There’s a little place called the Hungry Fish Cafe that popped up recently that I’ve been meaning to try. Months ago, twitter friend, Jedimama, recommended that Cassie and I check it out. That was when the cafe was in Wyantskill. It recently moved to Troy, and we finally made the trip to check it out on a Saturday, a Saturday when I was very hungry!
The interior of the cafe is cute and rustic, it almost has the old-timey feel to it. There are a few things on the counter and along the back wall that they sell that add to this feeling, as does the art on the walls.
We went for brunch, and at the time we were there, the young man who was our server told us we could order off of either the breakfast or lunch menus. This was pretty cool, but there were already two things I wanted to try on the breakfast menu.
The corned beef hash was described as “Potatoes pan fried with diced corned beef, sautéed peppers and onions then topped with two sunny eggs, served with homemade toasted rye on the side.“ The croque madame was described as “Black forest ham served open face in house Dijon cream sauce, topped with greens and two poached eggs.” There was no way I was going to be able to decide between the two, so I just ordered both. (I said I was hungry.)
I was definitely intrigued by the poached eggs on the croque madame and likewise by the sunny eggs on the corned beef hash. The latter was more of a plausible option, but the former I didn’t really understand. The idea of the egg on the croque madame is that a sunny side up egg is supposed to resemble a lady’s hat. Honestly, though, I don’t care as long as the stuff tastes good.
The one thing that is clear about the Hungry Fish Cafe is that they work hard to source from local and quality producers. They have a number of signs up with the different producers they use, and even their website has an extensive listing of these things.
At the table, there was a little pamphlet for a service called “Field Goods.”
It seems like a convenient way to get produce. It’s definitely something I want to look into.
Also at the table was a cute little napkin box that indicated that there’s special Sunday brunch available, duh, on Sundays.
After a reasonable amount of time to wait for the breakfasts we ordered, our food came out. First the croque madame was ready.
The poached egg arrived with the white partially broken. [side note: Cassie's dish also came with poached eggs, and they arrived completely hard poached; the server left it up to Cassie whether this was ok, and Cassie said it was fine. (She's nice.)] There was nothing that could have prepared me for what I was about to see when I broke the yolk of my poached egg on the croque madame.
The yolk was beautifully orange and perfectly cooked. Like honestly, I’ve never had eggs this good (and you know I am the #Eggman!). The poached egg worked so perfectly with the dijon cream sauce. The bread was homemade and was crusty and had great texture. On their own, the sauce and the bread were underseasoned, but the almost shredded ham helped to round out the flavors, while the lettuce brought some brightness. This was an impressive dish. (and I didn’t care at all that the egg wasn’t like a lady’s hat!)
Shortly after I started on that dish, the corned beef hash arrived. I was already aware of how astonished I would be when I saw the sunny eggs, but nothing could have prepared me for what I was about to see as far as the size of the portion goes.
The portion was gigantic! There was easily 18 oz of corned beef hash under those eggs, and the rye bread slices were thick, crusty, and delicious. The hash wasn’t perfect. It seemed like the dish was relying on the salt from the corned beef to balance it out. Unfortunately, there were a lot of potatoes, and the corned beef was nowhere near the ratio there would need to be to flavor the potatoes. Peppers in corned beef hash is also a dangerous path to go down because the flavor starts to take over pretty easily, and that definitely happened here. Again, the eggs on this dish were spectacular. To be able to get such a hefty portion of homemade corned beef hash with such great eggs and such big slices of toast for $8 seems too good to be true! But it is!
I very much enjoyed brunch that morning, and am looking forward to returning to try the Scotch Eggs.
On the way out, I asked if the owner, Sarah Fish, was there. She and I recently became Facebook friends, and I wanted to meet her to let her know I thought she has a nice place and good food. She was so nice! We chatted for a couple of moments about how I found out about her place, and she was even nice enough to let me try an experimental bread that she had baked; it had some R&G Cheesemakers blue cheese and chive butter baked into it. So good!
The Hungry Fish Cafe is definitely a cute little place to visit for brunch and more.