SoHo was SooooGood. I recommend you go!
We stopped in for lunch at SoHo (Social House and Pub) and it was so good that we awarded them the coveted “If You Are Looking for a New Place to eat in Tucson, You Should Try This” Award. They feature brunch, lunch, and dinner menus. Lunch entrees range in price from $7 to $14.
Located in the Sam Hughes neighborhood, it was redesigned as a Gastro Pub in August 2012. I want to use the word “trendy” with no negative connotation. It’s a warm and open space concept with lots of windows that give it a modern and vibrant feel. We thought the wooden spoon deco effect between the dining area and kitchen was rather cool. It’s the kind of place that you can take a group of colleagues for lunch and then come back to rock the bar for dinner. Driven by San Diego Chef Ben Lieberman’s vision for home-cooked food, it delivers a sophisticated message that this is home cooking prepared at a level your mother would envy. We have to commend the chef for creating a kitchen that can execute and deliver on his vision for flavors and presentation.
This is a great place to bring a date—it’s upscale, relaxed, and the food is affordable. They offer very good service and our first impression of the menu was that we wanted to try it all! How’s that for a glowing recommendation? Note that you may need to hit the treadmill afterwards. I don’t mean to imply that the entire menu is heavy, as they do have alternative choices like salads (ick).
I like to see a restaurant staff that acts as my food and drink minions who, when not busy, work on things like cleaning and organizing, much like an athlete that stays warmed up and ready play on the sideline. They are ready to go at a moment’s notice and are actually paying attention to what is going on around them. We initially sat down to a wobbly table and chair, so while our waitress was away, we moved to another. For those who read my blog on a regular basis, you know that wobbly chair + wobbly table= the deletion of good things, and I deduct 2 out of 5 points right off the bat. But not for SoHo. When the waitress was told why we had moved, she fixed the table and removed the chair from the floor. Well done!
In other wobbly table incidents to date (homage to Colorado’s String Cheese Incident), the wait staff typically responds with “Oh, I’m sorry, would you like to move, or just suck it up because this is our last available table?” It’s as if they are implying that they are just the wait staff and could not possibly be bothered or expected to fix a table or deal with a broken chair. This is the sort of behavior that makes me tip at 10%. Let’s be clear: SoHo’s wait staff rocked it and fixed the problem. No more victims and therefore, NO DEDUCTION.
Whew, I needed to get that out.
This is a place for the food-hearty. If you are on a diet looking for bird food, SoHo’s fried pork or Cuban crispy pork belly sandwiches are probably not your best choice. Unless, that is, you feel like sinning a little. Check that, sinning a lot. The rich, deeply delicious flavors fused in every layer made each sandwich awesome in its own right. They were perfectly and quickly prepared, which is a plus when you are taking a quick lunch break. My sandwich was prepared to perfection with an awesome peppery crust that encapsulated a perfect pork chop that was juicy and well-seasoned. Though a bit massive, the bread was actually sized to hold the contents and held up well to the mustard aioli that was slathered on top. Mrs. Kitchen Liaison tried the Cuban belly sandwich: pork belly, black forest ham, gruyere, and grain mustard for the perfect recipe for tasty. I took a bite and then a second jealous bite because a sandwich that decadent deserves to be coveted and revisited.
Overall, we give SoHo two thumbs up for creating bold and delicious food in a great atmosphere, while fostering a wait staff that “gets it.” If you are looking for a great place to eat or take a date in Tucson, we suggest you head over to SoHo. Report back! Enjoy, and don’t forget to visit your tread mill. I have no guilt, as I work out 3 days a week.
Everything you want to know about SoHo can be found here: http://www.sohotucson.com