I’ve been sick for a week now. Thanks to all the cold medicine I’ve been hitting or the immense amounts of godknowswhat up my nose, I haven’t been able to taste anything since last Wednesday. But my little cousin was in town from Ohio, and I couldn’t not take the poor kid somewhere cool.
So we went to “Top Chef” contestant and should-have-been-the-winner Angelo Sosa’s new casual burger joint, Social Eatz. If you can get past the fact that a Z has been added to every item on the menu–BURGER’Z! TACO’Z! SIDE’Z and SWEET’Z!–it’s actually a really cute, neighborhoody kind of place with what I understand is pretty tasty food.
I, of course, couldn’t verify the tastiness for myself thanks to my cold, but here are some photos to get your mouth to watering:
crispy spring rolls: shrimp, ground chicken, diced jicama, shredded cabbage, mushrooms, scallions, cilantro, duck sauce made from calamansi (“a citrusy Filipino fruit with a sweet and sour essence”)
smoked ribs: St. Louis pork ribs, mesquite-smoked tamarind, pineapple BBQ sauce with gochujang (“an aged Korean pepper sauce”)
Bibimbap Burger: ground beef, slow-cooked egg, lettuce, pickled carrot, cucumber
None of us could resist ordering this burger after seeing the giant banner proclaiming that it won Eater.com’s Greatest Burger in America competition, and while I think the New Yorkers in the bunch still walked away with our Shake Shack and Blue 9 bias still intact, the Ohio kids really thought it was the best they’d tasted, and nobody argued that it was one fine burger.
For me, it was a little too small when compared to the half-pounders you get at places like Cozy and Jackson Hole. For my boyfriend, it was a little too juicy, which is totally a not-real complaint when it comes to burgers. And for my cousin and his friends, the fact that they won’t add cheese to the burger was a major blow.
But why would you need cheese when the soft egg bursts all over the burger and then solidifies into this?
chicken, corn, and coconut tacos: organic chicken, sweet corn, coconut relish in lime, cumin, and chipotle, onion, avocado, cilantro, jalapeno
Imperialist Hot Dog: organic chicken, sweet and spicy pickle relish
Hot dogs in this town always let me down. I know I’m the only one left, but I’ve never been to Crif Dogs in the East Village or Bark Hot Dogs in Prospect Heights. Yet I somehow expect that the hot dogs elsewhere will compare to my expectations of those places. I want a hot dog PILED with crap. I shouldn’t be able to pick it up unless I want to lick it off my shirt later. The diner in my hometown in Ohio serves hot dogs with chili, cheese, and onions for $1. ONE DOLLAR.
This was a sausage lounging on a thin bed of relish for $8. I won’t judge it, having not been able to taste it, but the look of it did not bowl me over.
yuzu cream puffs
Even with all of my sickness, I got a hint of citrus when I bit into one of these guys. That, I think, is a very good sign.
I’d be a terrible food blogger if I rated the place on presentation alone, but certainly everything looked good enough to entice me to try again when my cold subsides. And I don’t think I’ll have a problem getting in again: the place was nearly empty at 8 p.m. on a Saturday night. Maybe it’s the out-of-the-way location or the way it seems caught between wanting to be a sports bar and wanting to be a trendy Asian joint along the lines of Sea in Williamsburg or Spice Market in the Meatpacking District. I never mind not having to wait in line for a seat, though, and just hope the eatz are better than the socializing.
232 East 53rd Street
New York, NY 10022 (map)