Anyone know a good artery doc?

Regular readers will know that I’m mildly obsessed with the fry-up: I’m continually excited to discover new places to have an Irish breakfast.  This weekend, a lazy day spent loading my girlfriend’s new iPod led us to a very late first meal of the day – at 4pm, we stumbled out of my apartment into the rapidly fading afternoon with increasing hunger.

Fortunately, Ceol (Smith St. at Warren St.) serves their Irish breakfast all day, which we were glad to discover upon sitting at a table in the back room and studying the bill of fare.  That rear area, at least, doesn’t feel like a bar – more like an ADHD-addled interior decorator’s idea of a kitschy bed and breakfast’s meal room.  There is, however, a gas fireplace that projects a fair bit of warmth, as well as an extremely friendly and informal staff, who treated us like old friends (almost weirdly so – I was really surprised).

A shout out to my girlfriend, whose close reading of the menu produced the unlikely culinary gem of the day in the fried pickle appetizer ($6).  Not fried pickle chips, as apparently exist at Brother Jimmy’s, but rather full-length pickle wedges, coated in crispy, thin, not-soggy batter.  Of course, you’ll need to like pickles, as this dish won’t change anyone from a long held anti-pickle bias, but I would swear that the heating of the pickle in the fryer (it got quite hot!) actually enhanced its flavor.  I thought it was rather cheeky that the dipping sauce, seemingly the same as would be served with potato skins, contained chopped dill.  Six to a plate, you’ll need more than just two people to finish the platter and still have room for the main course.

Preceding the pickles’ arrival on our table was a basket of fresh Irish soda bread with raisins, and a dollop of butter.  I’m a big fan of this quick-bake treat (my suitemates and I made it a lot our senior year in college), and I was disappointed when my second trip to D.J. Reynolds didn’t yield any.  Ceol’s iteration is crumbly and soft in all the right places, and between it and the pickles (and a pint or two), probably would have made a perfect light meal.

Of course, with us not having eaten anything more substantial all day than some chocolates, there would be no such waistline-watching.  My fry-up arrived containing two eggs over medium-ish, two pieces of English-style bacon, two sausages, two pieces each of black and white pudding, and two wedges of stewed tomato (two heart attacks were also included, though not listed on the menu).  The expected potatoes provided a surprising twist – home-fry sized chunks of potatoes were deep-fried and served on a side plate.  Beans arrived shortly afterwards in a gravy boat (whooo-ooooo).

Needless to say, I was pleased, and ate until I was full and then some.  My girlfriend was similarly pleased, both to taste white pudding – bloodless, I assured her – and by her burger ($10, I think) which was better than one should expect from a pub.  While describing it as medium rare would perhaps be a stretch, it was certainly juicy and tasty, and absolutely huge.  It was sided with a generous helping of steak fries, as though enough fried food hadn’t already been consumed by us.

The Irish breakfast isn’t the cheapest I’ve ever had ($11) – Nick’s Lunch Inn and D.J. Reynolds both come in cheaper.  But the portions are enormous, the atmosphere is infinitely better than either Nick’s diner-y environs or D.J. Reynolds’ ancient wood-paneled splendor-squalor, the staff can’t be beat, and the location is much closer to my usual weekend-morning stomping grounds.  Fried pickles and decent burgers are also a plus.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Anyone know a good artery doc?

  1. KK

    You will find no greater fry-up than that at the Stop Inn in Woodside, Queens. It’s pretty much stumbling distance from the train, so you needn’t worry about the impending coronary…much.

  2. SpicyNuts

    Let me just say that I knew I should have patented the battered, fried pickle spear last year when in a haze of weed and left over pancake batter we started battering and frying everything in the cooler. Pickle spears were a big success, as were blue marlin fingers and clams. We proceeded on to battering and frying some Chips Ahoy cookies, which elicited mixed responses…too sweet for my tastes. The pickles were by far my favorite. Thanks for the insight on where I can no find them done professionally!

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