Getting Social At Northwest Ohio’s Best Gastropub

. December 6, 2016.
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Forget glass, Social Gastropub is what NW Ohio should be known for. Changing up its offerings every couple months, the casual eatery (formerly known as Gradkowski’s) just introduced a “Greatest Hits” menu, featuring their best-loved food from the past four years.

And it’s not all mac and cheese. While custom-built bowls of cavatappi (macaroni is so last century) and cheese are their specialty, co-owner Mike Graber is quick to point out that there are many other worthy selections. “Your gut says to get mac and cheese because it’s so good, but you are missing out on some fantastic and mind-blowingly good plates.”

If you’re feeling extroverted, Social offers long communal tables. But there are plenty of places to sit that don’t require mingling with strangers, including the large bars at each location, where they serve up creative adult beverages.

“We wanted to take high-end cocktails and pair them with comfort food for a culinary twist. I think we’ve been very successful in doing that,” said Graber.

That’s an understatement.

The Appetizers

Roasted Cauliflower
Roasted, then nested on a bed of whipped goat cheese, this is probably something you might not consider ordering, but it came highly recommended and exceeded all expectations. A large appetizer, perfect for sharing.

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Loaded Tater Tots
The definition of “comfort food with a culinary twist.” Layering a jalapeño-cilantro aioli sauce with aged white cheddar and bleu cheeses makes this a flavorful start to any meal. That they also put bacon and a fried egg on top of that, makes it a meal on its own.

The Mac and Cheese
Deserving a category unto itself, the mac and cheese is like the universe: full of infinite possibilities. You could come for years and not try every topping combo. I heartily recommend the rolled pork belly. Other options include blackened tuna, salmon and pork tamale— this mac and cheese isn’t the kids menu blue box variety.

The Entrees

Guajillo Tamales
“I will put those tamales against any tamales I’ve ever had anywhere. They will knock your socks off,” said Graber, about these Guajillo Tamales swimming in a sea of chorizo corn casserole. The meat is tender, but the sauce makes this the best tamales in town.

Beet Salad
Fear not, meat-averse diners, the Beet Salad blends leafy green spinach, feta cheese and beets along with flavorful raisins and sweet pecans. Social tosses it all with just the right amount of dressing.

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Pork Belly Ramen
Purists might snipe that soup is not a meal, but then they haven’t experienced the Pork Belly Ramen. A bountiful tangle of noodles, veggies, egg and a pork cutlet that has been marinating in a Japanese ramen broth. This is the kind of menu option that shows Social is clearly about serving up unexpected delights.

The Desserts

Torched Cheesecake
The Torched Cheesecake has a caramelized créme brûlée topping that I’ve never experienced on cheesecake. It’s a revelation in dessert, frankly. With chocolate and strawberry syrups drizzled, delicious.

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Gooey Butter Cake
Our waiter, Jake, described the Gooey Butter Cake as an underbaked sugar cookie. He nailed the description as each bite was a mouthful of sweet, buttery confection akin to licking the spoon when your mom made holiday cookies. Served on a crisp pie base, this powdered sugar-topped cake is a staple of St. Louis, but it found itself right at home in my tummy.

25818 N. Dixie Hwy., Perrysberg | 419-931-9936
1440 Secor Rd. Suite R. | 419-725-2836
11am-10pm, Monday-Thursday; 11am-11pm, Friday-Saturday; 11am-9pm, Sunday