The Village Smithy | AspenTimes.com

The Village Smithy

Christina Patterson

The Village Smithy is truly one of a kind. The place is huge, bustling, friendly, simple, family owned and has been that way since 1975. That is an important thing to say for an area where Aspenization is trudging its way downvalley and the restaurants are coming and going.

There is something so real about the Smithy that is hard to pinpoint. If you go there on a Sunday, you’ll know what I mean. For some reason, the only time it ever occurs to me to venture to the Smithy is on a Sunday, so I always end up sitting in the little front “waiting room” area for a table. But each time I am in good company, often company I already know, or company I quickly get to know, as we are linked by a common bond–waiting to eat some good food.

If you’re looking for something quick on a Sunday morning, may I suggest that you try somewhere else. This is not a criticism by any means. In fact, in the era of fast food, it’s nice to build up some appetite and anticipation on a Sunday morning. Patience is good for the digestion, anyway.

But during our latest breakfast at the Smithy, we decided to go on a Tuesday, just to see what went on in there on such a mundane day. And mundane it was…wonderfully so. The front door of the Smithy has a sigh that reads, “We reserve the right to serve everyone.” The front of the menu reads, “A friendly meeting and eating place.” Talk about truth in advertising.

Breakfast. You got six omelets to choose from, including the Farmer’s (fresh avocado, mushroom and tomato), the old standard Western, the Florentine (seasoned spinach) and the Fun Guy (mushrooms…get it?). They are all in the $5.50-$6.25 range and come with hash browns and a choice of whole wheat, English muffin, rye or sourdough. Prepare to be filled.

You also got your pancakes, blueberry corncakes, French toast and Belgian waffle decisions to make, and each for around $4. For “The Lighter side of Breakfast,” you can substitute your egg dishes with a combination of five egg whites to one yolk or replace your side of hash browns with Kashi or home fries, no charge.

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Huevos Rancheros could very well be the best culinary treat to make it across the border…at least I’m assuming they made it here from across a border. At any rate, they do them up right at the Smithy, and for only $5.75. My companion swears they’re the best he’s ever had. He knows these things. If you’re one of those lacto-ovo-whatevers, check out the McGurk’s, a bed of hash browns with shrooms, green onion, tomato and melted cheddar, also an incredible $5.75. There is also a daily assortment of pastries and bagles as well as a good old bowl of oatmeal for $2.50.

On weekends The Smithy has some breakfast specials. such as the salmon Benedict–two poached eggs, smoked salmon, grilled tomato and pesto cream cheese on an English muffin ($8.25), the Don Quixote–two poachers and Canadian bacon on an English Muffin topped with salsa and cheddar, hold the Hollandaise ($6.25), as well as a few other poached egg variations. Weekends were made for poaching eggs, don’tcha know?

The Smithy is set up to fulfill all of your breakfast beverage needs, with juices, smoothies, specialty coffees, Chai, hot chocolate and even Yerba Mate.

For lunch at The Smithy, there is a fine selection of salads to start with (or to stick with), including the Asian Chicken Salad (grilled teriyaki marinated chicken breast, toasted almond, Mandarin orange, won-ton skins and sesame seeds-$6.25), and Sandy’s Grilled Turkey Salad (cranberry-ginger marinated grilled turkey filet, saut»ed mushrooms, green onion and sweet potato-$6.95). The Chile Relleno looks tempting and filling for only $6.00, as does the vegetarian burrito (black beans, zucchini, tomato and jack cheese in a flour tortilla with tomatillo green chile and cheddar, and served with Spanish rice and black-bean corn salad for a pittance of $5.75.)

For the sandwich crowd you can easily end up with grilled turkey, teriyaki chicken, fried cod, and any number of charbroiled burgers with various fixin’s, including a meatless garden burger, all in the $5.50-$6.50 neighborhood.

An late starters have no fear…you can still get a few breakfast specials and omelets from the “Please, May I Still Get Breakfast?” section. And yes, this includes the Huevos.

I can’t help but feel that this particular profile is an exercise in preaching to the choir, as the Village Smithy, now going into its 23rd year of business, is nothing short of legendary from one end of the valley to the other. Ask around. Whenever a group of our friends are making “party of eight” breakfast plans, the Smithy inevitably gets the votes.

The entire Smithy experience is beautifully summed up on the front page of their menu in a quote by Thoreau, “To affect the quality of the day is the highest of arts.”

With that in mind, the folks at the Smithy are world class artists.

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