Thursday, February 21, 2013

Mr. Smith's of Georgetown Food Review

Smith Burger and Curly Fries

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Mr. Smith's of Georgetown calls itself "the friendliest saloon in town" and after an impromptu lunch there this afternoon, I'm inclined to agree. It's not often that you're greeted by four different people before you even sit down, yet alone genuinely greeted. Once our server stopped by to explain the specials, I began to wonder if I'd won the lottery or something... Why else would so many people care if I was comfortable and having a good time?

Like most saloons and taverns, it's a little dark when you first walk into Mr. Smith's; but in the distance, sits the warm and inviting garden patio. That's where my cousin Dean and I decided to rest our weary bones (after walking three miles) and order matching Smith Burgers, affordably priced at $8.99.

It's been a while since I last ate here, but the prices are almost the same as I remember from almost a decade ago. Our burgers came with cottage fries (or as our friendly server corrected... potato chips) so we dropped an extra buck-fifty each for a side of curly fries (you can also get steak or waffle, if curly's not your thing.)

Service was wicked fast (too fast?) and my burger was cooked perfectly (medium.) Dean's wasn't (he asked for well done, but it was medium/medium-well at best.) The burgers (1/2 pounders) were served on big, rectangular sesame-seed buns with crunchy iceberg lettuce, onions and tomatoes nestled beneath the meat... where it should be. The curly fries were hot but not exactly bursting with flavor. Refills on my Diet Pepsi arrived before I could finish two-thirds of my drink (nice!)

I can't emphasize just how impressive the customer service is at this DC institution (Mr. Smith's has been around for over 40 years.) Food was good, not spectacular, and best of all... ultra affordable. Mr. Smith's claims to serve over a ton of burger per month; but offers a wide variety of other choices, most priced at or under 10 bucks.

Atmosphere: B (I'm not big fan of plastic chairs and tablecloths; but the garden patio is really nice, and has working fireplaces.)
Burger: C+ (The beef could use a lot more seasoning... and mine was a bit cold, which is strange considering how fast it arrived.)
Fries: B- (Not Arby's level, but piping hot and tasty enough.)
Service: A
Value: B (Outside of the $1.50 extra for fries, a steal.)
Overall: B (Great service takes an otherwise average meal and makes it better.)