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Actual corned beef hash

Mama Kat’s is busy for a reason

Well-cooked chunks of corned beef
Well-cooked chunks of corned beef
Place

Mama Kat’s Restaurant

950 W. San Marcos Boulevard, San Marcos

I’m a sucker for corned beef hash. I constantly order it, and I’m constantly disappointed. It’s offered on menus in breakfast diners all over the country, and I feel like I’ve tried them all. Sometimes it’s boring and bland, sometimes it’s mushy, sometimes I’m pretty sure they just heated up something out of a can. I should have given up ordering it a long time ago, but it always sounds delicious to my empty morning belly.

Mama Kat’s

Enter San Marcos. I’m rarely there for breakfast, but when I’ve met North County friends for brunch they’ve always suggested Mama Kat’s. It would seem other peoples’ friends are doing the same, because although it’s a fairly spacious restaurant, there’s often a wait.

It’s the kind of spot The Simpsons’ Moe Szyslak would describe as having “a whole lot of crazy crap on the walls.” The décor includes vintage advertising signs, antique kitchen tools, and smirky notices such as “Sorry…yesterday was the deadline for all complaints” and my favorite, “For those who feel the need to haggle, we will gladly raise the price so we can give you a discount.”

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Uncle Moe’s

Discounts aren’t all that necessary. Prices are fairly standard for this sort of breakfast destination, usually between 8 and 14 dollars. Right at the very top of the menu, that corned beef hash is listed at $12. What’s a sucker to do?

Okay, I’ve considered biscuits and gravy, the cinnamon roll French toast, or simply a slice of pie (the diner’s other specialty). Frankly, if I lived closer, I would hightail it back there each weekend to delve into these things.

But the corned beef hash hasn’t let me down. While the potatoes are tender, they don’t take on the overcooked mushy quality that I’ve notice with so many hash failures. Neither are they overly greasy. But the key here is the corned beef — actual corned beef, baked first and cut into dice-sized cubes. These give you something to chew on while the potatoes cut the salty cured flavor.

I usually go for an over easy egg with my hash, but this time I opted for poached because I wanted the yolk runny and the egg whites soft as could be. Choosing biscuits here is a no brainer — they’re as fluffy as I’ve had in San Diego. A cup of coffee made with beans from longtime Carlsbad roaster La Costa Coffee completed the meal.

Little wonder this place fills up. Rumor is, the owners will soon knock down one of those kitschy walls to expand their dining room into the suite next door, where they currently have a retro arcade and gift shop selling coffee, sauces, and some of the house-made jams that worked so well on the biscuits. I’m sure it won’t be long before that extra space fills up, too.

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Well-cooked chunks of corned beef
Well-cooked chunks of corned beef
Place

Mama Kat’s Restaurant

950 W. San Marcos Boulevard, San Marcos

I’m a sucker for corned beef hash. I constantly order it, and I’m constantly disappointed. It’s offered on menus in breakfast diners all over the country, and I feel like I’ve tried them all. Sometimes it’s boring and bland, sometimes it’s mushy, sometimes I’m pretty sure they just heated up something out of a can. I should have given up ordering it a long time ago, but it always sounds delicious to my empty morning belly.

Mama Kat’s

Enter San Marcos. I’m rarely there for breakfast, but when I’ve met North County friends for brunch they’ve always suggested Mama Kat’s. It would seem other peoples’ friends are doing the same, because although it’s a fairly spacious restaurant, there’s often a wait.

It’s the kind of spot The Simpsons’ Moe Szyslak would describe as having “a whole lot of crazy crap on the walls.” The décor includes vintage advertising signs, antique kitchen tools, and smirky notices such as “Sorry…yesterday was the deadline for all complaints” and my favorite, “For those who feel the need to haggle, we will gladly raise the price so we can give you a discount.”

Video:

Uncle Moe’s

Discounts aren’t all that necessary. Prices are fairly standard for this sort of breakfast destination, usually between 8 and 14 dollars. Right at the very top of the menu, that corned beef hash is listed at $12. What’s a sucker to do?

Okay, I’ve considered biscuits and gravy, the cinnamon roll French toast, or simply a slice of pie (the diner’s other specialty). Frankly, if I lived closer, I would hightail it back there each weekend to delve into these things.

But the corned beef hash hasn’t let me down. While the potatoes are tender, they don’t take on the overcooked mushy quality that I’ve notice with so many hash failures. Neither are they overly greasy. But the key here is the corned beef — actual corned beef, baked first and cut into dice-sized cubes. These give you something to chew on while the potatoes cut the salty cured flavor.

I usually go for an over easy egg with my hash, but this time I opted for poached because I wanted the yolk runny and the egg whites soft as could be. Choosing biscuits here is a no brainer — they’re as fluffy as I’ve had in San Diego. A cup of coffee made with beans from longtime Carlsbad roaster La Costa Coffee completed the meal.

Little wonder this place fills up. Rumor is, the owners will soon knock down one of those kitschy walls to expand their dining room into the suite next door, where they currently have a retro arcade and gift shop selling coffee, sauces, and some of the house-made jams that worked so well on the biscuits. I’m sure it won’t be long before that extra space fills up, too.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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