Little Shmiddy's Hot Meat House
Little Shmiddy's Hot Meat House is a Cabbagetown spot that offers, as you might expect, a variety of meats. If Shmiddy's menu just featured locally sourced and hormone-free proteins that would be an admirable endeavour, but when the preparation of the food matches its quality, the result is a rousing success.
We recently visited Little Shmiddy's for brunch (11:30am to 3:30pm on weekends), where a steady churn of people came through the tiny, modern space. Friendly waitstaff provided helpful suggestions, and the mood was upbeat and cheerful.
The smoked salmon benny ($13) comes on a rich, buttermilk biscuit topped with a perfectly cooked poached egg, flavourful smoked salmon and a lemony hollandaise. The plentiful hollandaise envelopes the whole dish, coating the accompanying home fries (wonderfully crisp) and providing a dressing for the arugula lining the side of the plate.
The brisket breakfast poutine ($12, top photo) also appears on the dinner menu, though the brunch version comes with a poached egg, as the dish apparently wasn't sinfully rich enough. Crisp frites are paired with mounds of curds, a rich demi-glace, and a healthy handful of what the menu calls brisket, but which looks a bit more like chuck. Whatever the cut, the rich meat falls tenderly apart when mashed together with cheese, fries, egg and gravy.
An open-faced brisket sandwich ($13) is an amalgam of different flavours and textures, underpinned by a veritable lake of rich jus. A fried egg partners with black beans, avocado, tomatoes and arugula, brought together in sandwich form by a tender biscuit covered in cheddar cheese. The ingredients are fresh, the rich, jus-y beans delicious, and the fatty brisket pops with flavour and textures.
More traditional breakfast fare doesn't get short shrift either. The perfectly French spinach and goat cheese omelette ($11.50) is delicate and fluffy, with the well cooked exterior hiding a warm, gooey interior that practically oozes out when cut open. The goat cheese is sharp but not pungent and the spinach bright and aromatic, with a herb puree providing a further accent.
A slice of earl grey chocolate cake ($7) is recommended by the chef, and finishes our meal. The exceedingly moist piece of cake hints of tea, and trends texturally towards carrot cake, with chocolate in the background. It's topped with mounds of fresh whipped cream and surrounded by oodles of warm, rich, and not overly sugary caramel. On the whole the dessert is almost as savoury as it is sweet, but certainly rich (like so many of the dishes here).
In addition to our excellent brunch, Shmiddy's also offers a focused dinner menu, with a relaxed charcuterie/brasserie type vibe. Given how good the brunch is, it's only a matter of time before we're back for dinner.
Photographs by Miranda Whist. Follow/yell at Anders on Twitter .