For breakfast on Friday – the fest was scheduled to start on Friday night – I wanted something yummy. My go-to place for breakfast when I’m in the Bay Area is The Country Way, but that’s in Fremont near San Jose and my day’s agenda did not include going that far for breakfast (I had a full day of shopping ahead of me! and eating, lots of eating). So I harassed the concierge of Hotel Vitale until he stopped naming all the places the tourists hit (which I knew from Googling for SF breakfast/brunch spots) and told me in a hushed voice, “Well, where I go for brunch when I don’t have to work is Ella’s. Let me call to see if they serve breakfast on weekdays.”
Punching the address into the GPS, finding parking, I was starving and dying to see what Ella’s was about. I was pleased to see that despite the hour (about 10ish on a Friday morning), it was busy though not packed to where I couldn’t get a seat. (I lucked out; I overheard the waitress tell someone that a party of 10 was about to come in so I got there just in time to avoid that.)
I did see something… interesting on the bottom of the menu. 4% healthcare service chareg will be added to all transactions. Hmmm. Now, I try very hard to keep my politics off this blog – this isn’t the place – but I have to ask how you feel about this, regardless of your stance on universal health care. If it’s state-imposed, I feel kind of funny paying for something like this. If it’s by the restaurant, I’m a little more comfortable, though either way, it feels like political agendas are being pushed on me both as a non-CA resident and as a random restaurant goer. I don’t know. In the end, they break it out on the bill to show how much it is, and it was only 50c, so I’m not all bent out of shape over that. I’m happy that the servers there get healthcare (I hope that’s what this means). But I think I’d rather they build in that 4% into the prices of each dish instead of doing it this way…
Back to the food, the whole purpose you’re here! My yummy orange juice.
My view into the kitchen from where I sat at the bar. I watched them prepping items for later in the day and making fresh biscuits, bread, etc. Looked and smelled awesome from where I sat.
*Funny note, while I sat there, a woman was walking around taking photographs with a professional camera. She even stood on a chair to get a shot of the dining room. I actually kept ducking my head because I did NOT want to be in ANY photos, so I was a bit perturbed that she didn’t ask or anything. I’m not sure if the restaurant had hired her (since they saw her and helped her with finding a chair to stand on at one point, and let her into the kitchen area to photograph the workers)… but I thought that was very odd she didn’t ask permission of anyone to take photographs. Are they just that more laidback in CA? Maybe it wasn’t for print purposes? I’d be really annoyed if I were a patron who found a photograph of herself online somewhere down the line without granting my permission…
(I realize the irony of this since I just posted a photograph above of one of the kitchen staff, and I certainly did not ask his permission to do so, even if the photo is super-blurry. He did see me taking the photo, and smiled at me, so I’ll take that as permission. Of course, if he happens to see this and wants me to take it down, I will happily oblige [and/or blur out his face and/or cut his part of the photo out].)
Back to food… what I ordered? Oh, corned beef hash and poached eggs. The poached egg was alright. I’m going back to fried. Hahaha. (That’s the egg in the top right dish.) I have to take a moment, before I get to the main event, to rave rave RAVE about that biscuit. Oh my heavenly biscuit. I want that every morning for the rest of my life. Fluffy. Delicate. Delicious. Awesome. AMAZING with a swipe of that super soft creamery butter. NOMMY. AHHHHHHHH!
But. Even more rave-worthy. Oh my friggin’ gawd. Can you see that? Is this picture clear enough for you? (My hands were shaking because I was so excited to dig in.)
That is chunks, actual chunks of corned beef, a real corned beef ‘roast’ or whatever you call it… sliced up and tossed with potatoes and onions and that is corned beef hash at Ella’s.
I’ll say it again.
Now, I knew this existed, if only in people’s home kitchens. SkippyMom mentioned to me once doing this with her St. Patty’s Day leftovers. (Do you know this year I didn’t get corned beef on St. Patty’s Day because I was meatless at the time?!) But it never occurred to me that a restaurant might do this. Oh my goodness. OH MY GOODNESS. Can you feel my excitement remembering this meal???
Each chunk of corned beef, tender to the touch, but crisp on the outside from pan frying. Potatoes melting in my mouth with a good bite. Onions playing along side with its own burst of alium goodness. Oh myyyyyyyy.
This is the corned beef of my dreams now. This is what I long for when I want corned beef. This is where I’ll be next trip to SF, for breakfast. This, my friends, is love. Fatty pieces of brisket, leaner pieces, all melding together to form the holy union of love in my mouth. Sure, I poked open my egg yolk over the top, and that was yummy goodness, but totally unnecessary, just extra wonderful. The ‘hash’ alone was just. amazing.
I wish you could see my face right now. I’m tearing from joy, desire, longing.
You will be mine, again, corned beef hash from Ella’s. You will be mine.
Until we meet again, Ella.
Yvo says: For the biscuit alone, I will return. For the corned beef hash, I would cross a desert on foot and force myself not to give into dehydration… just for a taste of that succulent corned beef hash. My. Word. *swoon* I’m dreaming of it already. Mmm…
(PS With a generous tip, the total came to $19. The healthcare charge was broken out on the bill and it came to 52c.)
highly recommended corned beef hash