Good evening all,
After a most unfortunate 18 month hiatus- I finally moved back to Austin at the beginning of the year. Now doing brunch every Sunday with friends at various spots around town. It may not be new, but I am noticing that some sort of hash has been on every brunch menu so far- so as a fan (and pretty proud of my own home versions) I have set out to try as many as possible. Here are my thoughts so far- eager for suggestions/thoughts from others. I want to try the good and the bad- so welcome any feedback. If a place serves it, I aim to try it- got to see the bad to love the good :)
South Congress Cafe- my favorite version so far. The fingerling potatoes were cooked perfectly, and the BBQ was in good sized chunks. The cabbage a wonderful touch- actually all the vegetables selected (onions and peppers too) worked very well with the whole picture adding some crunchy texture as well. Over-medium eggs were more over-easy- my only complaint- and I think poached would work better. Chipotle adobo gave a nice subtle boost overall. Only place so far to serve this with tortillas, another major plus. Rajas versus hollandaise a welcome choice as the meat and potatoes are heavy enough on their own.
Taverna- my first visit here ever. As with SoCo cafe, good large chunks of potatoes and brisket. Beef very nicely done, but the potatoes were just a bit overdone and appeared to have been prepared somewhat in advance. Excellent seasoning- more Italian in style than the SoCo version- and the eggs nicely poached. Big downside here was the hollandaise- bland and overly thick. Probably not homemade. It was okay overall- if I were to go back with friends to spend a few hours on $1 mimosas (unlikely at that time of day!) then this would be fine, but going just for the food one can do a whole lot better.
Haddington's- my first visit here ever. This was the best and the worst of all worlds, and overall second place for me so far. The downside- very finely chopped ingredients. The steak came out okay, but the tiny bits of potato were woefully overcooked and any other ingredients were lost in both the visual presentation and texture. There was a lot more steak than potato, but in this case that negative was a positive given how overdone the potatoes were. Seasoning lacking- this needed a bit more heart to it. Poached eggs were perfect- and with a nice dose of very finely chopped chives on top that really helped when mixed in with the hash. Spinach a nice touch as well. And the hollandaise was exceptional- the one thing that really took some skill they really nailed. This was clearly homemade, and made not long before it was served. Lovely stuff.
And so the adventure begins. I hope to sample more hash at other places- grateful for any suggestions of where to go or avoid (as I will be interested in going to both types of places!)