Learning the hard way that Nickie’s, the Irish bar in the Lower Haight, no longer serves a Full Irish breakfast, was a soul-crushing discovery one Sunday a few months ago. I was a little too hung over to go anywhere much farther away that required a significant uphill climb, so the otherwise delightful Liberties was out. Martin Macks is long gone and The Phoenix is off the list after the management unceremoniously axed all its women employees earlier this year. I think I made do with a burrito and a nap, which is a satisfying combo except when it’s just not what you really wanted to eat.
Full breakfasts — which can vary just as much within a given Anglophone country as between them, making whatever nationality they name-check a less than crucial distinction — are among the most hardcore ways to start the day. They require a certain amount of dedication, largely because they’re enormous, salty as hell, and generally unattractive. Not everyone necessarily wants to see coagulated blood in the form of a black sausage on their plate.
Lord Stanley, Rupert and Carrie Blease’s Michelin-starred Cal-Euro outpost in Russian Hill, has brought back its Full English — and done so with an elevated vengeance. This $25 beauty, which is the only thing you can order from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Nov. 11, Dec. 2, and Dec. 30, consists of bacon, a sunny-side-up egg, mushrooms, white beans, two lightly roasted tomato halves, a pill-shaped sausage link, nutty black pudding, toasted sourdough, and a brown sauce made with plenty of tomato and Worcestershire. Not counting the generous amount of black pepper, that’s nine components in all, which a grand total of zero people have the patience to undertake at home.
If not for that egg yolk and the tomatoes, the entire plate would admittedly be a meditation on the color brown. It’s rustic, no doubt, but with a mimosa or a mug of coffee, it’s a highfalutin sort of rustic — like a four-star B&B in Cornwall that’s 20 minutes from the nearest neighbor.
Lord Stanley, 2065 Polk St., 415-872-5512 or lordstanleysf.com