When Louis’s the Ton went on its run in Butchertown, it served up a fine atmosphere and cocktails, but it never fully found its footing with the food, trying several different concepts along the way of mostly small plates and finger foods.
Under new management, the place is now known as the Butchertown Social. It looks the same, and yet there are key additions: an added bar area with seating in the middle of the main bar area, flanked by even more couches and cozy chairs than before, plus a couple of two-top tables.
In the back of the bar, where there once was a sitting room, there is now a grill with a bar overlooking it if you want to take your drink, sit there and await your food.
The beer garden out back is beautifully done in red, with reclaimed wood bars and Edison lighting. On one wall up front is a huge flatscreen TV with Netflix cued up, where Adam West was busy bouncing around as the Caped Crusader in “Batman: The Movie.”
As much as I love Batman, I was there to check out the relatively new menu. I was surprised at just how succinct it is, with just a couple of tacos, two sandwich choices and three sides. But then it made sense: This is for late-night bites. Heck, there’s even a well-placed “Eat” sign just outside the side door to the place, which leads to the grill area.
I ordered two tacos, and my girlfriend Cynthia decided on a cheeseburger with white cheddar and fries. Meanwhile, I ended up with a 20-ounce Oskar Blues IPA in front of me, and she got a 10-ounce pour of Guinness.
We don’t usually go for the cocktails, clearly, but Butchertown Social has several interesting house concoctions like the Temezcal, the Ton (no doubt a tribute to the Social’s predecessor), the Butchertown Girl, and the Slaughterhouse Sour.
We sat at the main bar, and our food came out in just a few minutes, with the tacos arriving directly from the cook. The cheeseburger soon followed. One of my tacos was pretty basic with chicken and house-made pico de gallo, while the other was a chipotle veggie taco with seasoned mushrooms, bell peppers, onions and cilantro. Both were served in soft, white corn shells and came with a lime wedge.
What I found curious about the latter is that the grilled vegetables, which included the onions, also were topped with chopped raw onions — suffice to say, if you don’t like onions, you might want to avoid the chipotle veggie taco.
I’m fine with onions, and the taco was pleasing if a bit on the small side. I preferred the chicken taco, which was well seasoned, with plenty of fresh pico and much heartier. In fact, Valentina salsa picante is available for saucing, but the chicken taco in particular really didn’t need any help.
Meanwhile, Cynthia’s burger looked to be roughly of the third-pound variety, with fresh lettuce, onions and tomatoes, along with a plentiful portion of hand-cut fries full of seasoning. (Sweet potato fries and onion rings were the other side options.)
The burger was thick, juicy, cooked about medium and had lots of good beef flavor. I got the sense this hamburger hadn’t been frozen, because it tasted quite fresh.
The cornmeal bun was lightly grilled, which pleased Cynthia to no end, and the fries were quite addictive. In fact, they might have been the highlight of the meal, which makes me glad Cynthia is always eager to share.
And perhaps the best part of it all is the food is quite reasonably priced. The burger, with french fries included, was $9 (you can add a fried egg and/or bacon for a small upcharge), and the tacos just $2.50 each. A fried pork chop with tomato gravy sandwich was $8.
In short, you’re probably not going to plan dinner around the Butchertown Social fare. But if you’re out late, had a few drinks and needing some food in the gullet to wind down, this menu would be spot-on.
Butchertown Social, located at 1601 Story Ave., is open Monday through Saturday, 4 p.m.-2 a.m.