A shiny desert oasis full of strippers and slot machines, Las Vegas is a city known for excess. In Vegas, bigger is better. Yard-long drinks. Sky-scraping hotels. Back-breaking fake breasts. Wallet-destroying prices. You get the picture.

Also known for excess: Hash House A Go Go. When I told Eick I was going to Vegas, he immediately recommended this place, citing the enormous portions and flavor. I had no idea what I was getting us into.

I had never heard of HHAGG before, but it seems to be a pretty well-known spot, garnering coverage from The New York Post, Martha Stewart, Adam Richman of Man vs. Food, and Dr. Phil. It has also racked up a number of awards, mostly for its breakfast offerings.

We awoke Friday morning after a night of who knows what, probably some sort of first-night-in-Vegas shenanigans. I seem to recall a couple of yard-longs and losing money at blackjack, but that’s beside the point. It was a rude awakening because one of us must have drunkenly set the alarm to 9:00 AM. There was a lot of groaning and pleading to the alarm for mercy before I finally found the ‘off’ button. The three of us decided a headache like this required a large, unhealthy breakfast, and I knew the perfect place.

After a quick check of Google Maps, we found that HHAGG is located at the shit-hole better known as the Imperial Palace, which is right across the Strip from The Mirage, where we were staying. Of course, in Vegas, right across the street means a 15-minute walk. I assured the others that this would be worth it.

Luck would have it that the Imperial Palace is currently undergoing construction and really hard to get into. Once inside, it took a lot of staircases, elevators, escalators, and wondering where the fuck we were before finally reaching our delectable destination. We were surprised to find a crowd of about 50 people waiting to get in, but more surprised to find that the wait would be a mere 20-30 minutes. At this point we were starving, but once again I assured my friends that it would be worth it.

I would describe the restaurant’s decor as ‘funky.’ Most of it involves pigs and tractors and farm things, which is right in line with their slogan, “Twisted Farm Food.” There’s even a large pig statue in the waiting area. As for the overall atmosphere, it’s pretty laid back. The waitstaff is young, friendly, and helpful. Also, the music is very loud.

Anyway, eventually we were seated and promptly ordered three large glasses of orange juice, a breakfast essential. The menu includes a bevy of bevvies (with collectible glasses!), but I decided it was too early to start drinking again.

The breakfast menu consists of hashes, scrambles, benedicts, flapjacks and waffles, among other things. It also has something called O’Hare of the dog, which is a Budweiser tallboy in a paper bag and a plate of bacon. Fantastic. In the end, despite all of the elaborate dishes, two of us, myself included, went with the Tractor Driver Combo: “Two Eggs w/ bacon sausage or potatoes with HH signature flapjack vanilla waffle or griddled french toast.” Scrambled, sausage, and french toast for me. Side of potatoes, too. The third friend ambitiously decided on the pork benny. Just the description scares me: “Crispy hand hammered pork tenderloin w/ market yellow tomato, spinach, bar b’ que cream and topped w/ scrambled eggs, served on a fresh split biscuit with griddled mashed potatoes.” Yikes.

As we waited, we saw a few orders of HHAGG’s most famous dish, Sage Fried Chicken & Waffles, go by. I think it might be the tallest breakfast item I’ve ever seen. It’s a stack of four waffle squares and two pieces of fried chicken. One lady near us ordered it, and when it got there she cowered in disbelief and shrieked, “I SURRENDER!!” OK, that didn’t happen. But it should have.

After about 15 minutes, the pork benny arrived. We were shocked at its enormity – this was no ordinary eggs benedict. It took my friend about 5 minutes to decide how to tackle this bad boy. It was so impressive that the only picture I took on our three day extravaganza was of that dish. Not the Bellagio fountain, the volcano at the Mirage, or the view from our room. No. The eggs benedict. What you see in the picture is a huge piece of hammered and fried pork tenderloin, probably bigger than a human head. On top of that, you have some scrambled eggs and gravy. Below the pork, there are two, TWO biscuits with tomato and spinach on them. And all of this is on a hefty bed of skin-on mashed potatoes. He didn’t even eat half of it.

Shortly after that mountain of a breakfast descended upon our table, the rest of the food showed up. I was surprised to find that my French toast was not ordinary, although in retrospect I should’ve expected something different. I guess I didn’t read the menu closely enough. This French toast was “dipped in banana cinnamon cream” and topped with “pecan maple syrup,” as well as a split banana.

Because I have OCD, I always eat the eggs first. The reason is that I don’t like syrup getting on my eggs, so I get those out of the way. I’m strange like that. These eggs were average, maybe a little wet for my taste but whatever. Then I tried some potatoes, of which they brought me a whole bowl. They were very crispy and well-seasoned, and probably my favorite part of the meal. Then there were the two sausage links, which I also quite liked. They were plump and juicy.

Finally I dug in to the French toast. I elected to move the banana slices off to the side, but the flavor still remained. Cinnamon flavor was strong, which is always good. The toast was very thick, but it had one problem – when I got to the middle, it was very soggy. The gloopy texture was not pleasant. Overall, the French toast missed the mark for me, thanks to the pervasive banana flavor and soggy middle. I should’ve had the giant pancake, damn it!

When the check came, it was something in the $60-65 range. More than your average breakfast spot, but not bad considering the amount of food we received. After eating a meal that large, we decided we had to sit down for a while, and where better to do that than a blackjack table? I, of course, lost money, while the others came out ahead. Thanks a lot, Vegas.

In all, I would say I had a positive experience at Hash House A Go Go and I would definitely go back. My French toast was unsatisfactory, but I won’t blame HHAGG for my persnickety eating habits. From what I could tell, the others enjoyed their food quite a bit. None of us even got close to finishing our meals, so next time I’ll keep that in mind and maybe share. So if you’re ever in Vegas looking for some interesting and delicious food, no matter what time of day, check out Hash House A Go Go. You won’t regret it.

In closing, I would like to welcome in the college football season by sharing with you a video from your 2012 National Champions, the Oregon Ducks:


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