Mikkayla reviews: American Social — ‘an incredibly fun venue’
3/41 Horne Street, Sunbury
When did food become such an event? It’s hard to pinpoint, but in this age of people obsessed with documenting everything they do, see and eat on social media, the development of a meal from simple nutritional nourishment to exciting affairs was inevitable.
Take burgers for example. They used to be so basic and easy – meat, cheese, some salad and sauce. It would be crazy enough adding an egg, bacon or beetroot. Nowadays, you see burgers towering half a foot high on plates, with multiple types of protein, buns in wacky colours, some even with syringes full of piping hot cheese or gravy to ‘inject’ into the centre. I would hate to present one of these monstrosities to someone like my grandma, who still lectures me on the fact that she could count on one hand the number of times she ate out whilst growing up (Nowadays she’s a sucker for a daily special at the local RSL!).
The issue with meals like these is that they largely focus on photogenic shock value, rather than the quality of ingredients and prioritising taste. These wacky burgers and loaded fries may fill a hole – and may even taste okay – but are by no means haute cuisine.
But, because of the market that tends to gravitate towards these sorts of feasts (I’m looking at you Gen Y and Millennials), there’s rarely cause for complaint and these places are likely to go ‘viral’ online with the gastronomic feats with eager punters lining up out the doors to get a seat!
One venue that manages to get the balance right between entertainment and quality is American Social. Okay, so if you’re hugely against American capitalism, then this probably isn’t the place for you. But if you like fun, delicious food, aren’t too worried about the state of your arteries, have a pair of stretchy pants you can wear, and are looking for a trendy place that isn’t already overexposed and overcrowded, then take a trip out to Sunbury (once you can!). It is helpfully located right next to the train station, at the Sunbury Square Shopping Centre.
Now be warned – as I mentioned earlier – this place is by no means suited to the health-conscious and kilojoule-counters. The menu heavily features fried foods – jalapeno bombs, crumbed cheese sticks, corn dog bites and mac and cheese balls are all popular starter items.
Definitely get yourself a serving of the cheeseburger empanadas – a perfect morsel of classic American cheeseburger complete with onions, pickles and sauce, encased in golden pastry. The perfect bite-sized morsel. The Harlem double-coated, southern fried chicken is also a must – crispy golden tenders that you dunk in spicy, creamy, chipotle mayo.
But the main stars of the venue are – of course – their burgers. You’ve got your standard burger with the fat and juicy wagyu patty, American cheese, bacon, sauce, pickles and lettuce. A fried chicken option with all the aforementioned fixings is also a treat. And then you come to the other options.
The Texas BBQ Brisket burger comes on a charcoal bun, towering with juicy, saucy, slow-cooked pulled brisket in a rich sauce that is piled atop of wagyu patty, cheese, bacon, pickled jalapenos… and several battered onion rings. It’s a meat extravaganza that bested even my most carnivorous-loving of mates. The French Dip hoagie is also a lot of fun – a long, house-made sub filled with tender beef, sweet caramelised onions and provolone cheese, with a jug of gravy for dipping.
Grab a side of Social’s poutine to share – fries drenched in rich gravy and poutine cheese, and between that, the starters and a few cocktails, you won’t be hungry for a good 12 – 24 hours later.
Ah yes, I should mention that they have a couple of salad options – a quinoa and cauliflower number, and a cob salad with chicken… and they also generously give the option to replace the bun with a salad instead… but why would you bother if you aren’t allergic or intolerant?
Dessert if you can fit it in, features New York cheesecake doughnuts – that’s cheesecake encased in doughnut batter, deep-fried – or a slice of key lime pie, but if you’re going to finish strong than I’d definitely recommend a couple of drinks from their extensive cocktail, beer and moonshine menu! The place does daily specials and offers Tightarse Tuesday with generous savings on some of the most popular menu items, and yes, right now for those within the 10km radius, you can grab everything takeaway including one of their Boozy Biscoff cocktails!
American Social may not be a place I’d take my grandma but it’s an incredibly fun venue to check out with a group of friends or the kids. Enjoy the covered outdoor beer garden with the two large flatscreens broadcasting whatever American sports happen to be on at the time and the diet can most definitely re-start tomorrow!
Mikkayla visited American Social before Victoria’s lockdown began. American Social is open for takeaway for those within its 10km radius. Post-restrictions, get there Monday – Sunday from midday to late!