17 March 2008

brian boru’s st. patrick’s day breakfast

dining date: 03.17.08
eatery: brian boru on center street
pricing category: reasonably priced...but only if you’re paying in pounds
guest critic: green eggs & sam
overall grade: C-

the lowdown:
- definitely an experience...a live band, green costumes everywhere, and extreme alcohol consumption -- all at 8:30 in the morning. if you weren’t irish already, this atmosphere would sure make you wish that you were.

- we’ve eaten dinner here before, so we do know that there is real silverware on site...so not sure what the plastic utensils were all about.

- we wish there had been lucky charms cereal on the menu. they probably would have made a killing with that.

the food

the benny girl
- breakfast sandwich (egg and cheese on a bulky roll), french fries, and guinness
- grade: C-

"let me start this review by saying that st. patty’s day is my very favorite holiday. i’m irish. okay, and scottish, english, german, and italian...but on march 17th, i celebrate that 1/8 of my blood that runs green. in spite of my love for this holiday, i’d never actually partaken in the traditional "guinness and eggs" breakfast that happens in a couple of eateries in town. when trying to choose between the various restaurants, i suggested going with the place that only serves breakfast on that one specific day. you know how they say that hindsight is 20/20? well, turns out that when in doubt, bypass the "once in a year" opportunity and opt for the place that actually has 365 days of practice in serving irish food. so i’d like to take this opportunity to publicly apologize to my fellow The Breakfast Club members, because i was the one pushing for us to go to boru. let me clarify. if you’re going only for the experience, then boru definitely gets an A+. it was unbelievably festive and the live music was great. and when else can you see people downing pints of guinness on their way to the office? but if you’re going for the food, then you should just eat guinness for breakfast. all the food was pre-made, so there were no options or substitutions. and when i say ’options,’ i mean you don’t even get to decide how you want your eggs cooked and you can’t add meat to your egg sandwich or even get it as a side dish. not too impressed with that. but i was even less impressed when i saw those rules come to life on the plate in front of me. ’pre-made’ clearly means ’stone cold.’ the egg and yellow slice of cheese were hard and solidified on a dry bun and it came with a side of french fries. (sidenote, after this breakfast sandwich and the one at vaughan street, i will NEVER get another egg sandwich on a bulky roll again). the guiness was good though. i mean, i guess if you’re comparing this breakfast to what you’d get in ireland, then it was pretty much on the mark. that’s why i was drunk the entire time i was in that country."

the usual
- "breakfast sandwich," fries, coffee and guinness
- grade: D

"so benny girl forced me to get up earlier on my day off than i do any other day of the week. apparently that’s how committed to breakfast i am. and st patrick’s day. i’m not irish, and to be honest, guinness isn’t my favorite beer. anyway, i went. of the TWO options presented on the menu, i went with the egg sandwich. irish breakfast is pretty much out if you don’t eat meat. plus the egg sandwich was much more reasonably priced at $5, seven bucks less than the irish meat plate. while i waited for them to give my meal a ten second nuke, i tried to reassure my stomach that it was completely fine with drinking beer and coffee simultaneously at 8:30 am on a monday...the food came. you know how it was: the hard overly bready roll, the cold egg slab. the solidified AMERICAN cheese, the golden FRENCH fries sitting awkwardly nearby, wondering, like myself, what time of day it was. i choked down most of the sandwich, some of the fries, all the while dreaming of rira, where everyone was probably dining on warm, steaming eggs cooked however they wanted them and dipping actual homefries in ketchup. and for that authentic st pattie’s day experience, i’m sure you can get guinness there too."

wild toast
- the "irish breakfast," consisting of eggs, toast, french fries, black & white pudding, rashers, sausage, coffee, and guinness
-grade: C

"so i should have painted myself green, or at the very least worn shamrock socks and doused myself in chromium man-scent. i was clearly undergreen. wearing a green shirt and green hoody was just enough not to get pinched, but still i felt like deformed 2 leaf clover in comparison to the colorfully green commotion that was brian boru at 8:30 am on st. patty’s day. hearing tales of hour-long waits for my authentic morning serving of guinness, we were pleasantly surprised when our guest reviewer had already situated himself at a table in the back of the first floor. so we were quickly served our guinness and coffee in paper cups (the first for a sit down breakfast, but its obviously not an every morning affair here at boru so i guess i’ll let that slide) in addition to the paper cups we were generously provided individually plastic wrapped plastic utensils, which hits close to home as my parents’ wedding "silver" was lovely plastic wear, some 30 years ago. unlike my parents’ diesel plastic ware, what i was provided with bent in half every time i tried to saw through a sausage link. which brings me to a crucial point of my review: what i ate. well, it being st. patty’s i had to go with the classic irish breakfast. and classic it was – authentically poor quality. there were no options in terms of how things were cooked, and there were really no awesome aspects of this meal, outside of the atmosphere of business-suit clad men downing a pint on their way to work, and the cheering and hum of music from upstairs. i mean, the guinness was good, and now i know that its probably the best beer option for 8:30 in the morning, certainly better than drinking a tall boy, which regretfully i know for a fact thanks to the morning after playing naked frisbee with many drunken and rambunctious friends…i could go on, but for the sake of all involved i won’t...so anyway, i was served french fries, that if you cut into small pieces sorta resembled homefries, and one half piece of toast, which was amusing. the black and white puddings were um…uninspiring? and the sausages, and bacon were totally awesome, if they could have been warm… at any rate, it was one meal out of my life, and it was an experience. the atmosphere itself was entertaining, so that’s good…right?"

green eggs and sam
"many apologies for my belated report to The Breakfast Club who so generously allowed me into their inner sanctum. [NOTE: this particular review was written after the fact]. i can only say this much: the secret society of The Breakfast Club is every bit as cloak-and-dagger as i had envisioned; so don’t be fooled, if you attempt to learn their secrets, they WILL kill you. D-E-A-D. my sad excuse for being so late is that two days after said breakfast i took a trip to the netherlands, catching a deadly bird virus on the airplane, and subsequently spent the following three-four weeks with a fever of a hundred and nine. seriously, if not for the marijuana tea, i don’t think I would have made it. my other excuse is that the breakfast itself was rather unremarkable. but, having spent a semester abroad in ireland, i was prepared for an unremarkable breakfast. chips (as in french fries) instead of home fries, canadian bacon (which in my opinion does not deserve the name bacon) instead of bacon bacon, beans, various sausages, runny eggs, all prepared with what i could only describe as indifference to flavor or heat. in that sense, the breakfast was authentic. what surprised me most (other than the lack of actual silverware) was that the bar did not smell like vomit - which is what usually deters me from eating lunch in-doors at boru. don’t get me wrong, i like the place, i’m a regular - i love their deck in the summertime and all the great local bands at night - but it IS a bar and usually smells like one. which brings me to my next point: i think the experience would have been much improved had we been able to get a seat upstairs, where it was strangely sunny, the band was playing, and the mood was becoming raucous to the point where you realized why they don’t give anyone real knives. i have no idea who the band was or where their fiddle player came from, but he looked like a cast member from ’gangs of new york’ - and he could play the fiddle while eating bangers and mash - truly a rare talent. in the end, i was not disappointed. clearly, the patty day breakfast at boru’s is more like a corporate picnic - a thinly veiled excuse to drink beer instead of work. which is a-ok with me."

1 comment:

The Breakfast Club said...

NOTE: Since this review was written, Boru started serving brunch every Sunday...so it's not just on St. Patty's Day. I (The Benny Girl) have had breakfast there before, and can't say that it's much better than on St. Patty's Day. But we're firm believers in our fans forming their own opinions, so you'll have to try it and see for yourselves. But now you don't have to wait until March 17th to do so.

(Oh, one perk to the Boru brunch...they have VERY cheap mimosas, bloodies and Guinness all day long!)