The Smith

In the heart of the East Village, The Smith serves breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner every day in a casual upbeat environment.

I really liked this place. I'd compare it to Schiller's Liquor Bar, just on a bigger scale. It even has a funky bathroom and old-school glass bottles for tap water a lá Schiller's. The Smith is a few blocks uptown from our place, on Third Avenue. The restaurant has a lot of street frontage and in warm weather the windows all open up to the street. We took some friends visiting from D.C. there for brunch.

I found the food to be quite good, for what it is. The hit of the meal was the croaker with smoked ham, gruyere cheese, over sourdough rye, with fried eggs drooping over the whole mess. It was a huge portion served in a skillet. I'd say it could easily be shared. Plus, it tasted good - the egg yolk dripping through all the other ingredients made for a good sauce. I had the steak and eggs which came with home fries. It was good, though I felt the meat was a little tough.

As I mentioned before there are a few funky touches at the restaurant. The bathroom is one large room with a bunch of individual stalls, rather than a men's room and a ladies room. Then, oddly, there is a photo booth in the bathroom too. We'll have to go try that out. We were served both flat and sparkling water at no charge, in clear and green glass bottles, respectively.

Unfortunately, I felt the service could have been a little better and more attentive. We were waiting for a while to get some ketchup and to get a replacement fork after one dropped on the floor. But I suppose that's a consequence of their success - the place was busy! And every time I walk by, weekday, weekend, lunch, dinner, it is crowded. I'd definitely go back. Plus I hear they have free food on Wednesdays!

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