We were on stop number three on our unplanned mini pub crawl. Luckily, we spaced them out so that we could still drive and be as detailed for our review as always. We had walked by American Social many times, but never made it inside. It’s located on Las Olas almost across from the Riverside Hotel. There are some seats outside, but it was hot so we went inside.
This place was packed. They offer a bunch on Saturday so that setup took over some space at the front of the place. The large bar was in the center and there were tables along the walls. We found a spot at the bar and sat down. This place was LOUD. Not music…people. It was actually a little hard to hear the bartender at times. The décor of the place was ‘Americana’ with the American flag, old framed Time Magazine covers, wallpaper that looked like old books in a library. I kind of didn’t really get it. This would made sense in maybe Washington DC, Boston or New York, but on Las Olas it was a bit out of place in my opinion. It was a very sleek look which was nice and the place was very clean.
We looked over the craft beer menu and noticed that there didn’t seem to be as many beers on tap as they state on the awning outside (52 taps, I think?). We questioned the bartender and he pointed to the tables behind us and one at the front. You see, this place has a unique setup at those tables. The tables actually have up to four beer taps AT THE TABLE. You sit with your group and pour your own beer and the machine keeps track of how many ounces you poured. You then get your check based on that amount. I thought it sounded cool and unique, but after thinking about it, if you didn’t like the four beers at the table you are out of luck to use this feature. They don’t change them for each group.
We picked our two draft craft beers and asked for a food menu. Our beers didn’t take long and the menu was very interesting. They had foie gras which was surprising, but we didn’t try it. There were lots of sandwiches and burgers with unique twists, but we gravitated to ordering two appetizers. We ordered the house smoked salmon and the chicken waffles. There were a few TVs around to catch up on sports while you waited for your food. The wait wasn’t that long and when they dropped off the food, we couldn’t wait to dig in.
The house smoked salmon was a fairly large piece and looked fresh. It was tender and meaty and was a great piece of fish. It had a mild flavor and even a picky eater that doesn’t like salon would like this. It wasn’t as smoky as I would have thought, but the quality made up for that. The croutons that were served with it made the perfect vehicle to slather the dill mayo and top with the salmon. Overall a good choice.
The chicken waffles came out and we expected something different. We expected maybe 3 or 4 waffles with pieces of fried chicken on them. What came out looked like chicken tenders. Hmmm. I was very skeptical and thought they were trying to pull one over on us. We both looked at each other with that ‘Oh great…we picked the wrong appetizer’. We both cut off a small piece and tried it at the same time. WOW…this was AWESOME. What they did was batter the fresh chicken tenders in a waffle batter, deep fry it and topped it with…well here is the menu description – Sweet waffle battered tender white meat chicken breasts, with a hint of vanilla. Fried to a crispy golden brown, drizzled with a bourbon maple glaze, dusted with powdered sugar and topped with sweet marscapone. Maybe we really didn’t read the description prior to ordering (or it was the beer) but this was the best combination of savory and sweet. These were probably the best chicken tenders we’ve had, hands down.
The service was efficient and the bartenders kept checking on us. While it’s not the most relaxing environment, the food we tried was great and that will mean a repeat visit to American Social.