Saturday, December 12, 2015
Well, it took over a year to get out to Gates to try Shmeg's, - a contraction of Shawn and Meg who opened it - but last Sunday Karen and I were headed to points west and stopped in for a late breakfast.
We arrived at the tiny strip mall and were pretty sure we found it, though the handwritten logo is tough to read when you're driving. Since there was just two of us we grabbed counter spots overlooking the kitchen so we wouldn't tie up a table. We had a clear view of the prep table, the grills and could look to the other side at the small front dining room.
I'll try to sum up Shmeg's as concisely as I can: more is more. More smell, more food, more noise, more carved Americana plaques, more grunge, more hard to read handwritten type. The menu, an 80th generation photocopy of what looks like the napkin they first drunkenly brainstormed their offerings, was difficult to read at best, but I gleaned that their basic breakfast sandwich was the 2 Egg Chubby (There were sandwiches with up to five eggs in them, you know, in case you wanted more). We ordered our Chubbies with bacon, eggs over medium, Karen added home fries to hers for $1 and then we watched the kitchen as we waited.
If you're a fastidious person I would recommend not sitting at the counter at Shmeg's, you will have an aneurism. Plates flying, clouds of powdered sugar, new pancake batter being made on top of old. I like a good dive but for some reason I was just finding everything about Shmeg's off-putting. It was just too easy to picture Guy Fieri daring us to eat the 12" pancakes that were being plated. And frankly, the name's not doing them any favors, either.
After a bit of a wait our sandwiches were ready and they looked pretty good. Generous amount of bacon (more!) and a healthy looking house baked roll. I took a bite. Whoever grabbed my roll had recently grabbed a sticky bun and my first bite was an extreme mix of sweet and salty. I took a second bite and was thankful that the sugar was just on the edge. Now, for the positives: the eggs were cooked perfectly, not too hard, the runny yolk filling up the gaps between the eggs and bacon. Speaking of, that was some delicious, thick cut bacon. Not too salty, not over or under cooked. In search of the perfect egg sandwich roll I was excited to finally get to Shmeg's (sadly, the more you say it doesn't make it better) who bake their own bread. The roll was definitely good but a little too sweet for my liking, more brioche than Kaiser. Karen thinks I'm nuts and thought it was the best thing about the sandwich. She would also like for me to mention that the coffee was great. We both agreed that the potatoes were lackluster: not a crisp edge in the bunch and although seasoned, a little too heavily with dried parsley.
So, a good sandwich (which it should be for $6), mediocre home fries, and an environment that left us smelling like a deep fryer. Shmeg's.
3027 Buffalo Road, Gates, NY
Sandwich cost: $5.99
Rating: A solid breakfast sandwich