Hash Brown Smash Down

The Dish

Hash browns are a classic breakfast staple. They shouldn't be messed with. When the hungry masses converge upon restaurants for their morning meal, there are certain hash brown expectations: crispy outside, soft inside, properly seasoned, not too greasy. We went out to brunch twice over the weekend with hash browns on our mind and figured we'd get in a good Versus post while we were at it. But did our search for these shredded potatoes shred our spirits instead?

Hudson's curry-spiked hash browns.
The Rivals


5000 E. Marginal Way S., 767-4777

The weekend brunch at Hudson gets rave reviews online; we figured that included their hash browns ($2. 25). Sadly, what we got were very soft, pale potatoes that had an unexpected component - curry. The seasoning - a mixture of paprika, celery salt and curry powder, we were told by our server - is not mentioned on the menu, and you can't see it when its on your plate because all of the seasoning is on the bottom. It was a very unwelcome surprise. Curry didn't really go with the bacon, french toast and barbecued pork omelet we ordered, which left us with a funny taste in our mouths. The seasoning blend is a nice idea, but at they very least, Hudson should mention it on its menu, so customers know what they're in for.

Voula's crack browns.
Voula's Offshore Cafe

658 N.E. Northlake Way, 634-0183

Now, these are what we call hash browns. The hefty serving ($3.00) had a crisp exterior and soft interior. This really is where you want to go to experience those traditional hash browns you grew up with. The crusty brown top provided a nice contrast between the fresh white potatoes underneath. The hash browns had a natural, slight glean to them from the oily grill. The only thing they lacked was some seasoning. And free refills. If this was an all-you-can-eat hash brown situation, we'd probably still be here.

The Champ

We believe Hudson meant well when they created the spice mix for their hash browns. We just aren't fans of the bold flavors. This concoction would fly in an egg dish, but not hash browns which are too light for such a heavy flavor. Voula's wins this challenge for simply keeping it real.

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