My brunch today (apparently, it was filling enough to be all three of my meals today based on what time it is and still not feeling hungry) at Simpatica Dining Hall. The name tells you what to expect in terms of inside atmosphere after going down the stairs of a seemingly unmarked warehouse and a 2-person wide hallway. You will see all wooden tables and chairs, almost like what you’d expect at an old school cafeteria, but with simple clean decor all around and an open kitchen that an Ikea catalog would boast. The seating is communal although there are a few four-tops, and the echoing of voices and close seating reinforces a bit of nostalgia for me of being back in school and a bit of dissonance at the forced sense of community- we took up a table together because of our group size, but smaller parties can expect to share space with what starts out as strangers.
Still, everyone at our table was happily scraping every last morsel off their plate and returning clean plates to the waiter. The food isn’t fancy, but is thoughtful in creation and that comes across in the dishes. Simpatica takes advantage of the season while also checking carefully at what is fresh for the week in terms of ingredients and their imaginations in the kitchen- literally changing their menu every week, and even between Friday and Saturday the menus are different.
One of the brunch items which is well loved and thus continues every Sunday is their chicken and waffles. The fried chicken has curry scented batter, the waffles are crisp outside but soft pillowy inside that melts on your tongue, and thanks to the summer season the syrup with the waffles showed off strawberries. I also ordered an additional side of Butterball potatoes, as well as a Bloody Mary that came with lots of pickled veggies to hold me over as I waited for the food. Even as I was enjoying every bite and trying to get every last piece of chicken meat and had a hard time deciding what would be my last bite- chicken or waffle with strawberry?- I jealously eyed the benedict dish and the strata dishes next to me and contemplated on what I should also order next visit.