If you had to force me to choose between Turkish food and guacamole, it’d be my version of Sophie’s Choice. One of the advantages to big-city living is the access to authentic ethnic food – the variety, the quality, and the sheer abundance. When I left Istanbul, I knew that finding my favorite street food would be impossible. But with the launch of Simit + Smith in Georgetown, I once again can get a taste of Turkey in my own backyard.
With multiple locations in New York City and New Jersey, Georgetown welcomes this brand as the debut location in DC (we hope there will be more!) and we were privileged to get a better look inside and sample several items from the new menu.
For those of you who don’t know, Simit is something of a Turkish bagel, and can be found on carts all over Istanbul. Simit is simple, soft, and utterly addictive. A carb-lover’s dream. S + S also serves incredible pogaça (poy-acha) – Plain / Feta and Parsley / Black Olive and Kasseri. The inside is soft and doughy, enveloped in a crispy outer crust. My favorite? Toss cheese in anything and I’m a happy girl, so the Feta is where it’s at in my book.
One of my favorite Turkish foods, Lahmacun, is also on the menu – and for a mere $4.50, you better believe I’ll be ordering these by the dozen! Think of it as a Turkish flatbread, but roll it up rather than cutting it. Or, just invite me along and I will demonstrate for you ;)
We also had the chance to try their Döner Kebap Dürüm, a splendid rendition of the durum I used to eat in Istanbul. Though this sirloin isn’t presented rotating on a stick as it does in Turkey, the flavor was robust and the sandwich fantastic. If you are looking on the light side for lunch, snag their Feta Salad.
You know I don’t do overly sweet, so getting an accurate pulse from me on dessert is usually better left to Scott’s expertise, the resident Sugar King. However, baklava is a staple in Turkey, and rarely done well over here in my experience. Always exceedingly syrupy, and I’m unable to handle more than a tiny bite. The Baklava at Simit + Smith, however, was delectable. Just the right amount of sweet, and I ate an entire piece. Had I not gotten full from two pieces of Lahmacun, I may have snagged another….
If you are eating Turkish, and can stomach a strong cup of coffee, enjoying Turkish coffee at the end of your meal is more of a ritual than a beverage. Actually, in Turkey, you only drink coffee with the people who you expect to be your friends for 40 years. The best part, however, is that your fortune can be read by flipping the coffee over when you finish. TIP: don’t eat the coffee sludge.
The space is bright, the food is fabulous, and the location is perfect. One evening at Simit + Smith and I’m ready to book myself a ticket to Istanbul. In the meantime, I’ll rely on their food to get my Turkish fix. And remember, if you need a dining companion or just want to hear me ramble about Istanbul and all things Turkish cuisine, I’d be happy to join ;)
Simit + Smith
1077 Wisconsin Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20007