Whenever I’m downtown on the weekends, I wonder where everyone is. The Loop can be a ghost town after business hours. Turns out, they’re all at The Smith.
The brunch scene at The Smith is positively bustling. Bitches Who Brunch Editor-in-Chief Jackie Bender and I were invited in for a complimentary brunch. The other patrons ranged from young moms getting together with babies in tow, to the post-workout crowd, to large groups.
Jackie and I were seated at a spacious booth. I was obsessed with the clean white tiles and globe lights that make the restaurant feel like it was from another time. Jackie ordered a decaf latte to start. It was frothy, flavorful, and delicious. I got the Bellini, which was sweet with notes of peach without being syrupy. The Smith serves complimentary bread, which is delightful to snack on while reading their extensive menu.
The Smith offers a deal where if you get an egg or griddle dish, you get a complimentary brunch cocktail, which sealed my decision of ordering the avocado toast. I was looking for something light before trying out Trapeze School. They did a great job of packing a lot of flavor into a light and easy dish. The toast came on whole wheat toast with red pepper flakes and lemon. It was topped with two perfectly poached eggs.
Jackie, being in her third trimester of pregnancy, has some food limitations. Luckily, the staff at The Smith was understanding and happily accommodated her modifications. She went with the burger royale, substituting a brioche bun and skipping the mayonnaise/ketchup sauce. Though the substitutions made the burger less exciting, The Smith still delivered a moist, well-seasoned patty and we stand by any restaurant willing to accommodate expectant mothers! Or picky eaters. Or food allergies. The burger also came with a heap of shoestring French fries that had a crisp exterior with fluffy potato inside.
The staff generously brought us a few other plates to sample, including the rancheros scramble, churro waffle, and the pastrami grilled cheese.
The Huevos rancheros were gorgeously plated, artfully stacking the black bean puree, blue corn tortillas, scrambled eggs, charred salsa, and avocados. It was filling, fresh, and a unique take on a brunch favorite. Ultimately, this was my favorite brunch dish, and I will order it on my next trip.
The churro waffle appears in the snacks and starters section, and I fully recommend getting one to share with the table. Jackie and I both adored the fusion of the two dishes. It is crispier and airier than your usual brunch waffle. It also comes with an espresso crema to dip in, though I enjoyed it without the sauce.
The pastrami grilled cheese reminded me of one of my brunch go-tos: the croque madame. The sourdough rye was loaded with Gruyère fondue and a sunny side up egg. It was a meaty, savory dish that came with a side salad (which went untouched). As the weather becomes crisp and chilly, this is the perfect dish to warm up with.
The Bitches Say: Four Champagne Flutes
We love The Smith’s vibe and extensive menu. Meet up with your friends and enjoy traditional brunch cocktails and creative twists on brunch classics.
The Smith serves brunch Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.