I’m not sure how, but I somehow heard torrid internet rumors about this thing called laverbread. It’s a Welsh “bread” made from seaweed and oatmeal, generally eaten at breakfast. Yes, Welsh seaweed bread. Um, wut? That sounded pretty awesome.
As luck would have it, there’s a Welsh-themed pub in Astoria called Snowdonia that serves the stuff as part of its Welsh breakfast. Though none of Snowdonia’s owners are natives of Wales, I may look like I’ve swallowed several whales one of the owners is of Welsh descent, and the pub has received the stamp of approval of the Welsh government. Pretty cool.
On weekends (and Mondays, interestingly), Snowdonia offers a full Welsh breakfast ($19, with Monday discounts for service and entertainment industry professionals), consisting of two fried eggs, a large fried breakfast sausage, three sticks of fried laverbread, three fried cockle fritters, some fried tomato slices, a chunk of fried ham, and some fried Portobello mushroom slices. The (wonderful!) server might have told me that some of these things were allegedly grilled, but I couldn’t hear her over the smell of my arteries clogging. But don’t worry: they were smiling broadly as they clogged.
The laverbread is interesting, but I don’t know that it’s meant to be particularly delicious. It’s bland and slightly chalky, unfortunately. I somehow thought that seaweed bread would taste a little bit ocean-y or fishy, but nope: I could tell that I was eating something green, but I probably wouldn’t have guessed that it was seaweed. Still, the laverbread wasn’t too bad when accompanied with some sausage and a runny egg.
The other bread-like items on my plate were cockle fritters, which were more appealing than the laverbread. If you’re not familiar with them, cockles are misspelled reproductive organs smallish shell-clad sea creatures, and small bits of the buggers were imbedded in some doughnut-like things on my plate. The fritters were excellent, but didn’t really taste terribly fishy; if you had told me that they were mushroom fritters, I might have believed you.
But still: I was eating a plate of food that had, like, eight different fried things on it! That’s awesome. I’m such a good eater that plastic forks sometimes offer the heavy-metal salute in honor of my stomach’s prowess. So that plate of fried stuff was no match for my epic gut.
And then reality struck: man, that was a lot of fried stuff for a Monday brunch, and I was hurting a bit as I rounded the three-quarter mark in the meal. But I kept eating. You see, my doctor diagnosed me with a disorder called Porcine Machismo Syndrome (PMS). PMS is actually a type of testosterone poisoning, and it causes sufferers to twitch uncontrollably if a plate of food threatens to defeat them. If left untreated, this disease can cause a secondary infection called Bigfatfuckitis.
Fortunately, I treated my condition with more fried stuff. As soon as I started to twitch, I took another bite. I was putting forth so much effort that little beads of sweat lipids formed on my brow. And finally, after many deep breaths, I finished the plate and promptly exploded drank a lot of Diet Coke so that I could pretend that I’d eaten a healthy meal.
Wait, nevermind: I ate Welsh seaweed bread! That was totally pretty much a salad, right?
34-55 32nd Street, Astoria
Subway: 36th Ave. (N, Q trains)