Going somewhere for brunch is always such an important decision (I get crabby with disappointing food) and after hearing only good things about the food at The Smile I thought I had to try it out. I have only stopped here for a quick coffee and muffin so I was looking forward to trying a meal there. The restaurant is a cute, dark and cozy spot, perfect on a rainy or cold day.
They were out of their gluten free banana bread (seems to be my luck these days, I will get some soon I swear!!) so I opted for their other GF baked good offered, a quinoa banana muffin. I had this on my last visit when it was served warm with some butter on the side (which deliciously melted right in). This time it was served room temperature and without the side of butter (insert sad face here). I realize I could’ve asked for it, but they seemed quite busy -which I am sure is why it was served like this. Luckily the good coffee warmed me up.
The warm quinoa and lentils bowl sounded so good on the menu I couldn’t resist giving it a go. It is normally made with butternut squash, sautéed greens, house made ricotta and a poached egg, perfect for the cold day. When I ordered this our server informed me that they were out of the sautéed greens and butternut squash and that it would instead come with asparagus. No worries, it still sounded good to me. Unfortunately what I received was a portion of plain quinoa, shaved asparagus and some peas. Sitting on top was an over cooked poached egg (that was completely solid inside) and some ricotta.
I hate to say this but the dish was bland and disappointing. If the egg had been runny inside, it could have spilled out and mixed in with the other ingredients giving the entire dish more flavor and better texture as the quinoa was quite dry. I don’t like to write bad things, but I also don’t like to be disappointed when I’m paying for food. I saw I wasn’t the only one who felt this way – the table beside me had four completely emptied plates but still at least half of their quinoa bowl remained.
Luckily my boyfriend (who is much better at sharing food than I am) ordered the baked eggs and avocado. It came in a hot bed of tasty crushed tomato sauce and melted manchego cheese. You can’t go wrong with some melted cheese. Before dunking his crispy bread in and contaminating it, I was able to get right into it (this dish is gluten free without the side of bread). This dish had a lot more flavor and I immediately had a bad case of food envy.
If the quinoa dish had come with all the ingredients it was meant to, this may have been a very different blog entry- but to be honest, I don’t particularly want to go back and try. I have heard that their take out place on Howard street – Smile to go – has better food, so I will have to give that a go.
- GF bread: No
- Location: 26 Bond St
- Coffee: Good
- Website: The Smile