Eat This

Ten Bells' Black Pudding Is Bloody Delicious

I'm quite certain that an expat straight from England would scoff at this entire blog post, but it needs to be said. Ten Bells has a damn fine full breakfast on its weekend brunch menu.

Let's clear up a few things quickly for the sake of discussion. Yes, the tomatoes actually look like real tomatoes. No the bacon isn't English bacon. The beans you're expecting will be there, for sure, but they won't be baked beans, rather a cannellini bean puree. Also you'll have to forget about the mushrooms altogether.

I know, I know. Go make yourself a cup of tea and get over it. We've got black pudding to discuss.

For those of you who don't know, black pudding is blood sausage and the mixture of pork blood and oatmeal is one of the greatest breakfast "meats" around when it's prepared properly. The problem is it's usually not.

If your familiar, you've likely encountered thin disks of dark-brown sausage, dry as an over-baked muffin and assaulted with enough cinnamon and clove to recall a porcine flavored Christmas cookie. It's interesting for sure, if you've lived a life relegated to the likes of Jimmy Dean, but it's hardly impressive -- especially compared with what chef Carlos Mancera has been serving up at Ten Bells Tavern for the past few months.

The blood pudding here is soft with a custard-like consistency that Mancera says requires some careful handling. He gently poaches the links he purchases from a butcher in Chicago and then griddles the slices to order on the hottest part of his grill. He then plates the sausages up with runny poached eggs and red tomatoes that are better than most considering the time of year.

If you're used to a full breakfast back in England this plate may take some getting used to. If you're new to black pudding, this is the place to try it. Either way I'm quite certain you'll be impressed with your breakfast.

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Scott Reitz
Contact: Scott Reitz