Guilty Pleasures

Breakfast Lasagna at the Hash Kitchen is Drunk Food at Its Best

The Guilty Pleasure: Breakfast lasagna
Where to Get It: The Hash Kitchen
Price: $14
What it Really Costs: Your ability hereafter to enjoy lasagna without a side of bacon.

You've heard of eating breakfast for dinner. But what about eating dinner for breakfast? If your morning cravings lean toward the savory, ultra-hearty breakfast plate, permit us to introduce you to breakfast lasagna.

This carby, cheesy breakfast dish is a house specialty at the Hash Kitchen, which just opened its second Scottsdale location this week. The popular breakfast parlor has earned a following among local brunch aficionados, thanks to its creative and slightly over-the-top brunch menu.

For health-minded diners with indomitable self-control, the Hash Kitchen offers light options like fruit and steel-cut oats. For the rest of us, there are items like breakfast Popsicles, s'mores-inspired pancakes, mimosa flights, and a build-your-own Bloody bar that's so well-stocked and boozy, it would fit right into a baroque Vegas buffet.

When it comes to brunch, that annoying catchphrase oft-sputtered by reality show contestants — go big or go home — seems kind of fitting. It's generally understood that brunch is a judgment-free eating zone, one increasingly geared toward gastronomical self-indulgence. But brunch was never really a very dignified affair. By most historical accounts, brunch evolved as a means to help ease hungover human vampires back into a fully hydrated and conscious state. The good people at the Hash Kitchen understand the meaning and history of brunch and have devised their menu accordingly.

So, there is breakfast lasagna, a dish that tastes pretty good stone-cold sober, but also befitting of your worst Sunday morning hangover.

The dish oozes molten-hot curdles of ricotta and melted mozzarella, and it glistens with the buttery sheen of béchamel sauce. Underneath its creamy, cheesy veneer, you'll find a couple of fried eggs, plus two thick-cut strips of bacon, which protrude from the muddle of melted cheese and sauce like two floppy bacon tongues. Underneath all that, the dish is crammed with a thick and meaty Italian sausage ragu, which is layered between delicate lasagna noodles.

Altogether, the dish tastes as buttery and cheesy as you would imagine, with measured blasts of salt and fat from the bacon and sausage. It's the kind of enticing and ultra-rich dish that feels like it could raise the dead — or at least help you forget you ever had a hangover.

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Patricia Escárcega was Phoenix New Times' food critic.