While Georgetown is known for many things, bakeries top nearly anyone’s list about this neighborhood. It’s astounding how many picturesque cafés and cupcakeries line the colorful streets. Given this endless brigade of baked goods, Washingtonians may think there isn’t much room for anything new.
This summer, you’ll think again when you visit Wisconsin Avenue’s newest bakery – Simit + Smith.
Hailing from New York with locations in New Jersey, this Mediterranean café aims to please the palates of global citizens with simit, also known as a Turkish bagel. It’s larger in circumference than an American bagel, but thinner and crunchier on the outside. While this Balkan and Turkish breakfast favorite is clearly the specialty dish, a host of other snacks can be ordered that will please nearly any diner.
Thanks to the company’s kind President, Zulfikar Bekar, we were able to try almost everything – and it was phenomenal.
The more than two hour meal began with simit rings, poğaça and açma, or Turkish brioche. The brioche was buttery, soft and delicious enough to be eaten plain. The favorite, however, was the poğaça, a pastry filled with cheeses (such as crumbly feta and sharp kasseri) savory olives or herbs.
The café’s namesake dish was served as a second course and filled with kasseri cheese (feta and cheddar are also options), tomatoes and dried oregano. The razor thin tomatoes and flavorful oregano provided a refreshing complement to the salty kasseri. When combined with the crunch of the sesame simit, it’s perfection.
If you’re craving a dish even more adventurous than a Turkish bagel, don’t miss the lahmacun. It’s essentially the Turkish take on a Neapolitan pizza, with minced meat, onions and spices baked onto an Italian piadina and served alongside greens, veggies and fresh lemon. After piling accompaniemtns on one half of the crispy flatbread, roll it up and eat like a wrap. The basic elements are so closely tied to pizza that the executive chef, who is of Italian descent, also offers a Napoli pizza in that section of the menu.
While everything at Simit + Smith is delicious, the true star of the show is the dönor kebap dürüm wrap. Featuring the Mediterranean’s most famous meat, the dish combines Sirloin kebap, romaine lettuce, Roma tomatoes, and pickles with Café de Paris sauce. Ultimately, this brings together delectable Turkish meat with flavors echoing a Big Mac (or even better, the American at Le Dipolomate). Words cannot do its deliciousness justice – this alone is worth the hike to Georgetown.
After binging on warm artisan breads, perk up with a cup of Turkish coffee – which is accompanied by a square of Turkish delight – and pistachio baklava. The sweetness of the latter helps counter the bitterness of the former. Once finished, flip the cup over, allow it to cool and see if you can catch an employee who’s able to read your fortune per the lines created by coffee drippings.
Besides the delicious food, Simit + Smith just has a good atmosphere. Head up to the second floor to find walls are adorned with old photos and windows overlooking busy Georgetown below. It’s the perfect spot to relax with a friend over a Mediterranean meal; one you’ll be planning to visit all summer long.
To learn more about Simit + Smith, visit their website, like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter and Instagram.