Society Cafe

14. June 2007 American, West + East Harlem 0

2104 Frederick Douglass Boulevard at 114th Street
about $30 for two egg meals with iced coffee, with tip

I’m always trying to support my neighborhood, so when the bus drove by Society after one of my bootcamp sessions in Central Park, I took note to visit. There were diners eating outside under large umbrellas marked with a certain beer brand. There were young black and white people hanging out. Some people may hate that condo buildings are sprouting up so fast in the neighborhood, pushing the original settlers out, but at least there are more options for places to eat.

Society reminds me of a small cafe-restaurant somewhere in Brooklyn. The white-tiled open kitchen makes the place inviting. The two large wooden tables in the center are meant to be shared, while smaller tables, some with leather sofas, are perfect for couples. There is free wi-fi except on weekends when the brunch crowd comes in. Even though I first saw Society at night, it looked to me like a comfortable space for brunch. When I visited, it was so bright and cozy inside that I couldn’t wait to get my iced coffee and my scrambled eggs.

So I waited. And then I waited. We waited for a while before we got our iced coffees. We also waited for a long time before our eggs were served. The place was busy enough on a Sunday early afternoon, but the kitchen was swamped even with three servers on the floor.

When my conquistador eggs came–what I would call their version of huevos rancheros–I was greatly disappointed. Scrambled eggs are scrambled eggs, but mine was missing oomph. The turkey sausages I ordered were the size of two pinkie fingers and looked like they came from the supermarket freezer. I opted for a salad and the greens were so limp, I set them aside. The house potatoes fared a little better, although they could have used some more spice.

The cafe encourages diners to enjoy “life in sips”. The staff is really friendly and they give off the right vibe. The crowd seems to be enjoying their time, too, but I wondered what they thought about their food. Society needs to take a look at egg in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and learn what a civilized brunch needs. The neighborhood is definitely changing, but the question that still remains is how good Harlem restaurants should be in order for them to stay in business.

Related post/s:
egg in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Harlem brunch on the east side