The Premier League kicked off this weekend, lulling Dallasites out of the summer doldrums with the promise of cooler weather, hearty breakfasts, and lots of beer. For the uninitiated, the big games in England are piped into a handful of pubs early on weekend mornings. The games make for an interesting brunch alternative with no sub-par mimosas, no long lines, and no waiting for tables. Just my style.
So far I've identified four pubs so far that show games regularly. The Dubliner, both locations of the Londoner, and Trinity Hall all open a little earlier on weekends when important games are televised. Trinity Hall seems the most reliable, with a regularly updated schedule and game times as early as 7:30 a.m. posted on their website.
This Sunday Trinity Hall was a little slow, with just a handful of fans watching Manchester United enjoy a narrow victory over West Brom. I drank coffee and Guinness and talked to my waitress, who told me Saturday's turnout was much more enthusiastic. Saturday marked the official start of the season, and people apparently showed up in droves.
I've tried to recruit friends. It's been a hard sell. You have to get up early and, inevitably, when you finally convince someone to join you, the game languishes in a nap-worthy nil-nil draw. You can try and talk things up, but unless they've seen an exciting game themselves, surrounded by fans tricked out in their kits and slugging English beer by the pint, it's hard to explain.
Need further incentive? Try the English breakfast. Of all the breakfast plates you could indulge on a weekend morning, a traditional English breakfast is by far the most abusive. Toast, two eggs, and bangers might seem like plenty, but that's just starters for this meat-laden wake up call. You also get a few medallions of black pudding, a blood sausage loaded with clove and other spices, and the milder-by-comparison white pudding, which usually leverages oatmeal as a filler. English bacon, baked beans, and a grilled tomato almost always show up. My plate was missing the sauteed mushrooms I've enjoyed at other pubs.
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I've yet to go, but everyone tells me the Londoner in Addison is the best pub for soccer-watching. They're showing the Arsenal vs. Liverpool match on Saturday, which would normally draw a large crowd if not for the 6:45am kick off. Any other interesting places to take in the games?