Sunday morning on Lansdowne is an impeccably quiet scene. As I made my way down the deserted street which borders Fenway Park to the latest Boston Brunchers outing, signs of the previous nights debauchery lingered in the snow. The Lansdowne Pub banner twinkled in solidarity, set against a blue bird sky with the Prudential Building towering in the distance. I was decidedly more content to settle into the spacious yet cozy Irish Pub at 10:30am on a Sunday morning as opposed 10:30pm on a Saturday night. Time of day aside, drinks were most certainly in order. (Pre-gaming for the Patriots playoff game sounds about right!) Many of us started off with one of three signature brunch cocktails. The Liquid Caramel Coffee combining Baileys, Kahlua, Butterscotch Snaps and milk was equally strong and sweet. There is no coffee in the drink (just coffee liqueur) so don't let the name mislead you.It is reminiscent of a white russian minus the punch of vodka, swap in some creamy Baileys and sticky butterscotch. Liquid Caramel Russian, anyone?
Amanda was the epitome of a New England sports fan that day; and in addition to sporting her Pats jersey, she was also promoting her Boston Marathon fund-raising efforts (A virtual bake sale, which is likely over by the time I get this post up.) However, just because the bake sale is over, doesn't mean you can't make a contribution to benefit the Lukemia & Lymphoma Society on her behalf. Heavy and ornate lights hang from exposed ceilings that meet brick walls adorned with Guinness parephernalia and Irish Heritage decor. Pretty stained glass windows give way to snug booths and inviting rooms with iron fireplaces. I've been to The Lansdowne once before, last January as a matter of fact, for a Seasonal Beer Dinner, which impressed far more than I expected from a Fenway Park bar. The weekend brunch was similarly impressive, though somehow I still did not expect the kitchen to turn out dishes as delicious as they did. The true test lies in the Traditional Irish Breakfast ($13) which is a well received plate of Irish bacon, white & black pudding, breakfast bangers, a grilled tomato, Batchelor's bean's and fried eggs. The homefries ($3 for a side portion) are excellent, golden brown and pleasantly crispy, void of excess grease and nicely laced with thin strands of onion. They also accompany a monstrous slice of Lansdowne Pie ($10) where Irish ham, eggs, potatoes, spinach, onions and cheddar cheese are layered for days and surrounded by a toasty, flaky crust. Sometime around the new year, I resolved to branch out at brunch. This means straying from my typical fare of Eggs Benedict (or anything with eggs, really) and Bloody Marys - if only just for a few meals in January. (This resolution was loosely based in my mind and just for fun!) If what I ordered for brunch at The Gallows wasn't any indication, my entree of choice at The Lansdowne certainly was. If there was ever a time to order Buttermilk Pancakes ($9), it would be the time they come topped with Baileys infused whipped cream and strawberries. The silky whipped cream melted into ultra light pancakes; these didn't sit heavy in your stomach like some pancakes tend to do. A golden buttery lacquer forms the exterior, while the interior yields supreme fluffiness, the buttermilk adding a nod of complexity throughout. I managed to nearly finish all three, in between swapping bites with Renee for her Irish Breakfast, where the savory and salty elements were a welcome contrast. I washed everything down with a mimosa.Since this meal was comped, all I had to pay for was the waitresses tip. (You know I have to tell you that right? There is a blogger law somewhere that says so.) I try very hard not to let that influence my feelings about the food. Brunch here was great and I would have happily paid $9 for that beautiful plate of pancakes!