My indoctrination to American life has begun. Naturally food is the starting point as it should be. Brunch is this awful bastion of life in New York. It’s not just a meal; it’s an event. Come Sunday, the majority of restaurants switch from their usual menus and offer brunch options only. Reservations are generally not taken and because no one in New York eats a weekend breakfast at home, God forbid, one is forced to elbow and jostle and give the evil eye to anyone who looks like they might try to cut in ahead of you.
A large buzzing American brasserie located on 3rd Avenue, The Smith is the perfect place to road-test some classic American brunch staples. Arriving after 3pm, the busy appearance was deceiving as the wait time was only as long as it took to re-set the table.
I’ve always been curious about grits, and thankfully the grits at The Smith had some kind of sorcery magic to them, because they were pretty great. Not as stodgy and heavy as they appeared; laced with cheese, there were like a thick, savoury porridge. Granted my basis for comparison is zero, but I can’t wait to pair these with some shrimp for my next exposure to all things American. The biscuits, no different to a scone were useful in swiping up the grits and gravy, but probably won’t become my breakfast carb of choice. Scrambled eggs were a touch over-cooked to my tastes, but I have a habit of undercooking everything but chicken where I over-compensate in fear of cutting through it and spotting that pink gelatinous meat that turns the stomach. You can’t really get more American than scrambled eggs, grits, a biscuit, ham steak and gravy. It was a rich, savoury, and pretty indulgent breakfast. I love America.
Now living here, the concept of sausage being a flat patty makes sense when you consider the sausage in a McDonalds sausage and egg McMuffin arrives as a patty, however it does take a bit of getting used to. Layered on top of cornbread and some poached eggs and gravy, it reminded me of an American rendition of Eggs Benedict. Even with my help, a pile of home fries remained looking all lonely on the plate, so large was the serving.
The country breakfast really was one of those rib-sticking breakfasts. I kind of understand now why there is an obesity problem in this country. The food taste just too darn good. Americans really do breakfasts better than anyone else, and The Smith ticks all the boxes of a true American breakfast.