Corned beef hash is one of those comfort foods everyone loves to eat when a leisurely breakfast is on the agenda.
A recent suggestion from a Patch user sought to establish which of the fine breakfast eateries in our two communities serve the best hash. So, with hearty appetites and scoring sheets worthy of an Iron Chef competition, the Tiverton-Little Compton Patch Tasting Team set out on their mission.
Over the last two weekends, the team of three tasted their way from North Tiverton to the Four Corners district to the Little Compton Commons to Adamsville, in search of the tastiest corned beef hash. It wasn’t easy.
Some people like canned hash, while others like the made-from-scratch variety. People have a preference for corned beef hash, roast beef or other meats in their hash, such as chourico, the Portuguese pork sausage. Still, others like to have poached eggs over the hash, with the yolk melting into the hash, while some like their eggs separate.
But no matter what the meat, what the extras, what the regional or international variations or the nature of the preparation, nearly everyone likes hash.
In a tight race and by unanimous vote, the winner of the “Best Corned Beef Hash in Tiverton and Little Compton” contest was - The Barn in Adamsville.
When ordering, the server indicated their hash “starts with a base, and then they (the chefs) add lots of stuff to it.”
“We bake the hash, which renders the fat and also enhances the flavor of the vegetables,” said Head Chef John Dexter. “It’s consistently been a popular seller.”
He has been with The Barn for over 13 years.
The Barn, which has been in business for over 20 years, was purchased by business partners Melissa Wordell and Katie Madden three years ago.
“We love it,” Wordell said of owning the restaurant. She noted they were fortunate The Barn had an established clientele and she said they were happy to be able to retain Dexter and his staff when they took over the restaurant.
The Barn is located at 15 Main Street in the Adamsville section of Little Compton. The restaurant is open seven days a week, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., offering a full breakfast menu and daily specials.
And make sure you try the hash, which has carrots, onions, peppers and other secret ingredients.
When dining, be aware there are some variations of the traditional hash, which actually have names. “Red flannel” hash is hash with beets. “Calico” hash includes turnips, carrots, cabbage, beets, and raw onion. Also, “Green Mountain” hash is made with ground beef instead of corned beef.
Various online resources say to make a “hash” of something is to throw something together, usually leftovers. Here in New England, a lot of leftovers come from a boiled dinner. Hash is also a term for any mixture of finely chopped ingredients.
Some sources state that hash dates back to colonial America, while others say it started in the early 20th century when families needed to stretch their funds to put food on the table. Still, other sources say hash has ancient European origins.