Looking for recommendations for the best hash browns in the greater Boston area. (As you will appreciate, I'm not talking about home fries here. I yearn for the real elemental thing from my midwestern youth.)
I've searched previous chowhound posts: Lots of discussions of hash browns (nomenclature, varieties, endangerment status, LA offerings, etc.) but no recommendations in Boston that I could find. Anyone?
Well, this won't really help you, but it might make you feel better in the meantime...
Some of the most interesting "hash browns" around are at the SoundBites Cafe in Ball Square, Somerville (Broadway, 10 minute walk from Davis Square). Basically, they take fluffy leftover mashed potatoes, and fry them until they're crisp. They are lovely, if not exactly hash browns. Get there early for breakfast- there's a line on weekends.
Home fries are precooked potatoes that are sliced or thickly chopped, then sauteed, often with onions, and typically served in a mound. Hash browns are potatoes that have been grated (or perhaps very finely julienned or diced), then fried or sauteed as a loosely formed thin pancake (no egg like latkes, and much looser, especially unlike the McDonalds-style "hash browns" abomination) so that much of the potato is browned and the "pancake" doesn't necessarily hold together solidly.
mound of separate diced potatoes = home fries
loosely integrated pancake of grated potatoes = hash browns
By the way, I didn't mean to imply in my original post that home fries are inferior to hash browns. They are simply different, and much harder to find in Boston. (Of course, if people have recommendations for superlative home fries in Boston as well, it couldn't hurt!)
Hash browns are pretty rare in New England, if you find some let me know. That's the best thing about going to the south or west, the hash brown option.
Just read your post......you'll find what you are looking for as a side dish at Grill 23 in Boston.