Hashcapade with Bart Yasso at Bijou Cafe

How do you combine the three things you love the most – running, hash and epic relays? Simple – invite Bart Yasso to breakfast the day before Hood to Coast!

For the uninitiated, Bart is an icon in the running world. He’s the Chief Running Officer (CRO) of Runner’s World and an avid user of twitter, which is how we became acquainted. Next thing you know, we meet at the nationwide premier for Hood to Coast Movie in Portland where he signs my copy of his engaging book, My Life on the Run!

“Nice, Clark, but where’s this leading?” you ask. “Holy frijoles, I’m getting there!” I respond.

So, leading up to this year’s HTC Relay, I create a “HTC Pulled Pork Hash” and throw it out there on twitter, but Bart digs veggies, not meat – darn! No matter. He’s in town for HTC so I invite him to Bijou Cafe, which I know to have veggie hash *and* is one of his pre-HTC rituals. He graciously accepts my invite and voila – an epic hashcapade is born!

Bart flanked by his HTC peeps, Clark (moi) and Lisa.

I arrive early, opting for a table close to the coffee bar and counter. I’m a little nervous as I think about sharing a meal with Bart and wait for my girlfriend, Lisa, to arrive. Scanning the ever-present specials board, I realize there are no hash specials – aarrgh! But wait, a quick peek at the menu reveals Oyster Hash, Mushroom Hash and Roast Beef Hash – yussss! Lisa joins me at the table and we eagerly await our guest.

Located at the corner of  SW Pine and SW 3rd, Bijou is a local favorite.

When he appears, we quickly reacquaint ourselves and it’s like old friends as we chat about his book, HTC, marathons, training and travel. You see, runners enjoy a unique lexicon and a set of shared experiences that instantly build rapport. But Bart takes it up a notch – even though he’s a running legend, he is laid-back, affable, funny and simply COOL!! (OMG, did I just write that?!?! Well, it’s true!)

Roast Beef Hash – yum!

We finally order our dishes – I opt for the Roast Beef Hash while Bart and Lisa order the Tofu Scramble. When my hash arrives, I quickly tuck into the generous portion – tasty chunks of roast beef and perfectly roasted potatoes all topped with two eggs – simple in execution, but powerfully delicious!

While we’re eating, the HTC announcer for the past 20 years, John Hammerley, stops by to greet Bart. John doesn’t recognize me and Lisa, but after I tell him that we’re on the HTC team, Two Lingering Vans of WhoopAss, he starts laughing and says, “I know you guys – love that name!” And just like that, we’re back in the brotherhood of running and epic relays!!!

Happy Hashcapades,
Clark

Hashcapade Nirvana List

Well, you’d have thought such a post would have been created before, but I can assure you, none exists on the planet! I’m talking about celebrity chef hashes. I’m talking about hashcapades in Portland, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco. I’m talking about my creations at Chez Clark. I’m talking about hash articles.

To wit, this post is a list of lists for all things hash in one post! Think of this as a Rosetta Stone of sorts, except that this precious cyber stone unlocks an amazingly diverse world of hashes and hashcapades!

Welcome to nirvana and Happy Hashcapades!

Clark

List of Celebrity Chef Hashes

Ever wonder which celebrity chefs make hash? Here’s the start of yet another list you can feast on forever! If you see a favorite chef missing, please help me out by leaving a comment so I can “google” him or her!

List of Restaurant Hashcapades

I’ve officially reached 20+ hashcapades in Portland (+ other cities) and thought it might be helpful to have a list, a directory of sorts. Need the website for the restaurant? Check! Need to read my hashcapade for the restaurant, if posted? Check-o-rama! See how simple this is?

List of Chez Clark Hashcapades

For the uninitiated, Chez Clark is the fancy name for my little kitchen where occasional magic occurs, e.g. Bacon Takedown. I’ve tried to organize by main meat ingredient & have a veggie section at the end.

List of Hash Articles

Starting with the article that inspired me to start Hashcapades by Clark Haass, The Humble Plate of Hash Has Nobler Ambitions, here is a list of on-line articles about hash. I’m hoping to curate more articles from around the globe. Share your favorite articles!

A Modelle Hashcapade in the Mission

Yes, you read that correctly…Modelle Hashcapade…as in Sabrina Modelle, a.k.a. TheTomatoTart! We became acquainted through the Bakesale for Japan effort, which has raised over $140,000 in relief funds. As luck would have it, I was in town to run the San Francisco 2nd Half Marathon and Sabrina knew a great restaurant – Local Mission Eatery. Can you say hashcapade?

The Local Mission Eatery and Knead Patisserie at 3111 24th Street in the Mission.

As we walked from my brother’s flat at the edge of the Mission, the sleepy streets were waking up – latin music blaring at 24th and Mission, hungry diners lining up outside hip restaurants and vendors hawking their wares. I was especially struck by this über cool food truck, Brunch Box, sporting impressive, stylized art – talk about high-end!

Brunch Box also happens to have Pork Belly Hash on their menu.

Despite my best efforts to hitch a ride on the Brunch Box to Local Mission Eatery, we walked a little further to find LME tucked into a quiet block on 24th. The front part is the restaurant and the back part is actually Knead Patisserie, an amazingly tasty purveyor of fabulous pastries. In fact, my brother thinks their Pain au chocolate is superior to Tartine!

Behind the scenes at Knead – French Presses lined up like caffeinated sentinels.
Local Mission Eatery has an extensive cookbook library to loan – sign up!

Sabrina and her husband, Joshua, met us there and we quickly fell into chatter like old friends. Besides the countless tweets over bake sales, food and hashcapades, I had been following her recent purchase of a 1940’s era house. Very exciting! (Social networks is real, skeptics, believe it!)

After catching up, we all went to the counter to order our food. Horror of horrors – hash was not on the menu! Fortunately, the staff morphed the Chicken & Potato Scramble into hash – huzzah! Thank you, LME, I love you 🙂 Three of us had the Pork & Polenta, Bill had the Farm Eggs & Farro and Sabrina had the Smoked Spinach & Egg.

Chicken & Potato Hash

When my hash arrived, I was impressed with the simplicity of the presentation. And the flavor? A.MA.ZING! Moist & tender chicken, succulent roasted red tomato, pickled jalapeño, fresh cilantro, earthy roasted Yukon gold potatoes, topped with crème fraîche and a creamy poached egg. Everyone else was equally impressed with their brunch & pastry selections.

Sabrina, you rock! Thanks for an epic hashcapade!

Happy Hashcapades,
Clark

Cheesecake Factory Brunch

While searching hash tweets, I stumbled upon a tweet about Baja Chicken Hash. My interest piqued, I discovered that  he scored his hashcapade at The Cheesecake Factory – holy frijoles! Turns out that Sunday brings out not only a Baja Chicken Hash, but a Crab Hash as well. Who knew?!?!

Baja Chicken Hash
Typical architecture at the Washington Square Mall

I’m not going to spend a lot of time talking about a restaurant chain like The Cheesecake Factory in terms of decor, funky atmosphere, or intimate booths. Nor will I talk about the funky neighborhood – it’s in a bloody mall! (sorry, offended Brits!)  However, I will say that I expected a monster plate based on countless stories of mega plates of food after a mega wait. Happily, Alex and I were seated immediately and when the hash arrived, it was just the rights size. No leftovers for this guy (thumbs extended back at me)!

Close-up of my Baja Chicken Hash – yum!

Let’s get down to business. The presentation was decent. I liked the fried tortilla on the bottom that provide a nice crunch with each bite. The chicken and chorizo were complemented by corn, red pepper, roasted poblano chiles, potatoes, green onions and cheese.  Topping it all off was a poached egg smothered in a pseudo-spicy hollandaise sauce, which was somewhat sweet. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised – a decent hashacapade!

Happy Hashcapades,
Clark