Getting the Full (Yes, Full) English Breakfast at Brooklyn’s Black Horse Tavern


When New York magazine published a photo of what it labeled an English breakfast without fried bread, beans, or black pudding, The Guardian‘s Tim Hayward got his panties in a bundle. The carb-less plate caused him to huff:

The nation that convinced itself that Bernie Madoff should be put in charge of money, that George W Bush was an acceptable choice for leader and that Gordon Ramsay was worth importing, pumping full of wrinkle-busting collagen and putting on their TVs has severed the final link with reality and managed to reposition the fry-up as a diet food.

Yikes. Well, there’s a new English breakfast in town, and it certainly cannot be categorized as diet food. Get thee over to Brooklyn’s Black Horse Tavern, which is open for lunch, dinner, and whenever there’s an important football game somewhere in the world. It serves a full English breakfast, complete with fried bread, beans, and black pudding, along with the over-easy eggs, sauteed mushrooms, tomato slices, bacon, and sausage.

We even brought along a real, live British friend to vet the breakfast. He noted that there should have been at least two rashers of bacon on each plate, rather than the lone stub, and that the very small portion size of black pudding was both miserly and inauthentic. Nevertheless, the fried bread, sizzled in the grease left over from cooking the bacon and sausage, reminded him of his dad’s–golden, and completely sodden with oil. And the sausages were delicious, filled with a rough, juicy grind of pork.

You can also go for the vegetarian English breakfast, a contradiction in terms that results in this wan plate of food. (Guardian writers avert your eyes.)

Black Horse is a lively place to watch a football match, but, at the moment at least, the service is extremely confused. One menu set the full breakfast price at $12, another at $10 (we paid $10). And our server initially brought us toast rather than the fried bread we requested (you can choose between the two)–but we protested. We had to have the fried bread! Maybe the inefficiency can be chalked up to the fact that all the employees had been working since 8 a.m., for the Everton versus Liverpool game.

568 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn

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