I have a group of women that I meet once a month for dinner—we generally eat at places with fairly approachable menus because, a certain one of us is picky (no names--you know who you are). We decided to try Northside Social since it was Chow Down Midtown, and who doesn’t love a deal right? This one is actually a decent one—you got two dinners for $50. You pick from a list of appetizers to share as well as a dessert to share and then you pick from a list of entrées, and you choose your own here.
We chose the flatbread with cheese, arugula, sundried tomatoes, and shaved parmesan. It was very large for sure. It’s too bad we ordered two of them at the table because we didn’t even finish half. I like arugula and parm together and I liked the texture from the tomatoes, but I wished for some light dressing or even some lemons to squeeze on top. The menu described it as arugula salad, but I would just call it plain arugula. There was a touch of Brie on the flatbread, but I would have liked a little more, or something to jazz it up.
For my main dish, I chose the mac and cheese. They had a fish dish, chicken, short ribs and a ravioli dish as well. The mac and cheese was pretty darn good. It was a huge portion too—I don’t think they are downsizing their Chow Down meals. It had a lot of stuff going on—several kinds of cheese as well as bacon, pancetta and crispy prosciutto. It had lots of nice varying texture and a hearty, meaty taste from all that pork. The top was sprinkled liberally with breadcrumbs that were nice and toasty. There were also chopped shallots in there as well, that helped vary the flavor even more. If mac and cheese doesn’t impress me, it’s usually because it’s just so plain that you don’t have any desire to eat more than a couple of bites. This one had so much stuff going that you felt like you were eating something more than just mac and cheese. I didn’t really find the couple slices of grilled bread necessary with this carb bomb, but there you go—I just left them. And I probably ate like a quarter of this dish—it’s really big.
One friend let me try her potato crusted base fish as well and I actually liked this one even more. I just tried a bite of the fish—it is basa, which is a white, fairly thin, flakey fish that is crusted with potato. It had a great crunch to the potato exterior and kept the fish tender and it had a nice lemony sauce giving it a nice hit of acid. I didn’t try the mashed potatoes on the side or the veg though. Honestly, I would order this again. A quick bit of a friend’s ravioli was pretty good too, although while it is called rhubarb roasted beet ravioli, it is actually regular cheese ravioli that is cooked on a sauce containing rhubarb and beets—I liked the tangy sauce with it, but the raviolis themselves were just standard.
We got one of each of the two desserts offered on the special menu—I mostly ate the bread pudding. It was good—it was large---and pretty bready. A nice flavor, but I would have appreciated a little more of the warm pecan caramel sauce.
They are certainly not skimping on the portions for their Chow Down menu. I don’t find the menu at Northside Social particularly interesting, but the food we had was pretty solid. And you can certainly please a variety of tastes.
6525 North College Ave