After Weeks of Taunting

Those naughty people over at Smith have been taunting me for weeks on their Twitter stream with shot after shot of whatever it is they were currently carrying to someone’s table.  Finally, I could stand it no more.  As luck would have it, this inability to resist heading there coincided with my having a {very} rare as yet un-scheduled Sunday breakfast.  There was a plate of grub calling my name from Capitol Hill.  I heeded the call.

I’ve been to Smith before, since it was one of the 55 Best Breakfasts in Seattle.  They do a simply spectacular Full English Breakfast, which is, by all accounts, the best way to cure a hangover.  I didn’t have a hangover when I ate it, but I cannot believe it wouldn’t make just about anyone feel better.  It certainly floated my boat.

On the surface Smith just doesn’t seem like the kind of place where you’d get served up kick-a** cuisine.  But you do.  It’s always the quiet ones, isn’t it?  Except that Smith is not exactly quiet.  I love the wooden distressed tables.  I love the simple glassware & the tin sugar holders.  I love sitting in the window watching Capitol Hill wander on by.  Except that a lot of Capitol Hill actually wandered on *in* today.  I am not entirely sure that I love all the stuffed things hanging on the walls; but it’s pretty easy to avoid looking at those.

 Smith has an interesting mix of patrons, an interesting menu & an interesting ambiance.  All of it good.  And it just has a buzz.  A happy buzz.  And {at least one} adorable server.

I was fourth in the door, seconds behind a group of 3 girls who were apparently more eager (or more hungry) than me to get their lips around some scrumptious food.  I nestled into the bench by the window.  10 minutes later the place was half-full, 20 minutes later there was a line.  When it comes to Smith, the early bird gets the best seat.

Smith markets themselves as having rustic pub fare, but I am not convinced that is true.  Certainly in most English pubs you wouldn’t find such refined offerings.  To me, Smith is more French country than English pub grub.  And, much as I love my Bangers ‘n’ Mash & my Steak & Kidney Pie, that ain’t a bad thing.

 I’d already determined that I was there for the Baked Eggs: with Applewood Ham & Gruyere ($8).  I have a crush on Baked Eggs, if you hadn’t noticed.  They also came with a generous dash of cream, and that was just fine with me.  Is there anything that doesn’t taste better with a splash of cream in it?

The sprinkling of dill didn’t hurt my feelings any either.  The whole dish was slightly too salty for my taste and the eggs ever-so-slightly overcooked, but then I do like my yolks runny.

It never ceases to amaze me how as simple a dish as Baked Eggs can be so entirely different in different restaurants.  I love them all.  This was no exception.  Baked Eggs just make me happy.

I had a larger-than-usual appetite today and although delicious, the Baked Eggs didn’t quite fill the spot, so I opted for Brunch: Part 2.

The Smoked Trout Salad sounded splendid.  I am a huge smoked trout fan.  Thinking about it – I am a huge smoked fish fan.  Anyone who offers me smoked fish is a shoe in.

My third egg of the morning came with a huge mound of *very* exciting green leaf-ery and was billed on the menu as Smoked Trout Salad: with radish, english peas, dill creme fraiche & a soft boiled egg ($12).

There wasn’t a lot of smoked trout, but I forgave them on the basis of the perfectly soft-boiled egg.  And I do mean PERFECT.  The only thing about this whole dish that wasn’t perfect was that pesky salt again – dude, quit with the salt shaker will ya?!

The table of 4 next to me summed up my experience of Smith to date, when I heard “This is SO good” emanating from their lips, while a flurry of hands & forks flew back & forth across the table sharing morsels of each others nosh.

Once again Smith hit a home run.  Unexpectedly good food in a {very} down-to-earth setting.  I am lovin’ Smith.  Now, if I could just get them to start brunch at 9 am.  Or 8 am.  Or anything, in fact, earlier than 10 am…

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