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Disgusting "corned beef" hash at Johnny's Luncheonette

Ok, went to Johnny's Luncheonette for the first time (and probably last). It's diner food, so I know what to expect. Got corned beef hash and had to wonder WHAT WAS THAT? It looked like and tasted like ground pork which had sat in a pan for a long time w/ blackened onions and little diced potatoes. ???????? Did they run out of corned beef and think that this would be a good substitute or is this seriously how they make corned beef hash (and if so, it doesn't look like corned beef or taste like it AT ALL so maybe they don't know what corned beef is). When I think of good corned beef hash, I think of Mike's City Diner or this place Spoonem's in Rhode Island. This stuff at Johnny's was just awful!

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  1. Yep, a lot of bad diner hash out there. Even places that used to have great hash have gone downhill: I'm thinking of Charlie's Sandwich Shoppe and the Agawam Diner. The nicest surprise I've had on that front lately is Auntie B's in West Roxbury, a terrific roast beef hash, obviously made with love in-house (they often run out).

    3 Replies
    1. re: MC Slim JB

      Hmm, I'll have to check out Auntie B's!

      1. re: MC Slim JB

        I wasn' too happy with my turkey hash at Charlie's the other day, no turkey. I thought that it might have just been an off day. But if this is a pattern I'll stick with the bacon and eggs. I like the hash at Zaftigs.

        1. re: chuck s

          I'm afraid I've been saying exactly that about Charlie's turkey hash for some years now. It isn't what it used to be; the turkey just isn't there anymore.

      2. Too bad! I've never had the corned beef hash but I've always had a great breakfast experience at Johnny's, apart from the long wait!

        1. An unexpected find for CB Hash is Brother’s Kouzina on Route 1 North in Peabody. Really good stuff.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Bob MacAdoo

            This is good to know; I usually get locanicos there, since one doesn't see them so much. I was surprised at how chain-y the atmosphere is, though; it feels kind of like an IHOP.

            1. re: MC Slim JB

              Indeed. I think it may have been an IHOP in an earlier life. I would never have stopped had it not been for a low tank of gas (and food) last summer on my way to Maine.

              1. re: Bob MacAdoo

                It was a Bickford's for many, many years. Close enough for jazz, as they say.

          2. I LOVE corned beef hash. I have had it when i go out to breakfast 90% of the time for the last 15 years; the only time I don't get it is when I go somewhere other than my normal spot and they tell me its out of a can. I've even sent back breakfast when the hash wasn't good. That being said, by far the best corned beef hash is at the Wheelhouse Diner in Quincy. I try any hash that they say is homemade, and I still haven't found anything close to as good as the Wheelhouse

            1 Reply
            1. re: SmugLump

              I am a huge fan of the Wheelhouse, especially the corned beef hash. It's not overly salty and it doesn't have that "dog food" look to it, that tells you it's out of a can.

              I have found another source for excellent corned beef hash in Quincy. I went to McKay's diner for the first time last weekend, and it was excellent. Very tasty, also obviously homemade.

            2. i recently discovered the Corned Beef Hash at The Village Pancake House in Rowley. a very nice rendition but i do like to order it well done and crispy.

              1. On the subject of Johnny's: I never have had their breakfasts, but I've never been a fan of their other food. And I have a hard time with the place no longer being Bernie & Ruby's Langley Deli!

                On the subject of hash: I had an unbelievable prime rib hash in the Pub Room at Keens Chop House in NYC recently -- a stunningly delicious, if artery clogging, combination of prime rib, potatoes and onions served with a fried egg on top. Do any Boston-area places to a dinner-style hash like this?

                3 Replies
                1. re: Blumie

                  Maybe someone will read this and put it on their menu. That sounds great Blumie.

                  1. re: skylark938

                    Think of what Durgin Park could do with that idea, with all the prime rib they push.

                  2. re: Blumie

                    In case people missed it, the NYTimes had a recipe this week for Keens prime rib hash:


                    Related article:


                  3. i don't claim to be a hash expert, but i enjoyed a particularly flavorful meat-y rendition at trident for sunday brunch recently. menu specifies it's homemade. (official description: "Corned beef hash with potatoes, onions, shredded cabbage, celery, carrots and garlic; topped with two eggs any style and a side of toast") Very hearty ... I'm sure you could top the mess with a side order of bacon or sausage on top for extra grease power.