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The Wait Is Up To Two Hours At Mason Social, But How's The Food?

Plus, Tim Carman tries the sausages and chili at Meat & Foods.

R. Lopez

For the Washington Post's First Bite, Maura Judkis checks out Alexandria's Mason Social. It certainly seems to be popular with the neighbors. Judkis says she was quoted a two-hour wait on a recent Friday night. She thinks that "vegetarians seemingly are cast into a corner" with just a few options. "Frankly, the place so far is hit or miss for meat-eaters, too," she writes, but then she discovers the keepers on the menu:

Look to the basics for Mason Social’s strength: Homey lamb-and-pork meatballs, Gruyère-and-shells mac and cheese, and Brussels sprouts braised in cider are among chef Joseph Lennon’s crowd-pleasers. Some main dishes, like the hanger steak, arrive pre-sliced for sharing — a nicely social touch. And you might find yourself discreetly licking the powdery pepper-and-paprika barbecue dusting off your fingers after a serving of fries —a winning combination that steals from its humbler cousin, the bagged potato chip. [WaPo]

Tim Carman finds the vibe at Meat & Foods on Florida Avenue NW "irresistible" and the sausages above reproach. But he yearns for more toppings, writing:

Several times, I found myself at a complete loss to find appropriate partners for the sausages here. My experience with the turmeric chicken sausage offers a good example. The smoked banger itself is above reproach: Juicy thigh meat is perfumed with ginger and garlic, stuffed into a natural casing, then slipped into a cushy potato roll. But when I asked [owner Scott] McIntosh — the tall, tatted gentleman behind the register — for a suitable topping, he suggested the kraut, which sounded like a hostile German takeover of the subcontinent. I was dreaming of other options: cool raita, tingling mango chutney, even freshly sliced paneer, anything but fermented cabbage. [WaPo]

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