Restaurants & Bars

Pacific Northwest

When it's good, it's very, very good, and when it's bad...it's horrid!

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Restaurants & Bars 3

When it's good, it's very, very good, and when it's bad...it's horrid!

Olympia Jane | Nov 23, 2003 02:49 PM

After having had truly awful corned beef hash at the Hi-Spot (Seattle's Madrona neighborhood) last week, we had to get the greasy taste out of our mouths this Sunday by going to Seattle's corn beef Hash mecca...The Dish (between Fremont and Ballard). Don't get me wrong, I am a big fan of the Hi-Spot, just NOT of their corn beef hash.

After the pre-requisite 10 minute wait outside The Dish in the cold damp Sunday morning fog, we were ushered inside to a corner table that felt even cozier and warmer for having had to wait in the cold for it. Two hot coffees, two orders of hash, and we settled into the morning paper. The plates of hash arrived, and one bite into it, I was just stunned by this dish that when done poorly can rate below canned dog food on the tasty scale, yet could be so completely sublime when prepared with imagination and care.

The corn beef was perfectly crispy on the edges, and each bite yielded up a chewy, moist deliciousness with a bit of textured crunch. The chunky shreds of corn beef were mixed lightly with sauteed onions, little tiny cubes of perfectly cooked potatoes and teensy cubes of carrots. The seasoning is out of this world, some mix of cumin (?), and what almost tastes like a dash of nutmeg(?)..je ne sais quois, but if YOU know, do tell. Not that I will ever make it at home, just curious. Add to that bites of rye toast with a dollop of just the right mix of tart and sweet raspberry freezer jam and several cups of strong coffee, and I have found the will to go on yet another week.

SO, the question is, are you aware of northwest restaurant or cafe or eatery foods that done poorly, rate somewhere below zero on the taste-0-meter, but in the right hands are sublime works of art? Corned Beef Hash seems to be an extreme example/cheap shot, since it can so easily resemble canned dog food, but eating The Dish's sublime version this morning made me wonder who else in Seattle does a beyond excellent rendition of a food that is difficult to prepare really well.

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