On Monday night, Matthew and I met up with friends Melissa and Tim for a grown-up play date at Punch Bowl Social on the East Bank of the Flats. Punch Bowl Social’s focus is on being a place that serves great food and drink, that also happens to offer a whole host of fun activities (as opposed to being an entertainment center that happens to serve food).
So, let’s talk about the food and drinks first. Punch Bowl offers a wide selection of punches, classic mixed drinks, and new style mixed drinks. I learned that a punch includes five elements: a sweet, a sour, a strong, a weak, and a spice. My favorite punch is called “You must bring us…A Shrubbery,” with Skyy Moscato Vodka, watermelon shrub, lemon juice, cardamom syrup, and a red wine float.
We also really enjoyed the El Macho (tequila, muddled cucumber, cardamom syrup, and lime juice) and the vodka and soda (a blend of vodka and one of Punch Bowl’s house made sodas).
We started with a selection of appetizers: the black eyed pea hummus, Hugh’s pimiento cheese, and the lil street tacos.
The hummus was great, as was the pimiento cheese, served with bacon marmalade and Pullman toast (and check out the selection of Pope’s sauces, too). But the star of the appetizer show was the lil street tacos, with cocoa dusted pork carnitas, salsa adobo, crema, radish, queso cotiqa, lime, cilantro , and yellow onion. The pork was ridiculously tender and flavorful. Order these. Seriously.
Then it was entree time. I chose the confit St. Louis ribs, with house made Memphis BBQ sauce, lime and olive cabbage salad, and house cut fries.
The ribs were fall-off-the-bone tasty and saucy. Matthew had the chicken and waffles and really loved the smoked jalapeno pecan maple syrup. And Melissa and Tim each had sandwiches: the Cubano for Tim and the charred Japanese eggplant ciabatta for Melissa.
And we worked up enough of an appetite to also have dessert, which are all made fresh by Luna Bakery.
The caramel pecan cheesecake was light, fluffy, and just the right flavors for fall. And Matthew loved the chocolate-covered cherry cake.
The care and thought that goes into the menu and all the elements of each dish, especially with the addition of Hugh Acheson as chef-partner, really shines through. We enjoyed our drinks and food from top to bottom!
And while the food and drink are meant to be first and foremost, there are also a huge range of activities to keep you engaged too. From darts to shuffleboard to ping pong to an arcade with classic games, you can find so many ways to spend time and have fun.
We played two games of bowling, where we discovered we are consistently inconsistent bowlers.
Then we headed to one of the private karaoke rooms (they can seat up to 8 people, but that would be a bit tight, I think) to sing our hearts out. Melissa has a gorgeous voice, so the singing went better for some than others, but the private room makes it easy to sing along regardless of your skill level.
We also played a couple games of shuffleboard to cap off the evening’s fun.
There are so many ways to have a great time at Punch Bowl Social, from simply enjoying a wonderful meal with delicious cocktails to playing the night away. From daily brunch to lunch to dinner, you can pick any time of day to enjoy Punch Bowl (or stay the whole day). For your next date night, girls night, or grown-up play date, you can’t pick better than Punch Bowl.
We have to extend our thanks to Victoria, Rich, our server Elise, and everyone at Punch Bowl for giving us such a fantastic evening!
***Disclosure: I was invited to visit Punch Bowl Social with three guests and to enjoy a sampling of items for the drink and food menus, as well as participate in some of the many activities offered at Punch Bowl Social complimentary. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***