Union Social Eatery
Union Social Eatery is a popular Mississauga restaurant that now boasts a midtown satellite location on St. Clair at Yonge. Owners Steve Proulx and George Kakaletns have taken over what was once a Fran's location and more recently the home of Harry's Social Kitchen.
The interior has been gutted and the space revamped with raised ceilings, poured concrete floors, salvaged wood and brick walls plus a collection of comfy upholstered booths. The room is sparsely adorned, but a custom-built mason jar chandelier adds some personality. Midweek at noon, the 180-seat space is bustling with local office workers happy to have a solid new lunch option with a massive and all-accommodating menu.
Executive chef Michael Rame sums up the kitchen philosophy as "common food done uncommonly well." Everything on the menu is priced at $20 or less (before add-ons anyway) and the selection is so broad that you could have something different everyday for two months. Pub food, tacos, burgers, customizable salads, curries, sushi rolls, steaks... oh and brunch on weekends too.
Korean Short Rib Tacos ($9.95) are served three per order on soft white tortillas. The pulled meat is braised for 16 hours and glazed with pineapple, sesame and soy sauce. Piled on top is a vinegary shredded slaw drizzled generously with Sriracha mayo. Alas, even with this, I wish the dish was spicier and sweeter.
More successful is the Grilled Swordfish Burger ($14.46). The fish steak is perfectly cooked to soft and flakey, though when paired with the charred leak and roasted red pepper mayo, it's a bit too slippery to handle in a bun.
The Epic Cheeseburger ($12.97) is comprised of an 8oz brisket patty dressed with three types of cheese (cheddar, provolone and Havarti) plus grainy mustard-mayo and classic fresh garnishes. I'm a fan of the heaping side of freshly thin-cut fries; they are golden and super well seasoned.
At the bar, cocktails are priced at a modest $6.50 and there are 20 draught lines hooked up to kegs of Flying Monkey, Muskoka Cream Ale and Stiegl (to name just a few). Pints are priced at $8 or less and notably Guinness is discounted to $5 on Tuesdays as is the featured craft tap on Thursdays.
Locals can look forward to warmer days when the front-facing garage doors open to the street. Union Social Eatery is open weekdays at noon and on weekends at 10am. Monday to Wednesday the kitchen is open 'til midnight, from Thursday to Saturday until 1am and on Sundays until 10pm.
Photos by Jesse Milns.