Just when I thought I knew where to find the best pancakes in Creation, along comes the cranberry-blueberry-white chocolate chip behemoth at Restaurant in Uncasville. Measuring nearly 8 inches across, this $4 monster filled the air with steamy sweetness as I cut through its bronzed surface into the fluffy interior.
Warmed blueberries burst in each bite, and juicy, tart cranberries woke me up from my Sunday morning blahs. Here and there, melted white chocolate oozed onto my fork, and my hunger grew insatiable as I tore through the pancake looking for more. Within a few short minutes, it was all over. I’d never eaten a pancake with white chocolate in it before—36 wasted years, I suppose—and now I don’t think I could ever eat one without it.
This pancake was on the specials menu the morning I dined at Smakosh. So was a work of art of salmon eggs Benedict. Together, these dishes proved that Smakosh has mastered the two great genres of breakfast—sticky-sweet, dessert-caliber indulgences and the savory, egg-centric kind.
Where to begin describing the pleasures of the eggs Benedict? From the bottom up, halves of a chewy English muffin, barely crisped around the edges, strained under the weight of fleshy, pink salmon, leaves of baby spinach, poached eggs, and a Hollandaise sauce as thick as pudding. Buried inside this pile, three mouth-watering ingredients made the dish exponentially pleasurable—wasabi, dill, and capers. The wasabi-mayo cream spread across the muffin imparted a playful heat and combined with the smoky, cool salmon to create the illusion of eating fatty tuna at a sushi bar. Dill laced the Hollandaise, and capers made it all irresistibly savory.
The Hollandaise tasted cheesier and less buttery than others I’ve enjoyed more, and the yolks had started to thicken, but nonetheless this Benedict earned a spot on my all-time short list. The puddles and puddles of the sauce left behind on the plate made it worth ordering a side of toast, although for $14.50 I wish they’d throw that in.
An order of strawberry-rhubarb stuffed French toast ($7.95) ate more like a French toast sandwich. Sliced berries, firm and fresh, sweetened the sticky mess of tart, pucker-up rhubarb smeared between two eggy pieces of Texas toast. Whipped cream cheese squished out from between the thick slices and onto my fingers with each bite.
Smakosh prides itself on authentic Polish food and hearty breakfasts and lunches. It’s not open for supper. Polish specialties include crepes and potato pancakes, kielbasa, pierogis, and golombkis.
The golombkis ($8.75), or cabbage rolls, made a filling lunch. Boiled cabbage leaves tightly embraced two oblong meatballs of densely packed beef and white rice. A tomato-soup sauce smothered each roll and a mound of mashed potatoes. Although filling and satisfying, by nature this dish is a plain Jane. I don’t eat enough Polish food to offer a ranking, but I suppose the golombkis must be pretty decent, considering the owners of Smakosh are Polish.
If you ask me, though, golombkis are proof that Poles can’t keep up with Italians in the kitchen. Italians would pack twice as much flavor into meatballs half as large and smother them with a zesty tomato sauce, with peppers and cheese to boot. If you like Polish food, let me know if you think I’m crazy, but in the meantime, I’m confident the breakfasts at Smakosh will please any palate, Polish or not.
1100 Norwich-New London Turnpike, Uncasville, CT 06382