By Nick Manteris · 0 Comments · Leave a Comment
Hash House A Go Go is a small restaurant chain that generates a lot of buzz. They make food that people talk about and word of mouth is good for business. It’s so good for business that Hash House A Go Go just opened up a new restaurant (their third location in Las Vegas) at the M Resort in October. It doesn’t seem to matter why your food gets exposure – just as long as people are talking about your restaurant. So, is the food really good? …or is there some other reason that people are talking about it?
Well, from what I can tell, the main reason that Hash House A Go Go gets hyped is because their portions are huge. That's really all there is to it: they bring out gigantic piles of food on enormous serving platters. It’s a spectacle for sure… and a surprise for first-time customers (unless they’ve prepared ahead of time by viewing pictures of the food or watching personal Hash House experiences online.) I think that people are visually wowed by the meals at Hash House A Go Go and they store their memories of the place with the excitement and wonder that they experience when the food is first presented. Of course, their selection of alcoholic drinks is better than average and, while nobody ordered adult beverages on this particular occasion, the drinks are definitely worthy of a little buzz.
For this review, I visited for brunch with three other friends. I ordered the “Famous One Pound Stuffed Burger” with roasted red pepper and griddled smoked mozzarella. The burger was enormous, served all alone on a plate with some roasted peppers for garnish. Of course there was also a knife and a giant rosemary branch sticking out of the bun as well as some… fried spaghetti? I’m not really sure what the dark, brittle, spaghetti-like things were, but they weren’t intended for consumption. The burger – if you can really call it that – might also have just been some sort of art installation made out of food parts, because it was virtually impossible to pick up and eat. I had to saw off pieces and use a fork to eat it. Otherwise I would have just been gnawing at the side of the burger since it was much too large to fit in a human mouth. As far as taste is concerned, the burger was nothing special… size was the only thing it had going for it. My companions also all agreed that, except for proportions, their (American-sized) meals were ordinary in every way. One of my companions ordered the “Farm Scramble” with hardwood smoked bacon, avocado, onion and Swiss, which came with crispy potatoes and the trademark Hash House A Go Go humongo-biscuit that has the better part of a rosemary branch sticking out of it. (See 1:01 in the “IT'S SO BIG! BIGGEST BREAKFAST EVER!! OMG!” video above.) I’ve never seen anyone eat more than half of one of these biscuits… they might only be for show. During this meal, I also ordered a cappuccino that tasted slightly burnt and stale and – because of it – I convinced two of my friends to order the drip coffee instead. They said the drip coffee tasted like the it had been filtered back through used coffee grounds in order to create some sort of ultra-strong coffee. (For the record, I don’t think that’s a good thing. Coffee might only be good for the breakfast shift.) The highlight of this trip was – without a doubt – the lemonade. It was tart, tangy and sweet, like good lemonade should be, and it also reinforced the idea that (non-coffee?) drinks might be the only above-average items on the menu(s.) That’s right, in case you didn't know, there are three different menus at this establishment that are all as immense and unwieldy as the food they describe. I wouldn’t be surprised if patrons regularly missed ordering things that they would have otherwise wanted because it just happened to be on the giant drink menu or the massive specials menu instead of the (also very big) regular menu. Anyway, the food was good – not great – and, aside from the lemonade, there just wasn’t anything at all that was special about the meal …or the place itself.
Hash House A Go Go serves “twisted farm food.” That’s their motto. And, based on their particular brand of “twisted,” it’s an apt description: they are the carnival sideshow of restaurants. If you believe that “size matters” and you are looking for the biggest plates of food that you will ever see in an eating establishment, then look no further, Hash House A Go Go is the place for you. Their mammoth food concoctions will most certainly impress and possibly overwhelm. (See 1:20 in the previously linked video.) Perhaps you’ve been out drinking all night with a group of friends and you either: a. desperately need to eat something, or b. want to continue drinking, then I could easily recommend Hash House A Go Go. That would be an excellent time to visit the establishment. Or maybe you just want to start your day (or night) off with some fun and drinks. An early (or, possibly, late) start at Hash House would also be a great idea. If, however, your palate is a little more discerning and you're more concerned about the taste of your food than the appearance, then you might look elsewhere for a dining experience that will satisfy you.
Reviewed Wednesday, September 8, 2010