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Posted by Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle on Saturday, April 27, 2013 2:51 AM

Borne out of a kitchen blunder, clam hash became the signature dish of Pat's Kountry Kitchen of Old Saybrook, CT (see the review, which we'll archive tomorrow). Think clam chowder without the chowder, fried up on a grill. We loved the stuff, which we always ordered well-done for a crackling-crisp crust around the steamy, briny clams and potatoes.

The country-kitschy eatery was a longtime favorite with locals and tourists alike, both for the homestyle cooking and Pat Brink's personal touch. Pat mostly retired from the restaurant a few years ago, leaving the daily operation of Pat's to her children. After 30 years in business, the Brink family closed Pat's at the end of February. The restaurant has been sold and, in May, will become an Italian/steak restaurant. It's time to leaf through our collection of Jane and Michael Stern cookbooks and finally learn how to make our own clam hash!

Source: Shoreline Times


They have, or had (in 1994), a no substitutions rule that resulted in not being able to get two eggs instead of one with the clam hash. It felt a little like a scene from Five Easy Pieces as I attempted to get the additional egg with my order, but neither our waitress nor the manager on duty would have any part of my pleas. I even tried to order a single egg on the side with my breakfast, but I was told it would amount to a substitution even if I was willing to pay extra. That was my last visit to the place. We left and drove to East Lyme to eat at The Shack.
Posted by Michael Hoffman on Saturday, Apr 27, 2013 11:03 AM

I never could understand those kind of "strict" rules and policies that some restaurants seem to have. What's the purpose other than drive people away?
Posted by Twinwillow on Saturday, Apr 27, 2013 12:55 PM

I think this usually happens when employees misunderstand house policies. We were at a hot dog shop in PA once that had locally made shoofly pie. When we asked for a slice, our server told us we couldn't have one because only the owner was allowed to cut the pie, and he was currently down the street running an errand!
Posted by Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle on Saturday, Apr 27, 2013 5:14 PM

I remember the clam hash well... the Sterns' book you want is "A Taste of America" (published in 1988, and probably long out of print), which calls it Quahog Hash.
Posted by dakmart on Sunday, Apr 28, 2013 4:50 AM

A Taste of America is a fun book and, yes, it is out of print, but plenty of used copies are available on Amazon. Quahog hash, here we come!
Posted by Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle on Sunday, Apr 28, 2013 11:28 AM

@Bruce & Susan. Just remember, don't ask for two eggs on your hash!
Posted by Twinwillow on Sunday, Apr 28, 2013 2:27 PM

We always travel with an extra egg, just in case.
Posted by Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle on Sunday, Apr 28, 2013 3:24 PM

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