With all of the expansions and new restaurants popping up in Cameron Village, it can be difficult to keep up. But Soca Cocina Latina has been on my list since they opened last year in the old Faire space. Our server told us that Soca means South of the Tropic of Cancer. Soca’s food encompasses tons of different flavors from over 20 countries including Latin American and Caribbean inspiration. With all of the unique dishes I had heard about from Soca, I was so excited to finally get to try their brunch last week.
The interior of the restaurant is much bigger than I expected. The décor is clean and modern, without feeling too stuffy or fancy. It also looked like they had some great outdoor space. The menu for brunch was fairly extensive. It included everything from starters, small plates, brunch plates, and larger plates to choose from.
My boyfriend and I decided to start with the Dominican Empanadas ($8) from the “Platos Pequenos” section. These empanadas were filled with yuca, sofrito braised chicken, mango, sazon aioli, and local radish. I felt like this dish was a little bit pricey for only two small empanadas, but you could really taste the freshness of each ingredient. The empanadas were clearly handmade and the filling was incredibly flavorful. One thing I loved so much about Soca is that it felt like a lot of time and effort went into each dish, and it is very apparent by the beautiful presentation of each plate.
For my brunch I decided to go with the Pork Belly Benedict ($14). I’m always a little nervous to order pork belly because I love crispy pork belly, but am a little turned off my fatty, soft pork belly, but the pork belly in this dish was so crunchy and delicious! The eggs were also perfectly runny and the corn arepa, which took place of an English muffin in a tradition benedict dish, was flavorful but not overpowering. It was perfect for soaking up the egg yolk and avocado hollandaise sauce. My boyfriend went with the Churro Waffles ($12), which were also amazing. I was expecting them to be too sweet for me, but the cinnamon sugar topping with the espresso whipped cream and dulce de leche was just sweet enough.
We finished our meal off with the Quesillo ($8), which was just a pretty as it was tasty. The dessert consisted of a caramel flan, raspberry sorbet, hibiscus cake, and cajeta whipped cream. The flan was just sweet enough and the raspberry sorbet tasted extremely fresh.
Overall I was extremely impressed with my brunch at Soca. Not only was the food delicious, but each plate was present beautifully, which I feel like is something a lot of restaurants don’t take the time to do. If you’re in Cameron Village, make sure to make your way over to Soca, on the corner of Oberlin and Clark, to get some unique and beautiful dishes. I personally can’t wait to go back and try more of what they have to offer.
Note: From time to time we’re invited out to an event or to try a restaurant or certain products. This meal or items are usually comped, as this was. We’re under no obligation to write a positive review or any review at all when we’re invited out to try a place. Every review you see on our site will be an honest review of the place whether or not the restaurant provided us with the meal at their cost.
Melissa Guido is currently a dietetic intern in the Triangle area. She studied nutrition at NC State and Meredith College. Her favorite part about nutrition is showing people that healthy food can be exciting and delicious. Melissa loves traveling and learning about how food fits into different cultures. In her free time she loves trying new restaurants, cooking, and obsessing over her dogs. Follow her on Instagram @made2order and at www.madeorder.wordpress.com.