Meet me there

In the corner of the bustling Champions Park sits a welcoming haven for people to mingle, drink and get some food. That can be said of many venues in Champions Park, a much needed entertainment hub for North Arlington, but one casual eatery stood out.

Social House at Champions Park Arlington, a bar/restaurant, provides a great option for an after-game venue to cool your heels or just a fun place to grab dinner, brunch or a cold drink in North Arlington.

My friend and I went here to have dinner, but I can see this bar/restaurant being a great place to meet with someone for beer and a fun non-fussy evening out.

It reminds me of pubs I frequented in England, but with a modern facelift. The establishment was sleek but welcoming, and I was surprised to see how well lit it was. Many bars usually dim the lights and give the space an “atmosphere,” but sometimes you don’t want to sit in a darkened corner.

Social House brims with a liveliness that makes you want to belly up to the bar and say “howdy” to the person on the stool next to you.

When I went, my friend and I decided on hanging out in one of the cushy booths – big enough for a group of friends, but a bit big for two people – and try the food.

But not without cocktails. And Social House did not disappoint.

The Black-eyed Rye, a whiskey drink with ginger beer and blackberry syrup, was a personal favorite, but I also enjoyed the strawberry mojito as an after-dinner treat.

The menu boasts of a wide variety of cocktails, some in flights, but if you are more in a beer mood, the establishment has a healthy amount on tap to choose from.

We started our meal with an appetizer of Buffalo Fried Calamari, a fascinating and tasty combination of two well-known starters. The thick cut calamari is breaded in parmesan and tossed in a traditional buffalo sauce and topped with fried jalapenos.

I’m not the biggest fan of buffalo sauce, but I enjoyed these. It was adventurous but not pretentious.

The entrees menu is intriguing with options like braised short rib pasta and dry-aged chicken fried steak, but feeling nostalgic to my pub days, I went for a burger – the smoky BBQ burger.

I was entirely happy with my choice.

Everything my friend and I had was great, but I found myself just enjoying lingering and chatting with my friend.

We didn’t feel rushed or see our waiter hovering about, and it was nice to enjoy our evening at our leisure. It was a pleasant and relaxed evening that I would like to replicate shortly.

Though Social House at Champions Park Arlington has food worth revisiting, the atmosphere is where this Champions Park establishment shines.