I wanted to write about this the second I left the restaurant yesterday, but I believe I lapsed into a small coma. Yes, a banana/potato waffle-induced coma. What am I referring to? Brunch at The Smith in the East Village.
I made a reservation for brunch (the day of!) for 1 pm, which doesn't happen too often in the city on a Sunday. We get there at 12:55 and the line is practically out the door, with people waiting both at the bar and outside. I turn to my boyfriend (Lou – name for future ref) and see the look on his face (the Giants game was starting at 1 also), but without hesitation, I look him dead in the eyes and say, "get ready, because we're waiting for this." After reading the menu online, there is no way I was leaving now. My game face was ON. We sit at the bar, and within 10 minutes the hostess comes over and tells us that our table is ready. On a packed out Sunday? Only 5 minutes after our reservation time? I had a good feeling already.
I basically knew what I wanted even before I got the menu, but I took a look anyway. So many things looked amazing it was hard to choose. Do I want the Ranchero Scramble? Eggs with chipotle salsa, black beans, tortilla, cheddar and avocado? Sounds good, but not in the mood for Mexi-eggs. How about Chicken Sausage and Eggs with gravy and spicy corn bread? Drool. Yea it was between that and the Potato Waffle Benedict: poached eggs on potato waffle-pancakes topped with a spinach cream hollaindaise sauce. I can hardly ever resist eggs benny at a Sunday brunch, so I went with that. Lou ordered the Country Breakfast: scrambled eggs with cheddar grits, ham steak, biscuit and gravy. We also opted to share the Vanilla Bean French Toast because I couldn't NOT try it: french toast with caramelized bananas and maple butter. I would have kicked my own ass if I didn't order it.
Our food arrives, and two guys next to us look over and say, "I'd be impressed if you guys finish all of that." A challenge?? They clearly do not know me. And fortunately, me and Lou both take eating very seriously. For me, food is the foundation of any good relationship. Then the guy looks at my eggs and says, "THAT is the best thing on the menu." Well why the eff do you think I ordered it?? So we dug in. The eggs benedict was so different, yet so good, I finished the whole thing without even really trying. There were three poached eggs on top of three little potato pancakes with the spinach-hollaindaise all over the top. The eggs were perfectly poached, and the potato pancakes could rival my grandmothers. But don't tell her that.
The french toast was the real winner for me. The challah bread was (no joke) an inch and a half thick, with huge dollops of maple butter and caramelized bananas. It was so good I forgot to put syrup. FORGOT. TO PUT. SYRUP. That never happens to me. You could taste the vanilla in each bite, and combined with the butter and bananas – it was so moist and sweet that it didn't even need syrup. Yes I said it!
The country breakfast was nothing to sneeze at either. The gravy must have been a peppercorn gravy, because it had a nice kick to it, which went well with the ham and eggs. The biscuit was the scene stealer though (see below – it's hard to miss). It was enormous. A gargantuan cheddar and chive biscuit to soak up all that gravy? Can't complain about that.
I managed to clean my plate, and so did Lou. We only left a little scrap of French toast and biscuit. Damn those carbs. The guys next to us were either impressed or disgusted. I couldn't really tell. All I know is, this was probably one of the best brunches I've ever had, complete with friendly and attentive service! If I didn't have to nap for 2 hours after eating such a meal, I would probably be here every Sunday.
55 3rd ave (between 10th and 11th streets)