Who doesn’t love a good theme? Well, Phoenix’s new Camp Social is now open and boasts a super-fun camping-themed atmosphere. Yup, camping–but we promise you don’t need bug repellent or you won’t endure showerless days.
Camp Social is designed like a large, airy log cabin with too-cool elements like a retro-fitted camper hostess stand, canoes-turned-chandeliers hanging from the ceiling and, our favorite, tire-swing seating at the central bar. (If this seating isn’t the Valley’s new favorite Instagram spot, we’re not sure what is.) Plus, kids and grownups alike can enjoy the game room filled with interactive games like shuffleboard, ping pong, large Jenga blocks and Buck Hunter arcade, all near a cozy stone fireplace.
Though the atmosphere is fun and laidback, the menu is full of serious (and seriously good) eats. Our favorite dishes during a recent lunchtime visit were among the Trail Snacks (appetizer) section. The crispy lamb scrumpets (an old-fashioned dish that uses lamb or mutton which is coasted in breadcrumbs and fried), served with mustard, and ceci bean hummus were both delicious (the hummus is especially perfect for these hot summer days). But the real kicker is the hobo stew. It may not be pretty (it is a meaty, cheesy stew served in an aluminum foil pouch as if it was pulled from off a campfire), but it is an addicting, comforting concoction. The elk meat in the stew is tender and buttery swimming in gooey (in the best possible way) white cheddar and can be spread onto crisp, wood-fired toast for a decadent starter. For the most health-conscious, the avocado toast, with a subtly sweet and yummy jalapeno dressing, and poke of the day are tops.
For dessert, stick a spoon into comforting classics like warm bread pudding served with seasonal fruit, homemade ice cream sandwiches (the kiddos will adore these!) and rich, decadent chocolate ganache cake with whipped cream. And since this is Camp Social, after all, diners can even enjoy build-your-own campfire s’mores.
Just like no camping trip is complete without some cold, cheap beer, a trip to Camp Social isn’t over until you’ve order up a few of its summery cocktails. The Jumping Juniper with gin, elderflower, kiwi, basil and lemon juice is a refreshing, season-friendly option while those who like a little spice in their life will lap up the Firefly. The drink comprises St. George’s green chili vodka, ginger, lime and blueberry, and the peppery result will no doubt wake up those taste buds.