Thursday, December 22, 2005

Smith's Bakery
I approach Smiths with two fantasies in mind.. One is a family owned diner that has perfected all of the comfort foods that I have longed for since moving out on my own; The other is a restaurant totally devoted to my favorite band of all time, complete with pictures of Moz covering the walls and “The Queen Is Dead” blearing in the background. Luckily my earlier prediction was the correct one, as Smith’s is the only diner to capture Halifax’s north end atmosphere, while filling the need for cheap good food within the north end neighborhood. For the Smiths this is more than an occupation, bit an art. With all good restaurants, you need not look farther than the menu to understand where the talents lie. And with Smiths Bakery, there is no attempt to hide that the homemade Bread will be the stand out part of whatever meal you order; as the complex menu stretches from lasagna to beans, and from chowder to chicken. And everything is prepared in the proper home-style fashion.
After much debate I decide to get the seafood chowder and half sandwich ($6.75). To touch on the negatives first, I wish the cheese would have not been processed and that the mayo would have been something more exciting than Helmans. However, the bread is by far the best I have ever had (And that is saying a lot) and the meat is tasty and well cut. As for the chowder, although the portion was small, this was the best tasting chowder I have ever had. From first glance I saw a perfect combination of haddock, shrimp and lobster floating in a broth with plenty of cream and spices. My first taste was filled with perfect levels fish, cream, and freshly ground pepper and sea salt; this chowder is a true jem.
Jess ordered a sandwich that resembled a chicken burger, but took all the expected ingredients up one notch. What was described as a hamburger bun turned out to be a fresh, moist bun resembling sour dough; this was by far the highlight of the meal. The chicken was a full breast of white meat covered in a mild, but flavorful bbq sauce. The only downfall of this sandwich was that there was absolutely no mozzarella, even though it had been promised in the menu. Had the cheese been there, this would have easily been the best chicken sandwich I have ever tasted.
Not feeling completely full, and being overly tempted by the take-out display, I decided that an order of baked beans would act as a perfect mid-afternoon snack. Although the beans seemed slightly undercooked, the sauce they were served in was the perfect mix of molasses and tomato sauce and led to a meal that was almost flawless.
Smith’s Bakery is trying to appeal to a market that most of their north end competition is also competing for. However, they manage to take every meal one step above the rest. Smiths bakery manages to be everything you want in a neighborhood diner without having to advertise their strengths (such as a menu full of great vegetarian dishes) This might be the perfect place to spend a free afternoon.