Mason Social

New American
Worth a return

Opened by four friends — Chad, Justin, Larry, and Teddy — Mason Social is a neighborhood restaurant on the northwest corner of Old Town Alexandria. The approachable menu features such international touches as empanadas with chimichurri and jerk pork sliders with smoked pineapple and habanero BBQ.

The layout offers something for everyone. We choose a tall corner table on the bar side, which is more casual than the restaurant side. We start with a half-off bottle of wine (offered every Wednesday!) and four crisp pork dumplings, which are served with creamy Sriracha mayo and a sprinkling of scallions. The pork flavor is distinct and complemented by a crunchy shell and the creamy mayo. Next, roasted acorn squash salad: It’s fresh enough, but there’s nothing new or notable about it.

We’re tempted by the burger, which gets good reviews, but go with the Mason fried chicken, and are not disappointed. Lightly breaded and fried, it has a coating that is crunchy but gives easily. Mac & cheese is creamy, a nice partner to the chicken. Brussels sprouts are the star side — sweet and crunchy, with just the right amount of salt.

We round things out with a churro ice cream sandwich. You can pick your ice cream. We go with salted caramel (there are also chocolate and vanilla): a fun, sweet dish, and though the batter is slightly underdone, we devour it all.

Ingredients are sustainably and locally sourced where possible, with meats and produce from farms and co-ops in Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. The name is a nod to former Alexandria mayor Thomson Mason, who also once owned a farm. The inside is comfortably industrial, and the bathroom has entertaining quotes from classic movies framed in gold (“You had me at hello.”, “There’s more to life than being ridiculously good looking.”).

There’s a certain sense of community here, that I imagine will only get better with age, as locals and visitors continue to seek it out for an affordable drink and comforting dinner.

What to Eat
Mason Social, Mason Fried Chicken
Mason Fried Chicken
Golden, crispy fried chicken is tender and juicy, with sweet-salty Brussels.
Mason Social, Churro Ice Cream Sandwich
Churro Ice Cream Sandwich
We get salted caramel ice cream with our warm churro sandwich.
Mason Social, Crispy Pork Dumplings
Crispy Pork Dumplings
Crisp on the outside, and meaty on the inside, with a kick from Sriracha mayo.
Mason Social, Acorn Squash Salad
Acorn Squash Salad
Tangy goat cheese and sharp red onions complement a lemon vinaigrette on the roasted squash salad.
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Dessert, Late Night
Credit Cards Accepted
Alcohol Served
Outdoor Seating

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