Eatz: Mason Social Knows Lunch

 

Lunch & Libations by Mason Social 

By Debby Critchley

Lunch? Where can you go in Old Town for a good meal in relaxing and comfortable surroundings, with friendly service, and accessible parking? How about a traditional Old Fashioned without all the fancy designer cherries?

Mason Social at 728 N. Henry St. is the answer. Located in the Parker-Gray district, Mason Social is a chef-driven restaurant providing good food, an excellent selection of craft beers, craft cocktails, and a wine list that will meet most everyone’s desires. It’s a combination sports bar/ restaurant/modern bar scene location that can be as much fun as you want to make it. According to Chad, “I love being able to take what is available and put my own spin on it.”

Mason Social’s Signature Cocktail Menus

Mason Social is helmed by Chad Sparrow, one of the masterminds of Common Plate Hospitality behind Urbano 116, Catch on the Avenue, and Augie’s Mussel House. He’s just refreshed the lunch and brunch menus for spring and has another success on his hands.

First, take a look at the bar selections. “Nut that Drunk” is a tasty glass of butter pecan-infused bourbon, angostura bitters, and maple syrup. Just enough to warm you up on a cool spring morning. “Got that Grapefruit” goes down so easily, with grapefruit-infused gin, Pimm’s No. 1, lemon, and pink peppercorns. Being a grapefruit lover, this was delightful. Refreshing and light, it goes down oh so easily, so be careful. There’s also a great selection of traditional cocktails such as an Old Fashioned and Manhattan both featuring Old Forester Bourbon. They’re made the ‘old fashioned’ way without many of the designer additives common around town. And if you have a fancy for wine or beer, there’s an excellent selection of both.

Mason Social Interior

Lunch features a variety of “Hold-Me-Overs’ or appetizers that feature a variety flavors. The Deviled Eggs are everything you want in a deviled egg – dill, whole grain mustard, crispy bacon, and scallions – all in a tasty mouthful. The Rueben Egg Roll is a deli in an egg roll. Filled with shaved corned beef, swiss cheese and sauerkraut with house-made Russian dressing. All that’s missing is the rye bread! Need some heat to get started? Try the Chili Fire Shrimp. Featuring crispy shrimp with a sweet chili sauce garnished with scallions. I can eat two orders all by myself.

There are plenty of salads featuring a variety of grains and greens for all palates. Vegetarians and vegans will enjoy the Southwest salad with a base of romaine and filled with grilled corn salsa, cherry tomatoes, onions, tortillas, avocado, and chipotle-garlic ranch dressing. Try the Quinoa Salad with arugula, mixed berries, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, and croutons topped with a lemon vinaigrette. The kitchen will happily hold the feta for vegans. And, if you are a meat-eater who loves salads, you can add steak, chicken, salmon, yellowfin tuna, or shrimp to any of the salads.

Mason Social Tacos

Lunch features a selection of five different tacos featuring handmade corn tortillas from Urbano 116. The Pork Carnitas are filled with pickled onion, chipotle cream, salsa verde, and shredded jack cheese. The crispy tortilla brings it all together. The Shrimp and Chorizo is filled with shrimp and chorizo, onions, cilantro, cucumber garlic cream, and smoked salsa all topped with crispy and crunchy chicharrons. Wow – what an amazing bite. The tender filling was quite the contrast to the chicharrons. Loved it. Not to be out done, there’s the Fried Chicken taco, Chad’s favorite. The tortilla is filled with chicken, bean puree, bacon, salsa habanero, onion, cilantro, with smoked crema and cotija cheese. This taco bursts with the flavors of fried chicken and hot habaneros. Vegetarians can enjoy the Braised Mushroom taco filled with avocado, apple, pickled onions, cotija cheese, and salsa cruda. The assorted mushrooms are freshly sautéed before they fill the taco shell. Who needs meat when you’ve got this combination of flavors!

Mason Social Tacos

There are lots of sandwiches too, all served with house frites, house-made chips, or a side salad. There are several burgers including a Marrow Burger topped with aged cheddar, candied bacon, crispy onion rings, grilled romaine, tomato, and jalapeno aioli. I dare you to eat it all and then have dinner that night! Every bite is a party. The Cubano is a modern classic filled with the carnitas found in the taco and topped with bacon, provolone, ham, fried pickles, and aji aioli. I love this sandwich. Like many of the tacos and other dishes, it’s accompanied by a Mexican flavored rice that has become my new comfort food. The rice is like a risotto in its creaminess and is perfumed with cumin. Doggy bag please and a side to go.

Common Hospitality knows how to please every palate with a variety of offerings. Stop on by and enjoy a brunch, lunch, or dinner that will leave you happy and satisfied.

Would you like your restaurant reviewed? Contact: editor@thezebrapress.com

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