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Full English breakfast at Au Cheval | Brunch Breakdown

A Randolph Street diner re-creates a British tradition.

Photograph: Martha Williams

The bacon
In anticipation of the opening of an Au Cheval in London later this fall, Sodikoff brought the English staff to train at the West Loop original. �Once we started doing breakfast,� says Jeremy Fisher, Au Cheval�s chef, �a few of the [British] cooks said we should do [a full English breakfast].� Sometimes called a �fry-up,� the plate typically includes bacon (often back bacon), sausage (such as blood sausage or black pudding) or both. Au Cheval chose to showcase its housemade bacon: duroc pork belly that�s cured for seven days then smoked for a few hours, confitted in rendered bacon fat, sliced by hand, griddled, and finished with maple syrup and cracked black peppercorns.

Photograph: Martha Williams

The eggs
Eggs from Little Farm on the Prairie, a small farm in central Illinois, are scrambled to order with a little bit of beurre mont��essentially melted butter�and sprinkled with sliced chives.

Photograph: Martha Williams

The beans
Heinz baked beans are the standard; Au Cheval makes its own, adding a little bit of bacon and cayenne pepper.

Photograph: Martha Williams

The tomatoes
The griddled tomato is the unexpected star; thick-cut slices are first cooked on the griddle, then brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with salt before being broiled under high heat.

Photograph: Martha Williams

The toast
Completing the plate, purchased Texas toast is lightly coated with salted butter, then griddled.

At dinner, Brendan Sodikoff’s high-low restaurant transforms deli foods (chopped chicken liver and bologna sandwiches) and turns the old-fashioned griddled burger into a thing of wonder. But by virtue of its evening-only hours, it was still tough to think of this place as a “diner.” That perception is shifting with the restaurant’s new weekend brunch, where a small menu of fanatically good dishes like chilaquiles (also on the late-night menu; portioned to feed a linebacker), latke-like hash browns with duck-heart gravy and an exemplary full English breakfast (now on the dinner menu, too) will either kill you or—one prefers to think—make you stronger. Click through the slide show as we break down the components of the dish.