If ever there was a restaurant or even a place that said Nicole, Alexandria, Virginia’s Society Fair would definitely be that restaurant AND that place. It’s so Parisian that I can’t even deal. Perfectly placed, mix-matched chandeliers, chocolate and almond croissants, pink plush sofas, little trinkets, big cakes and pies. Plus, a butchery in the back. It was magnifique! Although my heart skipped several beats in joy for my after-brunch treat of an almond croissant, it was my grilled cheese with tomato soup (called The Classic, on the menu) that stood out as the star of my recent visit to Society Fair.
There’s just something about a grilled cheese that seems so comforting and homey. However, there is also something about a grilled cheese that screams YOU WILL BE HUNGRY AGAIN IN 5 MINUTES! This thought, plus the fact that although they are amazing, a grilled cheese just doesn’t seem brunchy, was what had me hesitating IMMENSELY. You know I take my food seriously. Thankfully, the young lady who was sitting next to me on the pink sofa heard my hesitancy and sang the praises of the dish. She was so much a fan that she ordered it “every time I came in.” I was sold. For the sake of us both, I really hoped that it lived up to her praises. I didn’t want such a nice, unsuspecting stranger to face my wrath.
While waiting for my food, the usual thing that happens to a person like me happened. I got complete and total FOMO (fear of missing out) and FOBO (fear of better options). Before deciding on the grilled cheese, there was a battle going on in my head: the grilled cheese vs. the breakfast sandwich. Before I was pushed to the cheese side by my seat neighbor, I was leaning pretty heavily on the breakfast sandwich. I knew the breakfast sandwich and it knew me. Buttermilk biscuit, scrambled eggs, cheese, and meat options (which weren’t for me) – it was what brunch dreams were made of. It wasn’t until after I decided on the grilled cheese did plates upon plates of breakfast sandwiches begin to rain from the kitchen to suspecting customers. They looked amazing! I had made the wrong decision, but decided that the croissant I had already decided to order would make up for my lack of decision making skills.
The arrival of my plate didn’t really help my disappointment. Actually, it put the nail in the coffin. Looking at the two pieces of bread with cheese and my cup of soup was a clear indication that, “Yep, I had definitely made the wrong decision.”
Then, after about a 5-minute picture-taking session, I took my first bite.
I was wrong! I was SO wrong! I can’t think of a time when I had been more happier about being wrong. I was WRONG!! Bite after bite, was just another confirmation of how wrong I had been to even think that the grilled cheese would not be a great experience. What made such a simple dish a mind-blowing experience? I have two theories: 1. The choice of cheese. Tillamook Cheddar was the cheese of choice. The flavor of this cheese was cheesy perfection. and 2. The ratio of bread to cheese. This is super important to me. I’ve had grilled cheeses where the cheese was spilling out from ever corner it could. For me, this is way too much cheese. The amount of cheese should be just so, so that it doesn’t overpower the bread and become its very own entity. The grilled cheese is a partnership, a marriage between cheese and bread. Let’s never forget.
Although I’ve gone on and on about the grilled cheese, I HAVE to mention the tomato soup. The VEGAN tomato soup. It was the perfect addition to the grilled cheese. I dipped my sandwich in and came back with this great combination of flavors. I could definitely see myself ordering this soup even on the hottest of days.
So I decided to buck my usual brunch system and went with The Classic for my first visit to @societyfair. Calabrian tomato soup with a grilled cheese = best decision ever!! #sundaybrunch #eat #brunch #yum #theweeknd
A photo posted by Nicole E. Jackson (@nicoleeatsandtravels) on
It was my intention to also include a few words about my almond croissant, but it was so good that I’ve decided to give it a post of its own. But, I will leave you with a picture.
If you are in the Virginia, DC, or Maryland areas, I definitely recommend taking the trip to Society Fair. It will be a fair of great food!