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Mar 30, 2009 01:24 PM

Hash browns for breakfast/brunch in Boston?

LindaWhit and I just took a Restaurant Week thread down a long rat-hole yakking about hash browns. I mentioned how I've labored to perfect them in my home kitchen because good ones out are hard to find.

So, where are the good restaurant hash browns at breakfast/brunch?

Been a while since I was back there for breakfast, but I recall Henrietta's Table doing good ones. I like Mul's Diner in Southie, but their hash browns taste like frozen to me.

Oceanaire and Locke-Ober and luxury steakhouses like Grill 23 do fine versions, but those aren't weekend breakfast or brunch venues.

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  1. And a point of order - MC's talking hash browns, NOT home fries, which I think we both see as cubes of seasoned potatoes that have been sauteed/fried. We're talking grated potatoes that have been dried and then fried to get all crispy-brown on the outside, but still tender potatoey on the inside, right MC?

    5 Replies
      1. re: MC Slim JB

        This is a potential Chow Crawl in the making. :-)

      2. re: LindaWhit

        I agree on the hash brown, home fry distinction.

        I'm really dating myself and haven't been lately, butdidn't Soundbites in Somerville do a good hash brown?

        For dinner, Morton's does a good (not great) version.

        A few years ago, after a trip to Zurich, I was on a quest to make these..rosti.. potatos, grater, butter,, and a clean flip of the thing; which required some practice...or using a good lid to facilitate the turnover..also letting the grated potatos sit on some paper towels to take out some of the water.

        1. re: 9lives

          The only potato dish I thought they did at Soundbites was that mashed potato pancake thing. It's okay but I don't understand the raves it gets, I'd much rather have good home fries (or hash browns, both of which we've determined are hard to find).

          1. re: Joanie

            I'll take your word for it. It's really been a long time for me that I've had breakfast at Soundbites.

            Probably a bad dream..:)

      3. Honestly, I don't know if I've ever seen *good* shreddy hash browns at any local restaurants. It's the good part that's the killer: they're very easy to screw up, especially if you don't rinse the heck out of the potatoes to wash off the starch before you dry them. They get gummy. (Slim, dunno if you've twigged to this yourself, but the secret to cooking them perfectly involves the lids from a couple Revereware saucepans.) I too would love to hear about this.

        1. Don't hate, but the classic chains Denny's and IHOP have pretty decent hash browns if you get them during the normal breakfasty hours.

          1 Reply
          1. re: daikon

            No hate, just a statement of fact, when I worked as an IHOP waitress (admittedly, back during the Carter Administration) the hash bowns were reconstituted from dried by adding water in a tetrapak kind of thing, so if frozen are not going to make it, not sure these would either.

          2. Not Boston, but the Red Arrow Diner in Manchester NH has good ones.

            I was excited to see hash browns on the menu at the diner in Norwood (can't remember their name) but they weren't the least bit crisp, at least in the dish I had.

            1. I have had them at Smith and Wollenskys and they are good. They are cubed. I also heard Capital Grille made them shredded style.