When I was college quite a while ago, I had a professor make a statement that at the time was probably true: That only black people ate at black restaurants. It was sociological statement that at the time may have been true, but does not hold water today. That or all those "other" folks in there had no idea it was a black owned place.
Saturday, my lil buddy Schmoopy and I slid into the Social House to check out the board of fare. She'd hit me Friday talking about she wanted to hang out for second, but she was broke and it was "her turn" to pay. She and I have known each other for eight years, worked together at two different firms, and at one point she asked me to marry her and for some reason she thinks $30 or $40 bucks will stand between us and a hang out. I said I'd pay and told her to bring her tail on.
The spot is off Howell Mill, which is and is not an odd place for a restaurant of this type, considering the unusually abrupt meeting of industrial and residential that occurs in the area. Then you turn a corner and you see where the clientele is coming from. The restaurant is literally is in a old house with a dark brown stucco outer coat, and it looks like they merely ripped out the walls, painted everything and stuck in the tables. In fact one of the tables is a regular dining room table for eight or ten, that accommodates smaller couples and foursomes by seating them at the extreme ends of the table. Genius.
We settled in and it was then I realized it was a black owned place. The service isnt' exactly lighting fast. After a quick review of the menu, which looks interesting, Schmoopy got the Salmon with Poached Eggs and I opted for Country Fried Steak Biscuits and scrambled eggs. As usual, she didn't like the OJ, which I believe for her needs to be fresh squeezed. But that's a personal thing. The sweet tea, for those keeping score, actually tasted a bit salty?
Since service was ...well, less than quick....we had a good chance to catch up. And it turns out this week Schmoopy found out about "body issues". In that other people have them. Although she is probably a size 2 or below (and has been trying to lose weight forever), the idea that someone might not be comfortable with how their body looks appears to be a new idea for her. One of her girls didn't want to take a cruise because of how she'd look in a swimsuit, and my girl was a little confused. Looking through someone else's eyes is always a little difficult, but I think she'll get it. I also think most women standing next to Schmoopy feel a little self conscious. The rest of the convo was our usual relationship catch up (me:none - her:on break) and the other sundry items that people who need just a bit more real money talk about: Bills, job, moving, life, etc...
Then the food came. Let me say this: the decor was very nice. Note, the menu said it was Country Fried Steak Biscuits, not country fried steak and biscuits. I didn't notice this until the plate hit the table. The country fried steak could have been more country, the eggs were, and I found about yet another way to classify something as a hash brown. It was different. And I found out what a caper is, as my buddy's salmon came with them.
How do you know someone is your buddy? When they reach onto your plate for food and you don't even blink an eye. She never did tell me how the piece of steak tasted.
So we ate, and it was okay. And then we went cheap folk shopping because neither of us had anything else to do until 5pm. Cheap folk shopping means you look at a whole lot of things you MIGHT buy. Later. When you got some money.
So Social House, sister of Rare and Harlem Bar, was okay. Nice decor, fast seating, less than quick service, food on a different level...and salty sweet tea. Go figure.