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Sep 14, 2012 10:55 AM

Picture Perfect Hash Browns

I was walking past Ann's Kitchen (Telegraph & Dwight Way in Berkeley) the other day and my eyes focused on the hash browns being consumed by a customer. They were largish irregular chunks of potato with a beautiful golden brown crust. Damn, they looked good!

I couldn't get them out of my head, so I went up there for breakfast this morning. Ordered scrambled eggs, hash browns, bacon, and OJ.

Where to start? The plate was huge, with a massive serving of the "picture perfect" hash browns and two slices of balloon bread toast.

The OJ was machine squeezed, and along with the juice, included a good dose of the bitter oil from the skin, as usually happens with machine made OJ.

The eggs were dry and flavorless.

The bacon was the worst I have had in a long time and cooked just beyond the char stage. (It appeared it had been cooked under a weight, as it was dead flat.)

And, you ask, what about the hash browns? They must use the cheapest oil in the Western hemisphere. I won't say it was rancid, but the oil permeated the potatoes and left a strange, unpleasant aftertaste.

I ate maybe a third of what I was served and made a quick exit.

It was cheap, but like they say, you get what you pay for.

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    1. Try the hash browns at Jodie's in Albany. Perfect golden color, crunchy outside, smooth inside.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ernie in berkeley

        I've been meaning to check out Jodie's for, literally, years. I stuck my head in one day after I had eaten and had a really fun exchange with Jodie. Vowed to return but didn't. This will be fun.

      2. I had breakfast there once and I have no memory of it, but have never returned. You can get a passable breakfast up the block a bit at Bongo Burger.

        1. rancid oil?

          sounds like they recycle/reuse their cooking oil. first in the deep fryer, than on the grill, then....?

          virgin cooking oil shouldn't be rancid.

          1. Hash browns? Those sound like home fries. Well, and they don't sound very good at all despite the appearance. Too bad.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Melanie Wong

              Yeah, they sounded more like home fries to me, too. Hash browns should be shredded, not "largish chunks"!

              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                Agreed. I should have called them home fries. They were so beautiful to look at. . . .

                1. re: TopoTail

                  I just had really good home fries at Saul's. Only Fri-Sun, the rest of the time they serve hash browns.