Corned Beef Hash at Johny’s Diner

– When Johny’s posted about their breakfast specials for the weekend, something caught my eye: Homemade Corned Beef Hash. I don’t know if you guys know this about me but I’m a hash fanatic. On our travels, if a diner lists hash you can bet your ass I’m going to get a side of it to see if it’s the crap out of a can or if it’s the real deal. Unfortunately, it’s out of the can more often than not, so when I see the good stuff I’m pretty ecstatic.


There’s a couple of places that come to mind in the area that have homemade hash like Cafe 217 and New World Bistro, but at the time Johny’s was the only straight-up diner that I knew who served it. (I was later notified by derryX that Duncan’s Diary Bar also does homemade hash as well, so I hit them up for a taste this past weekend. More on that soon).


We split the order of hash, while Elise got a breakfast wrap that was on special and I went with the All Meat omelette. The hash was without a doubt the best I’ve had from a diner in the area. Johny’s was perfectly seasoned with just the right amount of browning and crispiness, without the added pretentiousness of some of the uppity-up “brunch” places that also serve hash. This is the stuff I grew up on, but better. The corned beef is cured and ground in house, just like the sausage found in both of our main dishes is ground and seasoned in house as well. These are such simple steps to make your dishes pop I’m not sure why any diner would serve the prepackaged versions. Add on top to that some stand out cheeses in both of our meals and we left with very full bellies.


Of course no visit to Johny’s would be complete without a look at at the Burger Challenge Wall of Shame. Failing miserably at the omelette challenge is next on my radar.



Johny’s Diner (link) | 66 Central Avenue, Albany, NY 12206 (map) | All Johny’s Diner Posts

Albany, NY: Fail Times Four at Johny’s Diner [Food Challenge]

Man did we have absolutely no idea what we were up against walking into Johny’s Diner for Johny’s Giant Burger. The description seems harmless:

Triple the meat burger 1.5 full pounds of meat eight cheese slices, 1/2 pound bacon and fries

One and half pounds of burger? Half pound of bacon? Few slices of cheese? I got this. Except you don’t. First, this is the largest pound and a half of hamburger you have ever seen. (No, really. It’s a *cough cough* very generous 1.5 lbs, the kind that’s closer to 3 pounds.) And probably closer to 16 slices of cheese. Even that’s not so bad. It’s what hits you when you see the “bun”.

This is no Freihofer’s bun. Hell, I would have settle for a Mastroianni Bros or Bella Naopli bun. NOPE. This was a full sized round loaf from Price Chopper, the thick, dense, heavy kind you cut the top off of and gut to use for bread dip. Had to weigh at least a pound. And the “side” of fries? Yeah a pound of those two. I’d say you were looking at close to 5 lbs of food total here. Yikes.

You sit there the entire time, waiting, watching this monster meal grow before your eyes, step by step. I already knew I wasn’t going to finish it; this just made me want it less and less. But then you cut into the burger (to make it more manageable to pick up, obviously) and take that first bite, and it’s actually delicious. You immediately think “Man, I want to come back here for a completely normal meal!”

But give if a few and your thoughts will turn to “Dear god what have I gotten myself into.” You have a full two hours to eat the burger, but you won’t need it. The first 15 minutes, after you’ve finished your first quarter, you know you’re not going to finish it but you’re going to keep on going anyways. After the 30 minute mark, you’ve still not finished half the burger yet, and even worse, this delicious juicy burger that sat in front of you 30 minutes ago is now cold and has a genuinely off putting texture that all cold hamburger has. It’s tough to choke down, so you move to the fries. But that doesn’t help, because you know you’re not going to finish the whole thing so what’s the point of keeping on going? By the 50 minute mark, we had all admitted defeat.

I’ll be back again (soon) to try some of the interesting menu items I would have rather have had last Thursday. Breakfast sandwiches, Cuban Burger, Fried Ice Cream and the like. But I never, ever want to see Johny’s Giant Burger again.