Thursday, June 30, 2011

Brown's Social House

Address: 809 Douglas St.
Phone: (250) 388-0200
Price: low-midrange - $4 drink specials
Notes: Cookie-cutter trendy dining. Cheap cheap cheap drink options, nice decor, choose your menu items carefully.

I have been hearing good things about Brown's for a while now - I know it's pretty popular with the 19-30 bracket and I can see why. It's kind of the midpoint between Boston Pizza and Cactus Club with just a tiny dose of hipster.

The decor was very "mid-century modern" - black leather(ette?) covered seating, walnut-esque wood, stone walls with funky lamps galore. I'm an Eames era fan so there was some appeal but it was pretty cookie cutter. Feels like a bit of a trend that could backfire as a major decor decision in future. The one decor decision that bothered me were the instruction signs on the walls. Above the pass-through to the kitchen, giant, light-bulb outlined letters instructed met to EAT and above the bank of seating a flourish of equally large letters instructed me to SOCIALIZE! Erm. If you're the type to question authority then I would stay away, you are going to have a disconcerting experience.

Unlike the zombie-like servers at BPs or the slightly-snobby service at Cactus, the staff at Brown's had an impression of just being your average nice, genuine server in a chain restaurant. This is a huge bonus for me to come back - I like it when small talk doesn't feel false and the check-ins are frequent and non-intrusive.

June 23, 2011
Admittedly, I was a few drinks in at the time of arrival and it was a little while before I got to this review, but I recall the service being extremely pleasant! While paying we all had a nostalgic moment remembering the music of our youth and she was happy to join in - big points for genuineness there!

June 23, 2011
My cohorts in food-crime all opted for one of the pie options - chocolate pecan pie, which got absolutely rave reviews and can be heated up slightly to make it ooey-gooey upon request, and key-lime, which was reportedly also quite good. The other nice option was to get the "two-time pie" which was a slice of each. Thought that was a cute option!

This is probably the cheapest bellini I've had in a while ($5? I think? +/- a dollar anyhow). Unfortunately it was also the least impressive bellini I've had in a while, very little "belle" and lots of "ini" (take that as you will). 

It wasn't bad - it ticked all of the boxes: slushy peach-tasting liquid so cold that it gives you brain freeze topped with grenadine. The peach on the edge was a bit over-kill I think - but very similar tasting to the drink itself which gives you an idea of the sweetness level. I probably would have loved this when I was 19, but now I am getting old and sweet drinks make me cringe. Still, recommended if you're drinking on a budget and it's not cheap bellini night everywhere else in town...

These are Not recommended if you're on a budget. It's hard to tell the scale from the picture, but trust me when I say that it was a Very Small Bowl (approximately half the size of your standard "bowl I have in my cupboard at home"). And it was $7.50. Yes, for a SIDE of yam fries. Ridiculous! After I received them I thought I had mis-remembered the price listed on the menu, or perhaps had been looking at the price for an appetizer-sized bowl and been given a side. Seriously people, are these golden yams? I have to wonder - are the ones at Brown's expensive because they were pre-made (aka processed and full of weird stabilizing chemicals) and then shipped, frozen from who-knows-where? Contrast this with Ferris' (downstairs) where a "side" is $3.25 and is an overflowing pasta bowl & you know the fries are made from scratch because you can occasionally see excess boxes pile under the booths on the patio... no contest, sorry Brown's.

Oh right, this isn't just about price. They were pretty tasty - perhaps a touch over salted although the salt was nice quality salt. The texture was pretty spot on - cripsy on the outside, soft on the inside. I'd order them as a side with a meal (if it isn't too expensive to add them on...).


Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.