Oversupply’O’Rama or United We Expand!
The Hash House A Go Go is a bastion of American ideals. It’s cozy, everyone is genuinely happy to be there, and the portions border on spectacle. Finishing any one of their tremendous plates may put your life at risk but you’re at liberty to try your damnedest in the pursuit of excess. Here they serve what they proudly call “twisted farm food” which, what I presume, comes from the twisting it takes to wrap your head around the enormous portions that each contain a full farm’s worth of food.
This is the only restaurant of its kind in the world, if you ignore their five locations in Nevada. Tucked away on the outskirts of San Diego’s super fabulous Hillcrest neighborhood, it’s easy to spot Hash House A Go Go from several blocks away. This is actually useful, as street parking is always sparse in this neighborhood. The secret to spotting it? Eyeball the place with a line that is spilling out onto the sidewalk. The front of the restaurant, at least on the Sunday morning we visited, is a scene of activity. The crowd is packed shoulder-to-shoulder as everyone shares an empty stare, waiting for their buzzer to beckon them to a table. Don’t worry, there will be plenty of free coffee and juice outside to tide you over. The whole process, while looking chaotic, is incredibly organized. This is a huge plus, as we generally lack the strength to fend for ourselves in the morning and will take any opportunity to avoid a breakfast bedlam. It takes a lot of willpower to stand in line for eggs.
From the outset, the Hash House looks mysteriously like a barn and exudes a convincingly contemporary, yet farmy, feel. The inside is a totally different story, offering a more laid back vibe that lies comfortably between a truck stop and a living room. On busy days, you may find yourself sitting intimately close to the party next to you. Not to worry, as you most likely won’t be taking your eyes off your plate for any extended period of time. The classic condiments can be found on each table taking their place next to the classic paper napkin, fork, knife, and spoon combo. However, these are no ordinary utensils at the Hash House. They appear to be crafted out of a cortosis-strength material, each fitted with a massive handle; necessary to bear the weight of the heaping helpings. It is also worth mentioning that the house jam on every table, strawberry in this case, is made daily and is absolutely delicious. Feel free to slather it on anything you desire.
After being seated, we were each handed a towering, double-sided menu that was littered with so many options we had trouble knowing where to look first. Scrambles, sandwiches, hashes, benedicts, and waffles were just a few of the available options. As the menu was obviously going to take some time to dissect, we started slow and ordered drinks. The large orange juice was fresh squeezed and stood up to the name "large", which was a refreshing change from the ordinary, thimble-sized fresh juices I’ve grown accustomed to. While the juice was indeed delicious, the real story lies within my date’s Mexican Mocha.
Barely containing itself within the cup, the perfectly spiced mocha was topped with nearly three inches of whipped cream, chocolate drizzle, and a miniature Mexican flag. Absolutely adorable and appalling at the same time. After the shock wore off, we decided to give it a try. Delicious. While it is assumed that taste is usually sacrificed for size, this was not the case here.
Not long after we placed our order, the server nonchalantly dropped a humongous serving platter and a massive sizzling skillet in front of us; acting as if nothing was out of the ordinary. These things were huge. One can imagine the chefs to be monstrously large men, cooking up immense concoctions only they feel are of adequate size. As if any normal human truly needs a six egg omelette. “Enjoy” were the last words I remember hearing before diving headfirst into my plate, my mind turbulently spinning, trying to comprehend what we had just gotten ourselves into. Crafty patrons may choose to split a meal but our gluttony knows no bounds.
My Farm Scramble, also known as a giant omelette, was filled with tender roasted chicken, fresh corn, gooey mozzarella, and roasted red pepper. Absolutely incredible, even if I felt the need to spice things up with hot sauce. As if that wasn’t enough, the scramble also came with a generous serving of mashed potatoes and a big ol’ biscuit with a Sequoia-sized sage stabbed into the top. My lady settled on a House Hash (because that has to be good, right?) and opted for crispy potatoes over mashed for the more refined look. Her mix contained fresh mushrooms, artichoke hearts aplenty, spinach, and sun dried tomatoes. After several minutes of uninterrupted stuffing, our stomachs forced us to snap back to reality as we slowly realized there was no end in sight. What we could all agree on, stomachs included, is that the food at Hash House A Go Go deserves hearty praise in terms of both quality and quantity.
Last to be ordered? The to-go box, which should be an implied part of the experience by this point. Hash House A Go Go is more of an event than a simple meal, but the food is surprisingly delicious; especially considering the portions. This spot simply needs to be seen to be believed. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner this is a perfect place to test your mettle, impress your friends, and be thankful that you live in the land of milk and honey. Just be prepared to admit defeat before your clothes burst at the seams. All hail the Hash House!