What to Eat in London (even if you’re not an Olympic athlete)

So now that Michael Phelps is now the half man-half fish with the most num­ber of gold medals in the world, can we go back to mar­veling over the calo­ries he con­sumes while train­ing (pre­sum­ably with­out the munchies)? Turns out, his 12,000 calo­ries he was pur­port­edly eat­ing a day is just a myth! (sadly, not a myth? That Phelps lis­tens to Skill-rex and Afro­jax to get pumped up for meets. No account­ing for a jock’s taste, I guess).

At any rate, if the 12,000 calo­rie day was true, I’d imag­ine in Lon­don it’s not hard to fill those caloric needs. Espe­cially at breakfast.

Dean Street Town­house is a quiet inn that serves the clas­sic full Eng­lish break­fast. It’s a break­fast I’d made a thou­sand times before in NOT Eng­land: a cou­ple of fried or poached eggs, bacon (aka “streaky bacon”), sausages, grilled toma­toes and mush­rooms, beans and toast. It’s my tra­di­tional St. Patrick’s Day pre-drinking meal, as well as a stan­dard rem­edy for the hang­over post-drinking hol­i­day. The din­ing room of Dean Street Town­house is dimly lit,with a dark wooded bar anchor­ing the space. It’s totally com­fort­able to sit and eat alone at the cozy tables, cov­ered with white linen, bot­tles of HP sauce at the ready.

Here’s my very first, legitimately-in-England full Eng­lish breakfast.

Oh! Some­thing that was rel­a­tively new to me was real black pud­ding. I’d encoun­tered it in Irish pubs where the full Eng­lish was a spe­cialty, but I never quite trusted it, and I never both­ered with hunt­ing it down for my own attempts at home. Some things are just bet­ter left eaten in their home­land. Dean Street Townhouse’s black pud­ding was well sea­soned with a creamy/gritty tex­ture, like you’d scooped a bit of ground flaxseed into savory rice pud­ding and made force­meat. And col­ored it black. I kind of enjoyed the coarse texture.The tra­di­tional sausage, or bangers, had a tex­ture unlike any Amer­i­can sausage I’d encoun­tered. It had a finer grind that gave the link an airy and light con­sis­tency. The fla­vor was sub­tle, with lots of black pep­per, but lack­ing the strong cured salti­ness I’m accus­tomed to. [Read more…]