Camp Social is the newest concept to hit Central Phoenix, but definitely stands apart from the rest with craft cocktails, chef created dishes and a unique atmosphere.
As you walk into Camp Social you become immediately nostalgic. The tire swings, Campers with seating for 6, and outdoor theme takes you back to your Boy Scout and Girl Scout days. You are greeted by a host/hostess who resides in their own camper, and this sets the tone for this unique experience.
We were seated in a comfy booth that faced into the restaurant and were then greeted by Anthony, the manager who was excited about having us there. You can see how passionate he is about their menu, location and uniqueness. He was incredibly attentive and knowledgeable. Anthony provided us with information on how the restaurant came about and gave us some background on their Chef Dirk Flannigan. Anthony explained to us that Dirk makes almost everything in house and is committed to serving a quality product.
Right off the bat you will notice Camp Social’s selective and creative craft cocktail menu. All the cocktails have a camp theme such as “The Best little S’more House in Phoenix” a S’more inspired cocktail. If you like to spice it up, The Firefly cocktail mixes sweet and spicy flavors. The manager Anthony suggested the “Lazy Sunday.” This play on adult iced tea was not only delicious, but also so refreshing. It is also fun to pour your cocktail from a thermos, since when is the last time you actually used a thermos? There is also a wide range of beers and wines to choose from.
Once we were settled in with our amazing drinks we started on the appetizers. Camp Social’s menu is unlike anything you have seen in Central Phoenix. From Smoked Steak Tartare to house made Pork Rinds to Lamb Scrumpets, Camp Social has created a menu as distinct as their atmosphere.
Our favorite of the appetizers was the Hobo Stew which comes out just as you imagine, in a foil bowl! The Hobo Stew is cooked over fire with cheese, meat, and a yummy gravy like broth. It is served with toast and is SO delicious! If you like spice, they offer Spicy Pork Shanks. These fellas are equally as spicy as they are delicious. The pork falls right off the bone and is tender and juicy. I couldn’t stop eating them even though my mouth was on fire! For the most distinguished palette they offer Smoke Steak Tartare served in a mason jar. When presented, the server opens the jar and the smokes comes out filling the air with a delicious aroma. That aroma then transfer to amazing flavor when combined with the capers, shallots and homemade potato chips. Other appetizer honorable mentions include the Trail Mix that features duck fat nuts, popcorn, and cheddar powder AND the Pretzel with Cheddar Dip.
Now if you are looking for lighter options, Camp Social offer Foliage and Forages, eh hmm, salads and Poke bowls. We tried the Poke of the Day which was a beautifully light dish that packed in the flavor. The Poke was fresh and the combination of black rice and spice created a well-rounded dish. Other lighter options include The Summer Salad that includes mixed berries, cashews, mozzarella, trail mix and sweet balsamic. Or try their Avocado Toast with egg, onions, tomato, peanuts, and jalapeno-dressing.
For the main course, we were presented with the Orecchiette Pasta that includes duck leg confit, chilies, rappini and basil. The pasta was fresh and the mix of the duck confit and chilies gives this dish an extra delicious kick. Other entrees include Wood Grilled Trout, Fish Fry, Ravioli and Build Your Own Pizza.
Side note: after we came in for this tasting, we returned with friends for another visit. At that meal we tried the Black Pepper Cheddar Biscuits with cheddar gravy. They were so remarkable that I HAD to add them to this restaurant review. I asked the manager Anthony to please add these to their upcoming Brunch Menu with some eggs and bacon! Fingers crossed!
Back to business… now that we were incredibly stuffed, we of course still had to try their house made desserts that included Bread Pudding, Ice Cream Sandwich and Double Chocolate Cake. All desserts were topped with house made whipped cream and were all amazing. Whether you like sweet or savory, Camp Social has a dessert for you.
We were so pleased with the perfect meal that we were served in such a fun atmosphere. I was thoroughly impressed with the level of service that the Camp Social staff provided. For being open for less than a week, their staff was highly knowledgeable and attentive. Camp Social is the one place in CenPho where you can have a Chef Inspired meal while watching your favorite sports team, or have a fun date night with their select wine list and high end entrees. Camp social is perfect for groups, families, and friends. For a camp-like experience without the mosquitos, sunburns or sleeping in the dirt – Camp Social is the place to be!
For more information and the complete menu, visit campsocial.com.