While Irish cuisine has never been regarded as one of the world's greats, breakfast is the meal at which the Irish excel. The majority may seek some salty boiled beef to wash down with their pints on St. Paddy's, but the real connoisseur of Irish culinary culture should be on the lookout for a grand breakie.The Irish breakfast, almost indistinguishable from English, Scottish or Welsh breakfasts, is a hearty repast designed to sustain a worker throughout a day of toil, unless it is Sunday, and then substitute "football on the tube" for "toil." It properly includes a fried egg, Irish-style bacon, sausages (bangers), black and/or white pudding, potatoes and possibly a grilled tomato or mushrooms. Bread, sometimes fried bread, is served on the side with butter and marmalade.Irish-style bacon bears little resemblance to what Americans call bacon. The cut is called "back bacon," and is more like a piece of Canadian bacon to which a lean slice of American bacon has been fused. Irish sausages, or "bangers," unlike American breakfast sausages, add some "rusk" or filler mixed with the meat to obtain the preferred consistency. Black pudding is a blood sausage similar to the German "blutwurst," Italian "sanguinaccio," or Taiwanese blood rice cake - a combination of pig's blood, suet and bread crumbs, oats or rice, in a sausage casing. For white pudding, hold the blood.Shane's Bakery in Woodside is just the place to pursue the pleasures of the Irish breakfast, or to relive your B & B vacation on the Emerald or British Isles. It is a small cheery bakery/cafe serving authentic Irish breakfasts, baked goods and light fare. The walls are adorned with vibrant oil paintings by artist Orwin Moynagh, brother of the establishment's owner and namesake, Shane Moynagh. The clientele is more or less evenly divided between the ethnically Irish and the multi-cultural mosaic that inhabits Queens.Two types of Irish breakfast are served at Shane's: The basic Irish breakfast includes two fried eggs, two "rashers" of Irish bacon, two Irish sausages, portions of black pudding and white pudding, a choice of home fries or French fries and bread or toast. If you want to be truly decadent, have the Ulster breakfast. As they say in the old country, "You might as well hang for a sheep as a lamb." The Ulster breakfast includes all of the Irish breakfast items with the addition of Irish beans and "soda sarl," a fried potato bread. All components of either Irish breakfast are prepared just as they should be. Their bacon is outstanding. It is wonderfully meaty and prepared by a two-step cooking process that involves both the oven and the grill. The succulent sausages and puddings will send any lover of pork products to pig heaven. The bread is freshly baked and wonderful. The baked goods here are also top-notch. If such a substantial breakfast is not your style, stop in for tea and scones. The scones are wonderful here. They come in a variety of flavors, although raisin is the traditional Irish (over there it would be currants rather than raisins). The texture is more elastic than the crumbly ones you find in Yuppie coffee bars, and a cut above. This time of year hot cross buns (well, hot if you time it right) is another specialty too good to miss. Or for a richer indulgence, there are a variety of cheesecakes, brownies, tiramisu and apple, strawberry rhubarb, coconut, pecan and pumpkin squares, all with that fresh homemade flavor.Shane's also offers other light fare, both Irish and non-Irish, for lunches and light suppers. They sell baked goods fresh from their oven, prepared foods like meat pies, sausage rolls and pannini, and a selection of sweets, teas and other Irish and non-Irish packaged foods. All this, and they also inspire young love. I came across the following Internet personal ad on Craig's list, and found it poetic:Irish guy outside of Shane's BakeryIt was Monday at around 6:30... You were on your cell phone and someone was obviously late meeting you. I was with my mom. I caught you checking me out when I looked back to check you out. I'm sure that you will never see this, but it's worth a shot. if you do see this, e-mail me back and let me know what color my coat was...The Bottom LineHave an authentic Irish breakfast or snack at Shane's and maybe your destiny will find you. Wouldn't it be grand?Shane's Bakery & Cafe39-61 61st St., Woodside718 424-9039Cuisine: Irish breakfast, light fare and baked goodsSetting: Cozy bakery/cafeService: FriendlyHours: Open seven days for breakfast, lunch, light supperReservations: NoAlcohol: NoParking: Street Dress: CasualChildren: Children's menuMusic: NoTakeout: YesCredit cards: Yes ($10 minimum)Noise level: Acceptable Handicap accessible: YesRecommendations:Irish breakfastÉ$7.25Ulster breakfastÉ$8.95Bacon or sausage sandwichÉ$4Breakfast rollÉ$5Sausage roll, French fries & beansÉ$5.50SconeÉ$.75Dessert squaresÉ$2.25
©2005 Community News Group
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