Simit + Smith Offers an Alternative to the New York Bagel

Simit + Smith Offers an Alternative to the New York Bagel

(Photos courtesy Simit + Smith)

Last week, I had lunch at the Upper West Side location of Simit + Smith, a Mediterranean breakfast and lunch spot known for their simit bread. The bread, which is Turkish and eaten throughout the Mediterranean countries, comes in a bagel-like circle, in a sandwich-shaped rectangle and even as chips. I tried all three varieties, which can be used for different meals and occasions.

The first and most well known is the ring of simit bread, reminiscent of a larger, thinner bagel. The texture is lighter than a bagel and features a crunchier exterior. Plus simit is healthy, handmade and includes no preservatives. Simit + Smith serves this Turkish standard a few different ways, but I tried it with figs and a ricotta and honey dip. I don’t often see figs on a menu, but trying them with a piece of simit added a unique chewy texture and fruity flavor. According to Simit + Smith’s district manager Oz Aksar, in Turkey, these rings of simit are sold out of carts all over the streets, similar to hot dog or pretzel carts in Manhattan. They’re a popular breakfast in Turkey, but Simit + Smith also offers them at lunchtime.

A few of Simit + Smith

Another option is a more typical lunch food: sandwiches. I tried two of these, which use the same simit bread in a rectangular shape. My favorite was the chicken, mozzarella, pesto and sundried tomato. Unlike many sandwich shops, Simit + Smith’s offerings aren’t packed with filler toppings—each piece of the sandwich really works with the other components. Plus, Askar explained, the shop tries to use local ingredients as much as possible.

The most interesting simit option at the shop was their baked chips. They’re available to take home with a variety of dips, including red pepper & walnut, red onion & sumac and spinach & artichoke. Simit + Smith’s 72nd Street location is close to Central Park, making their chips a great option to pick up on the way to a picnic.

The shop has two other Manhattan locations and two more will be opening soon. For more information, visit simitandsmith.com.

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