Browns Socialhouse, as described by its owner Scott Morison, serves “fresh, lively, flavourful food in a room that is fun, energetic and designed to be as comfortable as my living room…but without the dog hair.”
This being my first ever visit to a Browns, I was definitely impressed with the atmosphere and agreed that it was fun, energetic and comfy all at the same time.
Although I hadn’t heard of this chain of restaurants before, with the words “Socialize” and “Eat” in lights on the walls, I had a feeling that I might like hanging out here a lot.
One Of The Comfy Booth Inside Browns
My friend Mark and I actually ended up here by total fluke. We had planned to go hang and have a few drinks and appetizers at one of our favourite lounges but it was closed.
I realize it was Sunday but come on, it’s summertime and this is downtown Victoria we are talking about!
Anyway, Browns was right nearby and we were really glad we stumbled upon it.
Inside the restaurant, I really liked the wall to wall windows and the high ceilings. I also really liked the booth that we sat in, with comfy leather “half moon’ seating.
When we first sat down and took a look at the menu, I noticed there seemed to be a bit of an Asian influence to it.
There was plenty of variety of American dishes, but many dishes had a Thai, Chinese, or Japanese twist to them.
I also noticed they had healthy options for eating on the menu which I thought was great.
They even had your calorie count if you needed or wanted to know.
Both Mark and I asked for drink recommendations to start. I ended up ordering a “Bellini” ($6.50) and Mark got a “Social Soda” ($6).
I thought both drinks were average. My Bellini looked really nice but I’ve definitely had better in Victoria.
I also thought for just 1 ounce, it was a bit overpriced compared to other places around town. They do have $4.50 Bellini special on Tuesday though so I guess you have to come then to get better value.
The Social Soda was also a bit disappointing. Both Mark and I thought it tasted like a watered down Orangina (Italian pop). Maybe it’s just personal taste, but the flavour just didn’t seem to be there.
Though the drinks didn’t go off as well as we hoped, we were still very optimistic about the food.
Our very friendly server suggested two appetizers for us; the “Wicked Mushrooms” ($7) and the “Calamari Milazzo” ($11).
The mushrooms were listed as coming with spicy black pepper sauce and yes, they were spicy!
I loved the size of the serving and the nice plump mushrooms but unfortunately the spicing was too hot for me to enjoy them.
I do have a milder palate though and Mark, who likes spicy food, enjoyed the mushrooms a lot.
Next up was the calamari. I admit I haven’t had calamari much so I’m not an expert that’s for sure.
The dish came with what was supposed to be a “spicy” tomato dipping sauce, though I didn’t think it was that spicy. Overall we both thought this appetizer to be just okay.
The calamari seemed a bit rubbery to me but again, I’m not an expert so maybe this is the way they are supposed to be cooked?
Because I had yet to be wowed by the food I had eaten so far, we decided to order one more thing off the menu.
The “Mushroom Pizza” ($9.50 Sun and Mon special/$12.50 other days) was apparently our server’s favourite dish so we thought we would try it.
The pizza came with mushrooms, goat cheese, roasted garlic, arugula and mozzarella cheese.
This dish was the best one we tried. You could tell we both loved it because we gobbled it up super fast!
There are five other pizzas on the menu that all look good so next time I come here, I’ll have to try one of them.
Speaking of the menu, I noticed they serve brunch here on the weekends so I definitely have to come back and try that out sometime.
They have lots of yummy looking breakfast dishes and they’re all under $15 so that’s nice too.
Overall my first time out at a Browns was a pretty good experience.
I really like their atmosphere and I forgot to mention the patio outside looks super comfy as well.
If you want a place to come have a drink and a bite after work, watch the game at the bar, or just hang out with your friends, Browns is a good choice.
It’s also in a great location in downtown Victoria so it’s easy to get to.