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We all toyed with the idea of ordering this joint's signature dish, sage fried chicken (it's even featured on the breakfast menu). But we figured it was a dish best shared family-style, and ultimately we all wanted different things. What we couldn't know is that each dinner could easily be shared by a family of four. I'm only half-exaggerating — and I'm seriously convinced that I could have taken the giant white china bowl that contained Dick's "Big O' Chicken Pot Pie," drilled a hole in the bottom and used it for a sink. Dick was startled by the size of the dish but underwhelmed by what it contained. Instead of a creamy chicken concoction under a flaky crust, this "pie" was actually a stew — and stingy on the chicken! — with a novelty baked-pastry "hat" stuck into it.
Renee made a better choice: roasted butternut squash stuffed with an excellent, hearty risotto and scattered with cornmeal-crusted shrimp. She took 10 bites and was full; it didn't look as if she'd even made a dent in the meal. I went for the meatloaf "stuffed" with fresh spinach, roasted peppers and a smoky mozzarella. The meaty slab rested on a pound or two of griddled mashed spuds, and everything was drenched in a supple marsala cream sauce. After a few bites, I was ready to wave the white flag, too. Bring on the carryout boxes!
Somehow Erin talked us into dessert: a hefty brick of bread pudding made with Snickers candy bars. It was pretty but oddly tasteless.
I returned on Sunday morning for a big fat breakfast with Jeanne, Roxanne and Alexandra. The plates aren't any smaller for the morning meal, nor are prices any lower. Then again, we did order a lot of stuff to pass around — including an excellent plate of thick French toast that had been dipped in banana-cinnamon cream before it hit the griddle; we slathered it in pecan maple syrup. Alexandra wouldn't share her biscuits and gravy, but I had another of those boulder-sized biscuits with my own Basic Breakfast of scrambled eggs and crispy fried potatoes (deep-fried, I think, but I was too afraid to ask).
Jeanne raved about her eggs, which were scrambled with fresh avocado, onion, Swiss cheese and bacon. Hash House A Go Go serves seven kinds of two-egg hash, including a decadent pork-tenderloin version with baby green beans, charred tomatoes and mozzarella. I think that's what the tiny, tan brunette sitting across from us was eating. She took a few bites, then had the server box up the rest.
I ate everything on my plate and some of everyone else's breakfast, too, so I wasn't hungry again until Monday. And I'd like to go back and try the fried chicken, the stuffed burgers and the fresh fruit cobbler. But after a week of eating leftover meatloaf, I'm not quite ready to confront those hubcap-sized plates again.