If I had to sum up my father’s entire life into one epic, sweeping goal, it was this: To find the ultimate hand-cut, perfectly flattop-crusted Corned Beef Hash. How happy he would be, then, to see that Hot Suppa delivers 100% in this regard. Word is traveling fast, too; Bon Appetit called the Corned Beef Hash at Hot Suppa “Portland’s best breakfast dish.” They take the element of corned beef hash that everyone loves, that crusty outer layer, and manage to extend it throughout the dish, a combination of hand-cut potatoes, carrots and onions, and piles of house-made shredded corned beef. Add a side of hash browns, and you’ll find that crusty exterior extended over the whole plate, into one giant, beautifully crunchy layer of hot, meaty mashed deliciousness; add a couple of poached eggs and a hit of Sriracha, and you’ve got a hangover cure AND a guaranteed afternoon nap on one perfect plate.
Hot Suppa has also recently started offering alcoholic beverages at breakfast; the “Cajun Bloody Marys” are terrifically spicy and potent. Because their new liquor license still has its sheen, be sure to bring some identification…you will be flatly denied service, should you not be able to produce proof of age.
The specials board contains some treasures, from specialty bacons-of-the-day, to diabolical breakfast concoctions that will instantly put a smile on your face, not to mention give you the gout. Beef brisket eggs Benedict? Shrimp and grits? This is “one meal per day” eating. Finish the plate, and the only place you’ll be going is back to bed.
If you can rally for lunch, Hot Suppa has some tasty options there, as well. The “Hot Suppa Double Double” burger consistently makes the “Best Burger Roundup” lists in Portland, and the consideration is deserved: this burger is a fast food-style burger done right, with two thinnish burger patties, pleasingly shellacked with dual layers of melted American cheese, caramelized onions, and a few slices of pickle. Dipped directly into ketchup, the Double Double is burger heaven.
Hot Suppa’s list of side dishes are impressive as well, including Fried Green Tomatoes, Macaroni and Cheese, and Baked Beans. Hot Suppa is proud enough of their sides, in fact, that a lunchtime option is to build an entire meal out of sides, for a flat price. It’s a perfect option for those days were you can’t seem to satisfy the hungover monster in your stomach.
Open for breakfast and lunch, but not actually “Suppa,” a fact that my 11-year-old nephew finds hilarious and fascinating, you may hit a bit of a wait on the weekends. The tables turn quickly, though, and seeing the smiling, satisfied faces on their way out inspire you to wait just a little longer. Hot Suppa has emerged, in our brief time in Portland, as our favorite place to bring out-of-town guests for a cozy, bleary-eyed breakfast.
Update 5/1/17: Hot Suppa is now open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Hot Suppa! 703 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04102. hotsuppa.com.