By Natalia Lehaf
The Black Keys is playing softly overhead as a woman with a generous smile leads you to your seat. The walls are covered with black and white photographs and dangling from the ceiling are candle shaped lights emitting just enough lighting to see the food on your plate. With the barrier between the street and restaurant pushed aside, wafts of fresh air swim inside of the restaurant, giving all diners the perfect satisfaction of being inside and outside at the same time. Even at 9 a.m. with two other customers, The Smith evokes a hip vibe.
Located in the East Village right on Third Avenue, The Smith invites all of Union Square to feast on breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Tables and seating are accessible for big and small groups alike. While some college students may find the meals to be pricey, I found that not to be the case during the morning hours. The price range for breakfast meals goes from $4 (a boiled egg) to $9 (a mushroom omelet with wild mushrooms, fotina, and home fries). The breakfast selection is conveniently divided up into three sections on the menu: Eggs, Griddle, and Lighter Fare. A list of scrumptious variations of eggs are provided under “Eggs;” pancakes, French toast, and waffles are offered under “Griddle;” and healthy, calorie-friendly items such as granola, oatmeal, and fruit are listed beneath “Lighter Fare.” Personally, I found the French toast to be well worth the $8. The portion was much more than I had expected and the quality was not tarnished as a result of the large quantity. No, I was able to have my French toast and eat it too.
Milky, buttery, so sweet I had to refresh my mouth with a sip of water for every bite. Topped with caramel and bananas, I was somewhat alarmed that I had gone so long without ever trying this lip-smacking combination. Only one third of the way done and my stomach was begging me to stop while my taste buds were screaming for more. It was the utmost confliction at 9:30 a.m. Part of my overwhelming full-ness was due to the complimentary sides placed on the table the moment my group (a class of sixteen) and I sat down: crunchy bacon, savory spinach, and mouth-watering cheddar biscuit. At The Smith, it is hard to simply look and not touch. Needless to say, mindful eating was out of the question as hands played survival of the hungriest, grabbing a selection of sides as soon as they were placed on the table.