Sorry for the hiatus but I am finally back to the city and will be making an effort to post weekly!
This past Friday one of my friends tried to make a reservation at Social Eatz and was first told that they do not accept resys for less than 4 people. When she explained that I was on crutches they made an exception to their rule and said they would accept reservations for 2. However if you are trying to make reservations over the phone I would say to stick to their policy of four. Angelo Sosa of Top Chef All Stars and former owner of the Hell’s Kitchen sandwich shop Xie Xie owns Social Eatz.
When we arrived the table was ready right away and I was welcomed with warm greetings and we were taken directly to our seats which was the closest table to the door. Rex came over and introduced himself as a manager and instantly I felt comfortable and welcome. My major issue with Social Eatz is that the bar is a center point of the restaurant and they do not yet have their liquor license. They have a decent size TV behind the bar which was playing the Mets game but it is by no means a good place to watch sports. It is one of those places to go when you are the only one in your group that cares about the game because at least you can still get the score.
The tables have benches and some are family style. The menu is limited in choices and mostly filled with a couple of appetizers, a few salads and some sandwiches. Personally I like a smaller menu because it usually indicates that whatever you order it is going to be good and that the food will be fresh because they make each dish pretty often. It was an easy menu to navigate and choose from. Angelo’s asian flare and love for food definitely shine through. For friends who are not foodies reading through some of the menu descriptions may be cumbersome and confusing but I loved the detail.
For an appetizer we ordered the Hot Wings (crispy wings glazed in a sauce of tamarind, garlic, shallots, palm sugar and togarashi, a japanese spice blend of red chili, roasted orange peel and black sesame). The wings come in an order of 5 and were fried to a crispy perfection. The flavor was sort of sweet but had a very good level of heat. On each table is a bottle of sriracha so you can easily add spice if they do not meet your standards for hot wings. While the flavor was good and each wing was a decent size the quality of the chicken was not as good as I would have liked. The wings themselves were a bit fatty but I would order them again.
For a main course I ordered the BiBimBap burger from the “SpecialtieZ” (it is obnoxious that they spell everything with a Z, it feels like a seventh grade girl selected the verbiage) section of the menu. Bibimbap Burger korean for “mixed meat”, its ground beef with a slow cooked egg, covered in lettuce and served with pickled carrot and cucumber.
I noticed that when the waitress took my order she didn’t ask how I would like it cooked so immediately I was concerned. The burger arrived and thankfully it was cooked perfectly. Juicy, tender and slightly pink on the inside served with a side of deliciously crispy, hot, seasoned french fries. I love a perfectly cooked egg so the slow cooked one that arrived on top of the burger definitely enhanced the taste. The pickled vegetables were also a nice touch and the burger was a good size and I couldn’t finish it but did come close.
Overall I really liked Social Eatz and I will definitely go back but it is slowly turning into a trendy, overhyped burger joint. Don’t get me wrong there are other things on the menu (SoupZ, SaladZ, Taco’Z) but I would probably only open up to the TacoZ. The prices are affordable and I’m sure it will only get more crowded once they are approved for their liquor license.
The food is affordable
All of the food has a good level of spice and is tasty
The burgers are cooked perfectly
The french fries are wonderfully seasoned and shoestring potatoes
Apparently their cheese sauce is amazing
Good bar space for solo or dining with 1 other person
TV behind the bar
Sriracha on every table!
No booze (yet)
Crowded/trendy right now (some people could consider that a bad thing)
Chicken wings could be of a higher quality
Overall: 4/5 Stars--DBlock