Monday, April 04, 2011

Social Eatz Review

Besides standing out for its ridiculous pluralizations using the letter "z", with garish colors and graphics to match, Social Eatz will be most notably characterized as the latest domain of Angelo Sosa, a contestant on Top Chef and former chef at the late Xie Xie. The restaurant opened in Midtown East last month serving casual food with Asian twists. The menu consists of small sections of appetizers, salads and soups while the rest is composed mostly of sandwiches or burgers and tacos, falling in the $6-$12 range.

The Hanoi Burger is a patty of ground beef with mint, lemongrass, cilantro and red onion topped with lettuce and served with a chili mayo and a sweet onion jam. We weren't asked how we wanted our burgers cooked, but they came juicy and pink in the center. The Hanoi was tasty, but the onion jam was the prevailing flavor. The Asian essence was lost because of a disappointing lack of mint or cilantro presence. And the whole thing needed a sturdier bun; this one soaked up the juices and sauces too quickly. The thin-cut fries were great, even more so because of the spicy dusting on them.

The chicken, corn and coconut tacos were two tacos to an order. The ingredients — organic chicken, sweet corn, coconut relish, lime, cumin, and chipotle topped with onion, avocado, cilantro and jalapeno —were all piled on a single medium-sized tortilla. These were really flavorful and slightly more successful at bringing out the strength of the condiments, but were messy to eat and would have stood up better in a bed of two tortillas.

My dining group's main complaint was the small portion sizes. After our first round of food, we weren't totally satisfied. But the food was good enough that we felt it was worth ordering a second round to satiate ourselves.

The Imperialist Hot Dog is a butterflied organic chicken sausage served on a hot dog bun and smothered in sweet and spicy relish. The Asian connection gets a bit fuzzy here. The sauce served with it, presumably meant to resemble mustard, is a spicy, cheesy mixture that is good not only with the hot dog, but also for dipping the fries in.

My dining group covered a good cross section of the menu and though everyone seemed to enjoy our meal, it was nothing incredibly impressive. While I like Asian flavors and the concepts here make some classic foods more interesting, I expected the added ingredients to shine more than they did. The service was a bit kooky and slow (and in a tacky move, our server made sure to inform us of the connection to Sosa). The seating on long benches was not the most comfortable. My guess is we'll likely only be back when the situation fits the bill.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:55 AM

    Angelo's cooking is always too saucy for me. I had the lobster roll at Xie Xie and the bibimbap burger at eatz...and both were drenched in mayo.