Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Casual and Classic at Social Bar New York City

By: Anne M. Raso

I was lucky enough to check out Social Bar, a casual and classic American eatery in the Theater District last night and have to say that it serves a cut above neighbor sports bar fare—actually, several cuts above. Social Bar calls itself an Irish pub on its official website but I saw only one or two pub-style dishes on the menu (the Dubliner Irish Burger and Fish & Chips). Everything is prepared fresh and I dare say that their fries are a contender for one of the Best In Manhattan! They are salty (in a good way) and seem to be fried in peanut oil for extra flavor.
Dread Head cocktail

I started out with the coconut and colorful Dread Head cocktail, which is only $5 all day until 8PM and was impressed not only by its flavor how the green melon liqueur stayed at the bottom of the glass! My dining partner could not resist the cotton candy based Cotton Candy Cosmo (also $5), which started out pink and blue and then turned into a root beer-looking concoction once the booze was poured over the cotton candy.
Cotton Candy Cosmo
I then asked that all our dishes be brought out as they were made as opposed to having appetizers and entrees in proper order. I tried the Pulled Pork Sliders first ($11 for four medium sized sliders with those luscious fries) and found the pork to be tender and moist. They are served in a lot of medium-hot classic barbecue sauce, so those who like saucy pulled pork will love this menu item.
Pulled Pork Sliders
Next up was the large Southwestern Salad ($10) featuring a mellow cilantro vinaigrette dressing and plenty of veggies including corn and avocado with the wild greens that make up the bulk of the salad. I loved the subtle cilantro taste of the dressing, the perfectly ripe grape tomatoes. The tri color tortilla strips tasted homemade and added a perfect crunch and saltiness to this wonderful salad.
Social Burger
The most popular item on the menu is the giant 8 ounce Social Burger ($12.50) and I always feel the need to try the most ordered item on any menu. This burger was done perfectly medium as I ordered it, and was topped with sweet Chili Glaze. avocado, papaya, tomato and red onion. If that was not good enough, it is topped with a killer goat cheese ginger mayonnaise. This is no ordinary pub burger my friend—it is big enough for two people to share as an entrée!
Traditional Arepa
Social Bar is not afraid to bring international cuisines to their mainly American menu, and the Traditional Arepa ($10) is really done well with its sautéed garlic chicken with tomatoes on a Columbian style corn arepa. The Jalapeno puree that tops it is the real kicker to this dish, though. You can get shrimp substituted for the chicken for only $5 more, by the way.

I love the trivia games that take place at 7PM at Social Bar as well as the friendly staff. I noticed a strong mix of clientele from families to people stopping after work to tourists from Australia sitting nearby. The atmosphere is very casual and friendly and the food comes quickly. Social bar appears to have become a bit of a neighborhood hangout because of these features, as well as the very reasonable prices. I was too full from the large portions served to try the desserts at Social Bar, but I will be stopping back in very soon to test them out. I will also be back to test out the highly acclaimed $7.95 lunch special here.

Social Bar
795 Eighth Avenue
New York, NY 10019
(212) 459-0643
Cuisine: American

Social Bar and Grill on Urbanspoon
Photos: Anne M. Raso

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