The first time I walked past Northside social, I thought to myself, "who would ever want to go there?".
The casual coffeehouse and wine bar sits sandwiched smack dab in the center of the busiest and most confusing intersection in all of Arlington; right where Washington, Wilson, and Clarendon Boulevard converge. Pray for your latte's sake that there are no drivers texting on their phones and crashing into your table instead of turning onto Clarendon.
Despite my original reservations due to its less than ideal location, as it turns out, I want to eat at Northside.
Its a good thing Northside serves coffee and wine because the vibes the casual eatery gives off might just make you want to stay all day. In the morning, the cafe tables and counter ordering make it the perfect place to grab a cup of joe and a muffin before heading to work. At lunch it becomes a good place to catch up with your chatty work colleague who wants to tell you all about the drama of the weekend over a freshly made sandwich. Just be warned; sometimes the tables are a little closer together than one may want if the details get a little too risqué. This could be a strategic way to not have to listen to another one of her sexcapades.
Come back around 6pm and the daily buzz of the place will have worn off as people wind down with a bottle of wine and chat over candlelight.
The small dinner menu makes it a good first date option, where drinks can be the focus and if its going well then you can extend the date by ordering some delicious food but you don't have to feel the formality of going through a whole sit down ordeal. We all remember that date that we wished the bill would come before the waiter had even set down the bread basket...
The music selection is fantastic, and speaking from experience, the tunes will a keep good date going until they close around 11 or 12pm.
The Grilled Cheese
Do you like cheese? What about perfectly buttered crispy bread? Do you like them together? I thought so. This grilled cheese is just about perfect and is stuffed to the brim with a mouth watering blend of mozzarella, cheddar and guyére that pulls apart so wonderfully stringy you cant help but smile and feel like a little kid again. Order it with the pesto. You wont regret it and it is by far the best thing on the menu.
Chicken Salad Sandwich
Its a cold sandwich (does anyone actually like those?) but the ingredients are fresh and you can tell. The bread is also one of the best breads they use.
Smoked Salmon and Poached Egg
This is a wonderful breakfast bite and will remind you of your favorite lox bagel. The honey IPA roll can be a little dry and stale although so if what you really wanted was a lox bagel, just go order a lox bagel from somewhere else.
Lamb Meatballs & Polenta
A good hearty dish, the meatballs have a mild silky flavor that is complemented nicely by the tomato sauce and rich polenta. Served in its oven baking vessel makes it feel a little bit like you're in Mom's kitchen.