Phaedra Cook is eating her way through Houston and counting down her 100 favorite dishes of 2015. It's a collection of personal favorites that is also indicative of Houston dining. It's a scene where a vast range of dishes coexist: highbrow and lowbrow; local and international; cheap and expensive; modern cuisine and beloved tenets -- and everything in between.
Like someone you just met at a bar, the corned beef hash at House of Pies undergoes a magical transformation. After midnight, it just seems more and more attractive.
There's a secret to ordering it, though. Tell them to "burn it" or at least make it well-done. Corned beef hash is best when it's left on the griddle until it gets a dark, crunchy crust. No one likes mushy hash.
The perfect partners are two eggs over medium (or sunny-side up, your choice), House of Pies' "cottage fries," which is the restaurant's code for "tater tots," and an English muffin. Break the egg yolks. Mix a bit with the hash and swipe up any remaining yolk with the English muffin.
In the daytime, the dish is pretty good, but after a long night out, it really hits the spot. The people-watching is outstanding, too, with a constant parade of couples, dude-bros, police officers, besties and strippers who just got off work with the guys they suckered into buying breakfast. It's a full-fledged entertainment package that will keep you coming back when you find yourself out after midnight.