Confession. I am a carboholic. I begin every day by consuming half a bagel topped with a thin layer of light cream cheese. On occasion, I swap the bagel for a slice of toast, but this isn’t nearly as satisfying. My carb addiction goes far beyond my morning routine, so I am elated when a recent menu tasting at Simit + Smith in Georgetown begins with a sampling of their baked goods.
Simit + Smith is a new Turkish cafe near the bustling intersection of M Street and Wisconsin Avenue, NW. The cafe offers simple but delicious food inspired by street vendors in Istanbul. The name of the cafe is derived from a popular delicacy in the region – the simit- which is a Turkish/Mediterranean version of a bagel. The Smith in the name is a nod to American food culture.
Initially I’m wary of something that looks but doesn’t taste like a bagel, but I quickly warm up to this twist on one of my favorite foods. Before baking, the simit is dipped in a mixture of grape molasses and water, which gives it a crunch on the outside and an airy texture on the inside. Paired with a thinly sliced tomato, kasseri cheese, and a sprinkle of oregano, it’s a respectable competitor to a bagel and cream cheese. I’m ready to vary my weekday breakfast, and that’s saying something.
Simit + Smith goes beyond the simit with its bready offerings to include acma, a Turkish version of a brioche, and pogaça which bears a resemblance to foccacia. Lahmacun is a Turkish flatbread sprinkled with marinated minced meat and spices.
Döner kebab, sirloin which is traditionally prepared on a rotisserie, is oven-baked in-house, and is melt-in-your-mouth delicious. It’s available in salads, wraps, and sandwiches.
Simit + Smith is the place to go when you want to grab something unique and satisfying for breakfast, lunch, or a light dinner. Top it off with a cup of thick, steaming Turkish coffee, and perhaps one of the staff will read your fortune in the coffee grounds. My meal here concludes with a bite of Turkish Delight-a sweet confection made from gel and sugar, which aptly describes this homey new Georgetown bakery and cafe.
Simit +Smith, 1077 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, Washington, DC