The Smith Brunch

I’m a bit of a planner (oh, you don’t say?). My Google calendar, which is synched to Becca’s, began as a simple way to determine when we were both available for Bitches’ brunches, conference calls, meetings, and the like. It has morphed into a behemoth, in which every item of my life is laid out like an itinerary: work here, dry cleaner there, coffee with so-and-so here, workout there, party here. All events are updated with the name, date, time, location, and attendees.

Girlfriends receive Google calendar invites to brunch, cocktail parties, dinner dates, and events they attend as a Bitches Who Brunch +1.

“You know, girl, it’s a bit excessive,” said Meg one day. “Ya gotta cool it with the Google calendar invites. Why do you send them to us?”

Later in the week, she got lost on the way to an event. She arrived, late (which is never an issue with me), and a bit frustrated.

“I’m not sure how you got lost, the name, location, and phone number were on your calendar invite, which you can click on to take you to Google maps,” I said once she was settled in and seated.

“What? But my calendar isn’t on my phone.”

It was then that I taught Meg how to synch her Google calendar to her iPhone. Now, she understands the blessings of a go-cal: it sends you a 15-minute alert (which is when I grab my coat), and then pops up with the name, address, and attendees. While on your iPhone, you can call an Uber, or link to Google maps and start walking. In a busy world, as we scamper from place-to-place, the Google calendar makes life a bit simpler. (I mean, isn’t that what Google does?)

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However, I throw the Google calendar out the window when I head out of town. I stop planning and allow others to make the itinerary, if there’s one at all. Last month, in New York, I operated without a schedule and without brunch plans—and regular weekends like these allow me to keep my sanity and spontaneity.

Meg made a reservation for 10 at The Smith in Midtown and, although she didn’t send me a calendar invite, I was there nonetheless.

The Smith is an enormous, casual American brasserie serving hearty, rich cuisine with a Southern touch. Southern-style brunches with large parties are some of my favorite types of brunches: everyone is happy, eating delicious food and passing it around the table. It’s one of the simple pleasures in life.

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In a French twist, The Smith begins your meal by placing delicious loaves of French bread in white parchment paper on the table.

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As usual, I required more carbs—so I ordered the bread basket for the table. The basket was filled with glazed doughnuts, cinnamon raisin bread, blueberry muffins, pimiento cheese biscuits and blueberry muffins. They were delicious, but everyone was after those doughnuts and there just weren’t enough.

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The deviled eggs were also ordered for sharing and arrived beautifully displayed on a deviled egg dish—those Southern spots do deviled eggs and decorum correctly—and sprinkled with cayenne pepper and chives. They were delicious.

Maureen (my partner in crime, vacations, and eating) ordered the mac n’ cheese in addition to her entree, because she knew she didn’t need to ask if I’d share it with her—nor did she care.

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The mac arrived in the best way it could: a cast iron skillet filled to the brim with hot, sizzling cheese. It turns out, we shared it with everyone.

As for entrees, they ran the gamut off the well-structured, diverse menu.

Lindsey’s Asian chicken salad was fresh, enormous and looked lovely. You can always tell the caliber of a restaurant by its fresh produce and vegetables, and the Smith made the grade.

Now, let’s turn to the Benedicts. First up, the a classic Eggs Benny—done perfectly.

One of the day’s specials was a Prime Rib Benny, which Carter decided upon immediately after hearing the words “prime rib” and “Benedict” in the same sentence. He devoured it—but the kid likes to eat (all the best people do) so we’ll never know how good it really was. Plus, he works in finance so he has no time to e-mail the Bitches his brunch thoughts.

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The third type of Benny was a fried country steak Benny, another innovative twist.

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Meg and her boyfriend shared the huevos rancheros—pardon me, ranchero scramble— followed by the French toast.

The ranchero scramble was beautifully presented with chipotle salsa, black beans, cheddar and avocado.

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The French toast was flavored with vanilla, topped with caramelized bananas, and served with maple butter rather than traditional syrup. It looked and smelled delicious, and the happy couple were very happy campers.

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There were multiple omelets on the table, including my wild mushroom omelet. I love mushrooms, but wild forrest mushrooms are so much better than the rest. The omelet was gigantic, literally a monstrosity, and filled to the brim with wild mushrooms and fontina cheese. I barely made a dent in it, but it was absolutely delicious.

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We sat around the table, all of us, for a few hours, catching up (we were in town from across the East Coast), enjoying the good comfort food and each other’s company. There are few better ways to spend a Saturday morning.

Best of all, unlinked to my google calendar and without a schedule, there was nowhere else I needed, or wanted, to be.

The Bitches say: A. A reliable New York outpost for brunch with a huge menu and a huge space to house lots of friends and family.

The Smith NYC has locations in Midtown and the East Village.

The Smith Midtown
956 2nd Ave.
New York, NY

The Smith serves brunch Saturdays and Sundays. 

The Smith Midtown on Urbanspoon

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