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August 14, 2009

Hash browns or home fries?

hashbrowns.JPGWhen Midnight Sun Sam complained to me that people in Baltimore didn't know the difference between hash browns and home fries, I laughed at him and said, "Write about it and I'll post it." I had forgotten that conversation today when he asked me if it was "hash browns" or "hashed browns."

Now I deeply regret my rude response. ("Don't you know how to Google?") When I looked in my e-mail just now I found this brilliant bit of potato poetry. I'm so ashamed. EL

Sup home fries?

It's your cuz, hash browns.

I don't know about you, man, but I'm kinda goin' through an identity crisis right now. I mean, we're both spudly, that's for sure. But I feel like you've been steppin' on my game in Bmore for too long. ...


What am I? I'll tell you what I am: I'm a potato that's been shredded into thin strips, tossed in a frying pan and cooked to perfection.

What are you? I'll tell you what you are: You're a potato that's been chopped into cubes and fried with onions and such.

You're soft, man. I'm crispy. You're lumpy. I'm slim and sizzlin'. Yeah, that's right. I went there.

For some reason, just about every time John Q. Public orders up a steamy batch of hash browns in this city, what does the waitress bring? Home fries.

I'm getting sick and tired of it, son.

Matter of fact, you can only get the real deal in, like, a couple places around town. Golden West used to serve me, but they copped out a couple months back. That's all right, though -- you can find me in big joints like McDonald's and Denny's. I roll deep like that.

All I gotta say is, you stick to your name, home fries, and stop coppin' my cred.

I'm just lookin' for a little respect, that's all.


Hash browns
(AP photo)

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 1:50 PM | | Comments (42)


Good one Sam.

I can almost hear Omar Little doing the voice-over for that.

Sounded more like MC PeePants to me.

I like homefries better. with onions. Sorry I was really into some brown hash in college but that's a different story! peace.

Call me crazy, but I think the whole white people mimicking rappers/black people (despite acknowledging their goofiness) is played out.


-An uppity white person

P.S. good home fries will have at least a side or two of the cube fried golden brown while maintaining a soft texture inside.

Maybe so, but potatoes imitating rappers is totally new and cool. EL

Point being hash browns, that crispy isn't your exclusive domain.


-Properly cooked home fries

Corey, if it makes you feel any better, try reading a New Jersey accent into this, a la the Sopranos or Andrew Dice Clay.

hashbrowns to me are what McDonald's serves up and home fries are cut up potatoes with onions. I love both.

Hash browns? Try the Blue Moon on Aliceanna or any IHOP. They do them well. Home fries? Go to Jersey. They do them with a lot of onions and paprika. You'll like it, trust me.

I have a food crush on McD's hash browns, does anyone do a similar version locally?

Corey, I didn't know uppity white people used the term 'played out'.

I thought I was the only person with that "uh, I ordered hash browns..." problem. Nice to know I'm not alone.

The ones at IHOP are actually pretty good, as long as they cook them enough. I usually order mine extra crispy so I don't have to go picking through to get the crunchy bits. I'm with NotableM though- the deep fried hashbrown patties Mcdonald's serves are strangely delicious.

I don't buy it EL. After all, if we're talking about hash browns I think we all know what race of potato we're talking about, WHITE potatoes. We assume this because we live in a russet-centric society. The starch majority thinks it's cool to imitate waxy potatoes or purple peruvians, to slum around for a bit, as long as it's a joke and only temporary. They would never actually trade places with the trivialized potato minorities.

Keep living in spud fantasy land, Elizabeth!

Don't make me laugh out loud. People are looking at me. EL

Mmmm...golden, crispy carbohydrates. yum!

lab rat, I'm glad I could learn you something!

To heck with all ya'll and your various catsup delivery systems. Give me latkas. With applesauce, please.

Rats, now I'm thinking Attman's for dinner. Wonder if they're even open.

Corey, well played, Sir.

Shall we discuss Swiss rosti now? (How did I get an umlaut over the "o" OMG?)

Oh, yes! Rösti rock! Rösti have ridges! Rösti rhyme with toasty! Rösti wrestle potatoes into proper Swiss submission! Rösti rule!

When I want breakfast potato, I always order home fry. This is partially because I want the cubed potato and partially because I do not exactly know what constitutes a hash brown.

Are you sure hash brown is simply shredded and friend? I always thought it was a possibility that hash browns included at least the possibility of some type of sausage-y breakfast meat mixed in? if not, how the heck did i come up with that idea?

Jay, I think you are confusing hash with hash browns. Hash browns are just potatoes. Hash is leftover meat, diced potatoes, maybe some other leftover stuff mixed in, with some spices.

Corned beef hash with a poached egg on top is an old fashioned breakfast dish.

I love good corned beef hash.

Most of the hash browns I've come across have the consistency of deep fried shoelaces. If there are good ones, I'd like to try em. To me, home fries are what Mom used to make in the cast iron skillet with onions and other stuff. I'll eat them any time.

Whatever you prefer...Hash Browns, Hashed Browns, Home Fries, Rosti, Potato Pancakes Or that Big Tater Tot McDonalds has. One thing is for sure is that, you can find variations in names, presentations and preperations of the beloved Spud. Every country has some variation of whatever you like to call it.

Yes, indeedy, the hash browns at Blue Moon are to die for, and EXACTLY what you are looking for.

Corey, I am, without a doubt, a hashgirl, not a homegirl.

And now I have just realized that the picture accompanying this article is Eggs Benedict on TOP of crispy hash browns....dream come true, last dying meal material right there.

Speaking of last meal, EL, has there ever been a D@L entry about your last dying meal would be? If not, what would it be, if I may ask?

Here you go. EL

Dawn, I believe that's English muffin at the bottom of the eggs Benedict. The hash browns are on the side.

Thanks, EL, I knew I remembered that somewhere in the archives of my brain. My last meal shifts by season too.

Hal, now that I look again, you are right, that is an English muffin. But yum, I think it Eggs Bene would be delish on hash browns! Reminds me of the best Eggs Benedict I've ever New Orleans on top of fried green tomatoes.

26 comments and not a hint of topic drift. Just goes to show ya, people looove their potatoes. Old Phil, I remember my mother's home fries with onions in a cast iron skillet, they were sliced, not diced, and delicious. I've never tried to replicate them, but now I'm tempted to try.

Tweety Cat
I too like em sliced with onion in a cast iron skillet. If you make them, try using a few slices of cut up bacon (yum, adds just the right amount of fat to brown and crisp those slices) and about a half cup or so of sliced green cabbage. Pennsylvania Heaven in mom's 60 year old skillet!

lab rat, uppity white people use all the terms - eventually. I think some are up to "Dyn-O-Mite" now., I mean, RiE

Like the Preppy version of "Whassupp?" - "What are you doing?"

Um, Lissa? Corned beef hash is also an excellent supper dish. Every March I save some of my St. Pat's Day corned beef to make hash and poached eggs for supper. Mmmm, hash!!

At the risk of committing a food crime, the canned corned beef hash is pretty good, as well as the roast beef hash.

I believe it was Mary Kitchen? The Hormel, not so much. But its been awhile since I had it.

Fl Rob, I also commit that food crime. Mary's Kitchen is indeed what it's called and it's pretty good.

And Dottie, I LOVE breakfast for dinner - anytime. Not even just has and poached eggs, but sausage and or bacon and eggs, pancakes, all of it. I'm too tired in the morning to eat all that heavy food, so once in a while for dinner, it's awesome.

Ok, I'll go for hash for dinner. I love hash. Haven't had it in ages.

I like my eggs benedict on a big shiny silver plate.

Because there's no plates like chrome for the hollandaise.

Joyce, I too fix breakfast foods for lunch and dinner because I don't want to cook in the morning. My family always had creamed chipped beef for dinner. I never knew it was considered a breakfast food until a few years ago. My usual breakfast consists of my leftover dinners, so I usually am eating chicken, tuna, etc... I know, I am unusual.

Good one RayRay, if a groaner.

I also cook breakfast foods for dinner, my favorite being a mushroom omelet. I might just do that this evening.

NotableM, my family always did the creamed chipped beef for dinner too.

I prefer hash browns. I get very disappointed when I ask for hash browns and get home fries.

I am also very fond of Brinner (breakfast for dinner), but my husband, not so much.

Sorry, Dottie, I was responding to you, and put your name rather than mine in the name field. My apologies. I didn't mean to put words in your keyboard.

Now I really want some cb hash.

MD Canon, do you of anyplace in Bel Air (or around there) with good cb hash?

Stacy, might be a bit further than you want to go but back in the day (another way of saying I haven't been there for years) The Bel Loc diner had great cb hash! I actually might motor down to Loch Raven this weekend for some!

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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