My First Full English Breakfast

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My favorite weekend breakfasts usually have some kind of balance of savory and sweet. A pile of pancakes here, a strip of bacon there, some eggs for good measure. Rarely have I ever craved a big plate of meat-products with eggs on the side. Recently, though, I found myself at brunch at The Breslin on 29th street and there on the menu was a “Full English Breakfast” for $23. Pricey, for sure–in fact it’s the priciest thing on the brunch menu–but suddenly I was intrigued. “What is a full English breakfast, anyway?”

Turns out a full English breakfast is, in fact, a big plate of meat-products with eggs on the side (it’s often called a “fry-up”). At The Breslin, which is helmed by the brilliant April Bloomfield, each of those meat products is prepared with lots love and care.

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The sausage, which you can’t really see at the top of the plate, was my favorite part. Super flavorful with garlic and lots of salt, it was clearly house-made and one of the best sausages I’ve ever had. The bacon was also superior-quality bacon, rendered just enough so there was some firmness, but it wasn’t crispy bacon. It was almost like bacon prosciutto.

The most challenging bit was the circular disc you see at the center: blood pudding.

I’m not squeamish when it comes to stuff like that (I eat liver and I’ve eaten heart) but it took me a moment to get used to the texture. The outside had a nice sear on it, but the inside was disturbingly grainy. The flavor was certainly offal-rich. I’ll be honest: I didn’t finish it.

But I ate everything else, including the intensely sweet roasted tomatoes and the earthy, magnificently prepared mushrooms. The eggs too.

Am I a full English breakfast convert? I am not: I still prefer a little of this and that rather than a lot of just that (that being MEAT). But if you want a lot of “just that,” The Breslin’s the place to get it. You may even start speaking with an English accent, ol’ chap.

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