It’s been a while since I tried a new brunch, what with football starting up again (it’s hard to get ManFriend away from a TV even for bottomless mimosas) and my whole life-transition, etc. A couple of weeks ago, though, a friend of mine (the friend with the epic brunch list that prompted this entire series, actually) celebrated her birthday at SoCo in Thorton Park within Downtown Orlando.
Of course, bottomless mimosas weren’t just expected; they were mandatory. Unlike some of the usual bottomless-drinks suspects, though, SoCo also earned points for it’s really tasty (albeit kinda pricey) food. If you hate having to pick between good food or bottomless drinks, SoCo is a great place to have the best of both brunches.
We arrived before the bulk of the birthday party, and asked the bartender if we could start sipping mims before we ordered an entree (required for $10 bottomless mimosas) while we waited. She was incredible fast to re-fill our glasses and get us accommodated, so I was already a glass of bubbly in before we sat down. +1 for SoCo bartenders.
Our table service was like somehow on the 50-foot walk from the bar to the seated dining, we passed through a Bermuda triangle of hospitality. Having seen not only the bartender serving us be incredibly friendly and attentive, but also witnessing the other waiters and managers with similar eager-to-please attitudes, I was expecting that from our table service, as well. In the words of everyone’s most loathed Republican Presidential candidate: WRONG.
It was like pulling teeth to get mimosas refilled, and that was even when we could get our waitress back at the table. Mind you, the birthday “party” was 6 people, so not nearly an overwhelming size. We lingered after paying our bill to attempt to drink more, but our waitress avoided us like someone pretending they don’t see someone they met on Tinder in the real world. Finally, we got the literally brilliant idea to take our drinks to the bar area, and were met with the most wonderful refills and service again.
The food was great… I ordered the lobster Benedict, although I normally dislike lobster. The lobster was in the Hollindaise as opposed to lumped under the egg, so I much prefered it. The Birthday Girl went for the french toast (because the lack of at Two Chefs is why we no longer go there) which was basically dessert masquerading as breakfast. The best of all was probably the chicken and dumplings, though, which is nothing like the traditional southern dish you’re probably imagining. Instead, it was a platter of Asian-style chicken dumplings with a brown mushroom gravy… it sounds incredibly strange, but tastes amazingly delicious.
Secret Tip: the chicken and dumplings is listed under the appetizers, but you can ask for an entree portion!
Overall, I left tipsy and full, so I was happy with my brunch experience, despite the Bermuda Triangle seating. The pricier entrees were still reasonable, especially considering the food was actually good (a rare thing to find in conjunction with also-good free mimosas) so it would make an excellent place to celebrate birthdays or special occasions.