The Lansdowne: When at Fenway . . .

1 Feb

(Image: Johnisha M. Levi)

Although this is not my first time around the proverbial block in this city, I’m still trying to get my sea legs as a D.C. native and recent transplant to Boston.

So what better way to feel like a Bostonian than to spend a morning down the street from Fenway–the ballpark that needs no introduction–followed by an afternoon cheering on the Pats against the Ravens with my rabid fan of a husband? (I have occasionally witnessed foam coming out of his mouth during particularly tense game moments. And maybe his nostrils, come to think of it.)

The infectiousness of the city’s passion for sports has already rubbed off on me. Lately, I’ve been much more interested in learning some of the nuances of football. Of course, this newfound interest may be partially attributable to my deep and abiding love for FNL (“Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose!”)

But back to that morning . . .

I joined my fellow bloggers at The Lansdowne a few Saturdays ago to get my Boston brunch-on. The Irish pub boasts a handsome interior, with its high ceilings, dark wood and color palate of deep reds. This is definitely a comfortable destination and spacious setting for watching a game.

The Brunchers at Lansdowne (Image: Johnisha M. Levi)

Our brunch group was a little smaller  and therefore more intimate than the previous week’s Newburyport outing. We also had the pub to ourselves this morning (a nice bonus), so there was no need to shout across tables.

Besides its proximity to the mecca of Bostonian baseball fans (that may even be a redundant phrase as it seems almost impossible to find a Bostonian who wouldn’t give up his first born for the Sox), the Lansdowne has two other qualities that recommend it as a brunch destination. First, it showcases a formidable Irish Breakfast. If you are a fan of white & black pudding, beans & bangers for your first meal of the day, then this is the spot for you. Second, Sundays offer you some live Irish music starting at 1pm (we heard the talented musicians practicing beforehand).

(Image: Johnisha M. Levi)

For me, a traditional Irish breakfast is unfortunately not a draw. That is just way too much protein for my stomach in the morning. I have to say, I’m a confirmed carb gobbler when it comes to brunch, meaning that you are more apt to find me lifting forkfuls of French toast, pancakes, and Belgian waffles or spooning up oatmeal or yogurt and granola as my first meal of the day.

To that end, it should come as no surprise that I ordered pancakes. Yes, I came to the Irish pub and I chose buttermilk pancakes. I know, very adventurous of me! But hey, a craving is not to be denied. And there was Bailey’s whipped cream as a garnish. (There you go, the Irish element!)

After all, I hadn’t had true pancakes for quite some time, so I was quite looking forward to some stacks. (No offense to my gluten intolerant friends, but I had been recipe testing gluten-free pancakes the previous months, and while they were certainly charming, there is just nothing that takes the place of a wheat flour pancake for me sad to say.)

I started the meal off with a cheery and quite tasty mimosa (Ok, another less than Irish pick. I swear, I wasn’t going for a theme!) I noticed others also slurping their drinks appreciatively.

(Image: Johnisha M. Levi)

And then it was time for the carbs of choice.

Buttermilk Pancakes with Bailey’s Cream (Image: Johnisha M. Levi)

While my plate of pancakes came festively bedecked with sliced strawberries (matching the decor) and a more than generous dollop of whipped cream, I’ll be honest in saying that these were not the pancakes of my dreams. The garnishes were definitely the saving graces. The whipped cream appealed to the (alcoholic, pub-crawling) kid in me. But the pancakes themselves were forgettable–there was nothing to especially recommend them although they weren’t inedible (mind you, I was still a member of the clean plate club). My favorite brunch pancakes, at the now-shuttered Time Cafe in NYC, were everything pancakes should be (bursting with blueberries, or sliced bananas and nuts), generous, and pillowy with a nice tang from the buttermilk. So good that you didn’t need syrup or other window-dressing (or at least not too much of it). Sigh.

The Lansdowne Pie (Image: Johnisha M. Levi)

Judging from the rapturous expression of the bruncher to my left, I might have done better had I ordered the eponymous breakfast pie. The Lansdowne pie is an early morning edible architectural feat composed of Irish Ham, eggs, potatoes, spinach ,onions and cheddar, served with a side of home fries. The Irish Breakfasters also hummed contentedly while eating their bangers and beans.

While my pancakes may have left something to be desired, my company didn’t. And isn’t that what brunch is all about–good times with new and old friends?

Disclaimer: The Lansdowne provided Boston Brunchers with gratis brunch. We only paid gratuity for the meal. Writing a review of the brunch was optional for all attendees.

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2 Responses to “The Lansdowne: When at Fenway . . .”

  1. Renee {Eat.Live.Blog.} February 1, 2012 at 2:33 pm #

    I agree completely. Brunch is definitely about the company….with the food being an added bonus 🙂

  2. Elina (Healthy and Sane) February 29, 2012 at 3:22 pm #

    Those pancakes don’t look great but that the Bailey’s cream sure does 🙂
    Good to hear you’re becoming more acclimated to Boston. It’s a great city!

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