Breakfast of (hurling) champions
by Stephen Heuser
The Full Irish Breakfast, a meal always served in a bar and available almost
exclusively on weekends, is one of those food traditions so calorically
prodigious that you need a good hangover just to reconcile yourself to eating
it. The building blocks are eggs, rasher bacon, black pudding, white pudding,
and the peculiar bready sausage endemic to the British Isles. When you consider
that black and white puddings are also kinds of sausage (blood and liver,
respectively), you get a sense of the conflict faced by my friend Jeffrey, who
is both a deep Hibernophile and a committed vegetarian.
This year I had time for only one FIB before the deadline for our St. Pat's
issue snuck up on me, so I dropped in on the Irish Embassy, a bar in Bulfinch
Triangle that also serves as a hostel for recent arrivals and a magnet for
soccer fans. At 12:30 on a Sunday afternoon, after a nightmare hunt for
parking, I settled in with the Times and a highly non-vegetarian friend.
The bar was almost empty. (Saturdays, when the BBC Match of the Day beams in,
the place is packed.) Breakfast hour was just ending, but we prevailed upon our
rather intractable waitress to bring us coffee and two fabulous plates of fried
ex-livestock. The plates brimmed with shimmery soft-cooked fried eggs, two
slices of clove-y black pudding, two slices of fine golden-fried white pudding,
generous slabs of rasher bacon, and the classic wrinkly sausages. Plus, a pile
of Americanized peel-on wedge fries and two slices of griddle-fried tomato. It
was worth the trouble. It was almost worth the hangover.
Irish breakfast, $6.95, served Saturday and Sunday from about 10 a.m.
to about 12:30 p.m. at the Irish Embassy, 234 Friend Street (North
Station), Boston. Opening hours vary according to soccer broadcasts. Call (617)
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