Customer service is part of my job, so it can’t help but warm my heart to see restaurants making major changes in service to better accommodate their customers. I really enjoy breakfast at Smith Canteen. The coffee is probably my favorite so far in Brooklyn and I’m positively obsessed with their homemade Pop-Tarts. However, the waits in the morning during the workweek had gotten so long that I’d almost stopped going. Just too much time – a treat better saved for the weekend. If I was running too late, I knew that there would possibly be a sea of strollers to greet me along with a long line.
I walked in a few weeks back though to see a note on the door as well as a stack of a printed letter to customers explaining some upcoming changes. I’ve been in places I really like to find major changes but can’t say I’ve ever seen any be so transparent and detailed in communicating what was going on and why and with a whole week’s notice to boot. Coffee service would remain the same, as would the fabulous grab and go pastries. However, it also noted that their sister restaurant a few doors up, Seersucker, would start opening for breakfast and would be carrying some of the more invovled breakfast items they used to serve at Smith Canteen as well as some new additions.
I popped into each after the change to see how things worked. The line at Smith Canteen definitely moves more quickly, and I like that you can still get most of the basic food to go there. Seasonal muffins, basic croissants and such.
It was interesting to pop into Seersucker, having only been there before to eat meals on-site (great brunch here). I was a bit worried about how long it would take. Should I have called in? Would it be crazy busy with people dining in? Neither were a problem. There were some people at one table and there was a father with his little boy, no more than 2, propped up at the bar. I ordered at the bar and had my food and was heading back out in no more than 10 minutes.
I was able to get the same iced coffee as I usually get at Smith Canteen and I had to try the breakfast tacos while I was there. They were quite good and deceptively light. I noticed the reality when I wasn’t hungry later come lunchtime. They’re scrambled eggs, house chorizo, potatoes, and I went for salsa verde.
Overall, wonderful change for both Smith Canteen and Seersucker. If you haven’t visited either, highly recommend checking them out.
Smith Canteen – 343 Smith Street (at Carroll Street) – 347.294.0292
Seersucker – 329 Smith Street (between President & Carroll) – 718.422.0444