It’s March, so it’s time for some good old timey-brunch madness. Or simply, our excuse to enjoy a meal with great friends.
For this adventure, we’re dining at Old Town Social, in get this: Old Town. The neighborhood that’s an oxymoron. A mix of vintage and modern. Parents and party kids. Comatose and comedians.
So, it makes sense that Old Town Social is a melange of sorts: a contemporary gastropub meets turn-of-the-20th century sensibilities. From its decor all the way down to its locally sourced menu.
Let’s get down to why we’re here though: the Belvedere Southern Mary. Here at Old Town Social, the garnish is the headline.
See what we mean?
Take a ten-second timeout for the crisp pickled okra, hearty smoked gouda, in-house cured salumi and addicting proscuitto and provolone stuffed pepper. Holy charcuterie, the garnish is superbly mind-blowing. We could have stopped here and dined happy. From what we understand, meats are cured and/or smoked in house, and the cheese is sourced from dairy playland Pastoral. The Belvedere Southern Mary is made with bountiful horseradish, housemade hot sauce and Belvedere Bloody Mary, a vodka that already plays with traditional bloody flavors. Though a bit on the tomato-heavy side, this bloody mary mostly delighted. Though one diner in our group felt it wasn’t up to par with the bloodys of her Old Social past.
Although my drink was flavorful, it was thinner than I had remembered it being, and I like more body in my Bloody. That said, the Old Town Social Bloody Mary’s raison d’être is its garnish– a charcuterie-fresh array of spice and substance.
Word. Not having been to Old Town Social before, the Marys couldn’t agree or disagree with how this one stacked up to the norm. But that meal of a garnish is what makes the Belvedere Southern Mary worth $12, a price tag that’s also an exercise in moderation.
Let’s move on to the meals. This brunch wasn’t short of oohs and ahhs, to say the least. The fan favorite was the BLT Benedict, made with savory smoked pork belly, roasted tomato hollandaise and perfectly poached eggs. Each dish was perfectly decadent.
The cocktail and beer menus also impressed. Especially the Left Hand Milk Stout, which is a rarity on tap. (Side note: the beer menu PDF is a whopping 38 pages) And this Sazerac was particularly punchy, made with Old Overholt Rye, Peychaud’s bitters and absinthe. The glass is rumored to be washed in absinthe before mixing and serving. Who would have thought a few years ago you’d be sipping absinthe for breakfast?
Well, Old Town Social, you proved to be right at home in your oxymoron neighborhood: rich and decadent, yet relaxed and down home. We like you.
Belvedere Southern Mary: Our rating (scale of 1–5)