Breakfast makes perfect

by Karen Phillips

It seems like I never make it to a restaurant in time for breakfast. They usually stop serving breakfast by like 9:30 or 10 a.m., and I always end up missing it because I like to sleep in on the weekends. It’s like when Adam Sandler took his kid Frankenstein to McDonald’s for breakfast, but they got there 30 minutes and 4 seconds late, and Sandler yelled out “horsesh*t” and threw the guy’s fries off his tray (Big Daddy reference). Frustrating.

I jump at the opportunity to eat at a place that serves brunch, or even better, “breakfast all day long.” I heard about Smith Street Diner on the urbanspoon app while I was looking for good breakfast places and figured I’d give it a shot.

Although I truly cherish my new-found love of eating alone, I felt like some company that morning, so I dragged my friend Mollie Caragol out of bed and made her come with me. She may not have realized it, but it was good for her.

As we walked in, it immediately felt like an authentic diner experience: a big black pick-up truck sat parked out front, a silver counter with traditional diner barstools took up a good portion of the restaurant with a dum-dum lollipop tree placed by the register, and tables set up along the outskirts for a more private eating experience.

Caragol and I sat at a table beside a pink pig painting hanging on the wall. There were at least five different pig paintings hanging throughout the diner. We looked at the menu, trying to decide what we wanted to eat — Caragol debating between breakfast and lunch, and myself trying to decide what breakfast option to choose. I started with a bottomless cup of their Counter Culture coffee. Caragol got a Diet Coke. Clearly she was going for lunch.

I decided on the pancakes: two buttermilks with chocolate chips, and a side of home fries. Caragol got the Philly cheese steak — no mushrooms or peppers. I can’t speak for Caragol’s dish (although the fact that she ate it all probably speaks for itself), but my pancakes were perfect. I’m usually more of a waffle fan because they are crispier than pancakes, but these pancakes actually had a slight crunchy exterior before you broke into the soft flesh and experienced the gooey milk chocolate chips. I didn’t even need any syrup.

I did ask for a side of whipped cream, though. Just a tip. Because I need my coffee fix first thing in the morning, I missed out on the big “robot” arm that waits to squeeze fresh oranges, but all of Smith Street Diner’s food is fresh, which may add to why it’s a bit pricey for a diner. However, a restaurant that serves fresh food, squeezes their own juices, and serves breakfast all day long, “8 days a week,” gets an okay in my book.

They claim their house specialty is “A satisfied customer.” I know I left satisfied. As for Caragol, I don’t know if I can say the same. I’m pretty sure she enjoyed the food and the company, she’s just not a morning person. Next time I force her out of bed, I think it’s only fair that I pay for her meal.


Smith Street Diner; 438 Battleground Avenue, Greensboro; 336.379.8666;