There's only one way we want to kick off St. Patrick's Day — corned beef hash. But which approach to take: traditional or inventive?
Bonbon Pastry & Cafe's deconstructed corned beef hash ($13) will surprise you when it comes out of the kitchen. It all starts with carrots, parsnips and turnips bound together with mashed potatoes topped with sauteed mushrooms, peppers, onions and Brussels sprouts. Next to it you'll find house-cured and braised corned beef. "Some people will braise corned beef all the way until it falls apart," says head chef Ryan Crow. "If you braise it to a point where it's still one piece and then slice it, it becomes more palatable and easier to eat." The dish is finished with two eggs and a baguette and will leave other diners green with envy. 2549 Lorain Ave., Cleveland, 216-459-9225, bonboncleveland.com
A day steeped in customs should be celebrated with the classics. Enter Big Al's Diner. Its corned beef hash ($8.75) is a hearty plateful of house-brined brisket mixed with potatoes and green peppers, two eggs and toast. We suggest ordering the eggs over easy — so the yolk oozes into the crispy hash — and rye toast to help corral the perfect bite onto your fork. Michael Symon gushed about Big Al's cooked-to-order hash on Food Network's The Best Thing I Ever Ate, which general manager Amy Blatnica says sent the already popular dish into new territory. "People who normally weren't hash eaters are now hash eaters," she says. 12600 Larchmere Blvd., Cleveland, 216-791-8550