Hash House A Go-Go on Sahara
Butterscotch Pecan Flapjack
Andy’s sage fried chicken benedict with fresh spinach, hardwood smoked bacon, market tomato, griddled mozzarella, chipotle cream and scrambled eggs
Buttermilk Biscuit with Peach Preserves
Hot oatmeal w/ milk & mixed fresh fruit
Having visited the Linq location during its Imperial Palace days and also partaking in early morning breakfast at The Rio during last year’s Winter Olympics a visit to West Sahara’s Hash House A Go-Go was mostly for the amusement of a well traveled guest from out of town, and with absurd portions the rule and smiling service entirely amused by my old friend’s antics one would be hard pressed to name a more appropriate experience to show what the San Diego import is all about.
Undoubtedly more “Vegasy” than its Midwestern roots or So. Cal. origins would suggest, it was just after 8:15 that we entered the sizable spot and opting to switch to a four-top after originally being seated at a two-seater it would not be long before coffee was filled for the first of several times, an enormous menu next navigated with the resultant order entailing four items – one a daily special, and the rest restaurant signatures all arriving at once to quickly flood the table.
Ever bubbly in service, with subtle pop tunes and country floating overhead, it was with great amusement that my pal bantered the server about her Energizer Bunny personality as I began to tuck in and although the oatmeal was nothing particularly special the fresh fruit and berry-streaked plate details did not go unnoticed, a little extra effort elevating an old standard while the buttermilk biscuit with housemade peach preserves remains one of the best in the city – a soft and savory center beneath a top baked golden brown.
Moving on to things more interesting, it was next in the Man vs. Food favorite of Sage Fried Chicken beneath smoky pepper cream that the meal progressed and although the heap of griddled mashed potatoes was far too much to be enjoyed in its entirety every bit of the juicy chicken, fluffy scrambled eggs, and crisp bacon was devoured by the time the meal came to an end.
Finishing the morning with a hubcap-sized pancake, equally soaked in buttermilk as the biscuit but receiving a substantial upgrade from toasted pecans and butterscotch chips, it was beneath a lacquer of butter, light whip, and brought-from-home maple syrup that a first bite was taken, and although the edges proved a bit dull when lacking all the accoutrements, the center of the flapjack was as good as any griddled novelty in Sin City, particularly at a mere $10.
FOUR STARS: Chastised by some for portions felt to be irresponsible, and reportedly varying in quality depending on kitchen staff and time of day, all three of my visits to HHaGG as well as San Diego’s Tractor Room spin-off have been memorable for not only the food but the service – a Midwestern vibe for a Midwesterner at heart, no matter what state the drivers license says.
RECOMMENDED: Flapjacks, Buttermilk Biscuits.
AVOID: Obviously going for ‘over-the-top’ I personally found the Fried Chicken benedict to be a bit overly complicated when compared to the Pounded Pork Loin version or the Chicken and Waffles, largely a result of the substantial heap of potatoes but also due to unnecessary mozzarella where a bit more acid from the tomato would have seemingly been far better placed.
TIP: Completely full with a 20+ minute line snaking out the door by 9:30 those looking to dine at the Sahara location would be best served to arrive early or at off hours on weekends, the casino locations at The Plaza, Rio, and Quad generally less crowded and a Henderson location soon to join the fray and perhaps thin the crowd more.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor