You may remember from my brunch reviews of On the Rox and Pearl that I seem to really enjoy hearty meat meals for brunch (which is definitely accurate). So it’s no shocker that I ordered the hearty brisket bowl when I went to Social 52. It fell way short of my expectations.
I had a really hard time deciding what I was going to order at Social 52, and usually that’s because there are several dishes that I’d really like to try. This was just the opposite, as there was nothing on the menu that I really was dying to eat. It’s a pretty limited menu, with no obvious I-need-that-immediately dishes.
So I went with their brisket bowl because my roommate once got the brisket sandwich for dinner at Social, and it was hot and spicy. Almost too hot and spicy, which is a problem I usually enjoy. The brunch bowl is a letdown, especially in comparison to the sandwich brethren I was mentally comparing it to. It was a big, unflavorful bowl of bland grits and meat. I should also throw them a bone and share that I don’t usually love grits, so me not loving the grits that much isn’t surprising. However, I have had grits that made me think I died and went to Southern heaven, and these were not that.
The lackluster meat though, is really surprising. It hardly tasted like anything at all. Also, just a non-cherry on top, the menu online says you get a biscuit with this meal, and I certainly did not get a biscuit with this meal. I did not bring it up at the time, because there was no need for more food at the table. I’m not blaming anyone in the case of the missing biscuit, our waitress was a waitress and did her job as you’d hope she would. It just didn’t exist on my plate.
Do I wish I ordered something else? Hmmm. That's tough. Typically, I refuse to go to a brunch location and order eggs, which I can make myself for a dollar or two, unless there is something extra jazzy about them, or in a Benedict because I don’t make those myself, so there wasn't much else on the menu I wanted to explore. For example, when I went to Kitchen 64, they used eggs as a base, and loaded them up with many ingredients that I would not normally have in my possession. I also expected that the meat in the brisket bowl would compensate for how bland grits usually are. It did not, because the meat was also bland.
I did consider getting the Greek frittata, but the waitress told us they had no olives. That’s a deal breaker. However, my roommate did order the Greet frittata, knowing that there were going to be no olives. Beyond the missing olives, which were taken into consideration prior to ordering, the frittata also did not live up to her expectations. After eating her meal, she felt remorse because it was “a lot of money for the amount of food I got,” and described the dish as bland and left the table still hungry.
On the upside, it was not crowded at all and they can accommodate larger crowds. In fact, I am now aware that they can handle parties up to 20. I also did not know that you can bring your mom and let her eat for free (conditions apply)! But you can, and I bet she’ll love it! I apologize for not enlightening you all about this deal originally, because I’ve only been once for brunch (once seemed like enough), never saw it advertised, and it really has no bearing on my personal decision making because my mom lives in Connecticut, so she’ll likely never have the pleasure of a free meal here. Another selling point of eating here would be their build your own bloody Mary cart, because they have one. I don’t like Bloody Mary’s, as we learned in my Pearl review, so this is why I didn’t review it because there’s no way it would have been positive.
But one major selling point that I can endorse is their mimosa pitcher, which was super cheap and delicious. They put some lemonade in it, so it’s extra special. I must say, I’d drink that again, maybe even multiple pitchers of it. Maybe even by myself, if I were to go to brunch alone. So if you’re looking to go out for brunch and Sunday Funday it without any concern for what you eat, this is definitely the place for you.
My general recommendation is to come to Social 52 at night (huge fan of the place for nighttime drinking) and take some Instagrams! They air them on a TV if you hashtag #Social52, so you can feel like a minor celebrity the whole night. I am not deeming that Social 52 is entirely unworthy of food consumption, as I did not get poisoned, and I have been for dinner and enjoyed it. But I review brunch places, and my recommendation is eat somewhere else for brunch, or eat here, if you like what you hear. I'm just one person that tried here twice!