Camp Social – Where Being Campy Isn’t a Bad Thing
The Place: Camp Social
The Dish: Ahi Tuna, Big Bend Pizza, S’more cocktail
Location: 6107 7th Street, Phoenix, 85014
By: Laura Stoddard
Let’s talk about some of the more unsavory aspects of camping, shall we? Creepy crawlies, the noxious odor of bug spray to kill said creepies, sleeping on the ground, no access to Wi-Fi, and the possibility of forgetting that all-important roll of toilet paper. Some of the really fun things about camping? S’mores, rope swings, picnicking in campers, and enjoying the great outdoors!
New to the valley is a venue where you can experience some of those fun parts of camping, minus the unsavory ones; all while enjoying delicious food and beverages in lively, air-conditioned comfort. Put away the tackle box, but be sure to pack your appetite before heading to Camp Social, 7th Street’s latest and greatest culinary destination. We were absolutely delighted by the ambiance and décor of this unique dining establishment. High ceilings, canoe chandeliers, a giant, wood-carved bear to welcome you in at the entrance, and a hostess station made out of a cute little retro camper. It’s woodsy, and warm, with lots of room to spread out, whether in the dining room, one of the bars, the patio, or the back game room.
We arrived at about 5:00 pm, and were seated promptly (we requested the tire swing seats at the bar—so fun). We noted that people arriving even an hour later found themselves waiting in line; both in their cars for the complimentary valet, and then inside the restaurant for tables. Word of this eclectic, fun place is spreading like wildfire, and it fills up fast. A casual, playful atmosphere makes it a great place for dates, group gatherings, and families. That being said, it does get pretty loud, so probably not the best locale for a first date, unless having a stranger shout at you across a table does it for you.
The menu had a little bit of everything, including, of course, S’mores, but in two ways! Either the original, create-your-own option, with ingredients and small burner brought to your table, or the S’more cocktail. Yes. You heard me. It’s called The Best Little S’more House in Phoenix, and…there aren’t even words. Yes, yes there are! The ingredients. And that’s all you’ll need to hear. Vanilla vodka, Drambuie, Godiva chocolate, whipped cream, topped with a toasted marshmallow. Mic drop.
As we sat swinging on our cushioned tires, we tried a couple different appetizers, the warm pretzel and the sriracha pork rinds. Both were decent, but nothing to write home about. The entrees, however, were unquestionably more satisfying. The Ahi Tuna (their poke of the day) was particularly delicious; a hefty portion of perfectly seasoned fish atop a bed of tender rice, with a sprinkling of thinly sliced vegetables on top. We also had to try one of the pizzas, because with ingredients ranging from Maine lobster to alligator sausage….how could we not? We decided to step a little out of our comfort zone with a creation that still featured some familiar ingredients. The Big Bend was topped with smoked trout (who knew fish would be good on a pizza?), brussel sprouts, garlic, parmesan cheese, and a sunny side egg. With the combination of unique flavors and textures, it was surprisingly tasty.
In summary: we had some great food and drinks, excellent service, and a lot off fun. Camp Social gets two (marshmallow-covered) thumbs up.
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