Monday, December 23, 2013

Social At Bakery Square

This morning I had an appointment at Presbyterian Hospital. I also had to go to a lab for a test and then visit another doctor office in UPMC Montefiore for a quick consultation. So we were up early and spent our morning wandering the labyrinth halls of UPMC Presbyterian & UPMC Montefiore. I love that all those buildings are connected, but sometimes I feel like a rat in a maze and it's easy to get confused when you depart one hospital on the 3rd floor but enter another on the 8th floor!
Early morning appointments and a day off work for SP = lunch out after all the appointments. You would think it would be easy for us to pick a place for lunch, but it was not. We wanted to stay east-ish since we had an errand at the Waterfront and we were so hungry we didn't want to wait until after going to the Waterfront to eat because we feared traffic slowing us down. A lot of places were not options because many are closed on Monday or closed until after Christmas or not open for lunch. We also ruled out places at which we have recently dined. We decided that with only a few days left in 2013, we would use a City Dining Card before it expired and go to Elbow Room. That didn't work out because the garage we tried to park in was full, we didn't see any street parking, and we sat near the garage for 10 minutes while people were turned away and then backing up traffic as they tried to figure out what to do.
We endured a few more idiotic drivers, near accidents, and annoying traffic and made our way over to Social At Bakery Square. That parking area was also a mess with the security guy trying to direct people, people idling, waiting for a parking spot, and a guy honking at us and yelling,"What's the hold up?!" while we were sandwiched between him and the guy in front of us who was waiting for a gigantic van to exit a parking space but the gigantic van didn't seem to want to actually follow through on the reverse light message his rear was showing. Grrrr. Finally we were able to park and walk to the restaurant.
We were seated right away. I can't say I thought there was much decor/ambiance. A big bar area in the middle, surrounded by tables both at bar height and normal height. Several televisions showing ESPN or a soap opera. We ordered fresh brewed iced teas and the Cauliflower Patties with lemon aioli to start.
We enjoyed the patties a lot. Shredded cauliflower formed into patties and fried, served with lemon aioli. Cauliflower isn't the most flavorful vegetable so the patties were not especially flavorful. Most of the flavor was from the breading and the aioli. Even so, they were tasty treats that we would order again.
SP chose the Turkey Burger with smoked gouda, lettuce, tomato, and mango ketchup. He said the turkey burger was quite flavorful. I think our server said that she thinks the turkey is mixed with some ricotta to give it extra flavor and moistness. He got fries as his side, which surprised me, but didn't eat them not because they didn't taste good but because he just isn't much of a fries person and he was getting full.
No surprise: I ordered the Cheesy Bacon Grilled Cheese with Soup. I chose white bread. It was a regular, thin, white bread, gooey cheese, crisp bacon, and what appeared to be a slice of apple sliced so thin it was hardly noticeable. I didn't really notice until I was halfway through because I was so hungry and enjoying melted cheese, but I don't think it was smoked gouda because it didn't have any smoked taste, certainly the cheese didn't taste at all like the smoked gouda we buy...? Perhaps it was regular gouda? The soup was indeed cheesy. It was a very good tomato soup, but I thought the portion was a little on the small side. For $8 plus an extra $1 for choosing the cheesy tomato soup over the other 2 soup options, I expected a bit larger of a soup serving.

I liked my food, I just didn't love my food. I thought prices were a little high for the quality and quantity. Also, not receiving smoked gouda when I ordered a smoked gouda grilled cheese is pretty disappointing. I might have said something if I had noticed before devouring half the sandwich, but it's just not right to eat half a meal and then lodge a complaint.

Our server was terrific. She was very friendly, made sure the crostini in my soup was garlic free, kept the iced teas filled, and was just a fun person.

I would go back to Social, it's a decent dining option, but it's not at the top of my list.

Social at Bakery Square on Urbanspoon

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