553 Church St., Toronto, ON M4Y 2E2
Whenever people ask me to go to brunch, I’d like to think it’s more for the idea of brunch, rather than the food. I try to have healthy breakfasts because it makes me feel like my life is on track. Something about waking up, putting on a pot of water and making oatmeal come to life erases the previous day’s gluttony.
My friends had asked me out repeatedly the past week, but I decided to be good, stay home and unpack my new box in the sky. That’s until the weekend, when I felt like a bad friend and debated whether to send an apology e-card filled with cats.
We decided on a 9:00 a.m brunch time – far earlier than I had expected, but I know how to be a good friend. After we ran under our umbrellas into the entrance like a BFF anti-acne face wash commercial, we chose an L-shape seating by the bar for the three of us. The menu is printed on a large newsprint and was little hard to physically handle. I prefer it to be smaller in size, but I get it, kitschy. Water is served in a glass milk bottle. The dishes are mismatched, reminding me of my beloved ABC Kitchen and even of Alice’s Tea Cup. Although the plates had a weird, matte feeling. Like dishwashing residue or maybe just weathered? I had to ask for a new knife because my knife has this burnt spot, where every time my tongue would touch it, it would taste like metallics.
Our table ordered:
-Buttermilk scones, with kitchen preserves
-House Granola, with strawberry earl grey puree, yogurt and fresh berries
-Side of sausage
-Brisket Hash, with fried egg, pico de gallo and aged chedder
-Smith Benedict, with peameal, leek fondue and home fries
I had the eggs benedict since I’m still on my search for the best benedict in the city. (My vote so far is Maggie’s on College, from what I remember when I ate there in my university days.)
The hollandaise on the eggs is different than anything I’ve had. It’s a lot thicker and taste more like a rue. The viscous gravy texture is a little heavy for me. Underneath the sauce is thickly sliced peameal bacon. And by thick, I mean 4 cm thick. It became too salty and I ended up just having the eggs alone.
The home fries were nice and crispy and void of any herbs, for purists out there. The fruit on the side was a wonderful welcome after a very carby and heavy meal. Portion wise, they are beyond generous, so sharing may be a good way to try out different things.
I had a bite of the hash and the brisket was very flavourful and tender. It came in a mini cast iron pan. The scones came with jam, but no clotted creme. The scones were warm from the kitchen and served on a wooden board.
Our server was great and since we were one of the few tables there so early, we had no problem flagging her down. Before we left, there was a line out the door.
Although it reminded me a lot of ABC Kitchen, my experience at Smith just wasn’t as polished. Most of my long brunch hours were spent at ABC, so forgive me as I reminisce and hate myself for being so bourgeois.
I would love to come back here, when I’m more awake and perhaps at lunch or dinner to try their options. In the area, Wish, is also owned by the same people, so if you’re looking for something similar, pop by.