Good Irish breakfast near Columbus Circle.

After a long weekend of partying (I think everyone and their brother had a party this weekend), I really needed some kind of hearty breakfast-brunch Sunday morning.  The situation was exacerbated by my lack of having eaten any kind of real dinner on Friday and Saturday nights – can you believe that I had a hot dog and a slice of pizza, respectively?  Um, not my favorite culinary weekend, the giant chocolatey haunted house at my girlfriend’s party notwithstanding.  Fortunately, I was meeting a friend of mine for a meal before going to his studio in Hell’s Kitchen, and there is good Irish breakfast to be had on 57th St. – the perfect remedy to a not-hugely-tasty weekend.

Of the two Irish bars/restaurants on W. 57th between 8th and 9th, D.J. Reynolds is the only one I’ve tried, mostly because it’s damn good and I felt no reason to mess with success.  The facilities don’t exactly scream “eat here,” though.  The interior is wood-paneled stuffiness personified, the clientele are fairly ancient, and there’s just one waitress who will, if the restaurant is more than half full, inform you taciturnly that your food “might take a while.”  Watch out for the overcoat-wearing old dude who’s probably smoking in the doorway – if you enter or exit the restaurant too vigorously, he might have a heart attack.

All this is worth braving for a breakfast that is large, delicious, and cheap.  $8 will buy you a plate with two eggs to order, two slices of English-style bacon, two sausages, two hunks of black pudding (which consists of pork and/or beef, blood, suet, barley, bread and oatmeal – kosher this breakfast ain’t), home fries, and a cheese-covered slice of stewed tomato.  Ah, yes, and purportedly this ensemble also comes with a choice from four or five breakfast bar drinks (good god, no!) and a basket of Irish soda bread, which was excellent the first time I ate here and failed to arrive the second time I came.  Probably the big group’s fault.  Coffee is, oddly, extra, and a bit on the expensive side, but they DO have heavy cream for you to put in it.

My dining partner unwisely eschewed the breakfast options in favor of the mediocre and overcooked “chopped” sirloin, which was really just a large hamburger.  It was topped, pleasingly and dryness-combatingly, with brown gravy and plenty of sautéed onions, and sided with a portion of the hated steak fry.  I think it was more expensive, too – $11?

Moral of the story – the breakfast is a steal, and D.J. Reynolds should be a destination for that meal, but watch out for everything else.

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