Hash House a go go (San Diego, CA)
When we set off down the Pacific Coast Highway with San Diego as our ultimate destination, we were thinking about what we wanted to do while we were back in town. With Scott having lived there for a little over a year, we had a good idea of what there is to see and do. So we started our list and realized it revolved around revisiting certain restaurants.
Sure, the zoo is incredible, making every other zoo we’ve seen look like someone’s nice backyard. And Torrey Pines is a great scenic area for some day-hiking. But we’ve seen and done most of that and were really relishing the chance to just relax and do mostly nothing during our time in town. Well, mostly nothing other than eating really good burgers, fish tacos, and a great breakfast at Hash House a go go in San Diego’s Hillcrest district.
Sage-Fried Chicken & Bacon Waffle Tower
We visited Hash House once previously while Scott was living out here. That time, we went with the Sage-Fried Chicken & Bacon Waffle Tower. Instead of branching out and trying something new this time, we decided that we really, really, really wanted that delicious combination of flavors to grace our taste buds once again. That probably tells you enough about how good this is, but let us tell you a little more.
The base of the tower is 4 thick Belgian waffles (each about a 3″ x 4″ rectangular). But these are no plain Belgian waffles served with a side of butter and syrup. Nope…at Hash House, they put several full strips of bacon across the batter before closing the waffle iron. The result is a waffle with bacon strips running right through the middle, then drizzled with a hot maple reduction, creating a sweet-and-salty flavor profile that just won’t quit!
To top off the tower, two crispy fried chicken breasts are speared with rosemary sprigs, keeping the entire thing upright for presentation. The chicken is fried to perfection – crispy on the outside, moist and juicy on the inside without the slightest hint of greasiness. The sage that’s added to the batter comes through strongly, but not overpoweringly.
Around the tower, you’ll find some fried leeks and bell peppers. And on the side are two eggs, any style.
We noticed something about the chicken breasts this time compared to our first Hash House experience. They’re smaller now. They’re like normal chicken breasts rather than chicken breasts on 7 different kinds of steroids. In our minds, even though it’s less food for the same price, this is a good thing. There’s no shortage of food on this plate and it means less is likely to go into the trash.
The only minor complaint we have is that the waffles could use just a little more of that maple reduction. They can get a little dry by the end, so either a little sidecar of the maple reduction or just a little more added right into the tower would do the job.
The first thing you’ll notice when you arrive at Hash House is the line. There seems to always be a line. This was our third attempt to eat there, but one of them we had to move along to a restaurant that didn’t have a 1-hour wait so that Edie could catch her flight back to Louisville. Our second visit was on a weekend, so the wait was expected. This visit was on a Tuesday morning at 10:30 and we still waited a little over 30 minutes for a table. It’s definitely a hallmark of a good restaurant that they can maintain a line that long at all times and still have people willing to wait.
Once we were seated, service was efficient and fast. We knew exactly what we wanted, so we placed our order immediately and within 15 minutes, our food was served. Our server wasn’t overly friendly, but wasn’t unfriendly either. The place is hectic and busy, so it’s hard to have any complaints about him not stopping to chat for a few minutes. Unfortunately, we were seated right by the exit from the kitchen, so there was a constant flow of people by our table, but such is life.
The chicken and waffle tower is one of the higher-priced menu items at $19.99, but it’s easily a meal for two or three. For the amount of food you get, there’s no complaining about the prices. $3.25 for Scott’s coffee and $3.75 for Edie’s mango iced tea are certainly no deal though.
Make no mistake, plates at Hash House are freaking enormous! It’s a feast for the eyes watching these ridiculously-sized platters coming out from the kitchen and seeing the faces of eaters when a dish is put in front of them. Most of these plates can serve two people. In fact, the table next to us ordered 4 dishes for 7 people and just passed plates around to share. Of course, there’s probably some political commentary in there about Americans and excessive amounts of food, but we’ll leave that for someone else.
The Doggy Bag, By Knox
Yep…left at “home” again. I don’t care how cute my little San Diego playmate Nellie is. She pales in comparison to what I hear is a delicious bacon-filled waffle and fried chicken. I’m drooling right now just thinking about it.
But apparently this Hash House place isn’t dog-friendly, which strikes me as odd. If your motto is “Twisted Farm Food,” dogs should be allowed. Think about it…how many farms don’t have dogs? In fact, we watched a documentary recently (Dogs Decoded) in which they talked about how important dogs have been to the establishment of human civilization. Think about that next time you consider leaving your better-looking-than-you furry friend at home.
Restaurants, think about the upsell opportunities. You could even have a dogs-only menu. Heck, you serve kids and think about how gross they are. Dogs at least lick our plates clean. You could even save money on dish washing.
Oh, and puppy parents, coming home with a dental bone for your dog after gnoshing on bacon waffles and fried chicken is little consolation.