Carnitas Hash. FORGET what you think you know about Mexican Food and Brunch Dishes here in the Valley of the Sun. Forget what you think you know about them EVERYWHERE. THIS DISH IS IT. I love that it's served in an iron skillet and that the portion is definitely big enough for a couple to share. Hash style potatoes, eggs over easy and Coca-Cola braised pork are the base, and from there, heaven awaits! They add green chile sauce, roasted corn, corn tortillas, crema and avocado. Then they finish it off with those deep fried onion strips, some cilantro and a dusting of cotija cheese. We didn't even know where to start, but eventually figured it out with a big fork and a rejuvenated appetite! We dug deep and ate so much we almost fell out of our chairs!
We were ready for boxes and bedtime. There wasn't another bite of anything I could fit into my mouth. On our way out the door, I saw flights of mimosas, benedict fries, brunch bruschetta, cannoli pancakes, more eggs, and hash skillet after hash skillet after hash skillet! I need to come back again and again to work my way through the entire menu.
And on my way out the door, my sweet, sweet Bonnie gave me a good, swift look in the eye and said, "Goodbye, Heather." She even remembered my name.
A little bit about Hash Kitchen and Chef Joey:
"Hash Kitchen is a creative a.m. eatery that boasts a social dining experience and is designed to be the go-to spot for locals and a culinary destination for visitors.
From a young age, Joey worked with his father Tomaso Maggiore, the matriarch of this Sicilian family with over forty-years in the culinary and restaurant business that began in New York. Joey began working at their family restaurants where he learned the art of Italian cooking. After his High School graduation, Joey threw himself into the restaurant business, perfecting the dishes that were passed down from generations. Currently, Joey is an Executive Chef at The Maggiore Group. Joey lives with his wife and their children.
For more information, visit their website at: www.hashkitchen.com
Note and Disclaimer: Restaurant reviews are NOT paid. At times restaurants do trade complimentary meals in exchange for photos and/or reviews, but those reviews are NOT expected by the restaurants to be positive. I choose however ONLY to document my positive experiences. If I encounter a meal or a restaurant experience that I don't think is a good one, I simply don't publish the result. This website is about GOOD FOOD and GREAT PLACES!