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Restaurants

Union Social Eatery

Posted by Liora Ipsum / Profiled on January 20, 2014 / review policy

Union Social Eatery TorontoUnion 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.

Union Social Eatery TorontoKorean 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.

Union Social EateryMore 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.

Union Social EateryThe 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.

Union Social Eatery TorontoAt 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.

Union Social EateryLocals 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.

Union Social EateryPhotos by Jesse Milns.

Discussion

28 Comments

jb / January 20, 2014 at 07:04 am
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Really lame review. Can't figure out whether the reviewer likes the place or not!
milo lai / January 20, 2014 at 08:14 am
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I hope this place does well.

It only does well in Mississauga because Mississauga is a shithole and this place is better than the Swiss Chalet or Boston Pizza.
Chris! / January 20, 2014 at 08:51 am
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Finally, the refinement of Mississauga meets the convenience of midtown! Can't wait to never go to this place.
jen / January 20, 2014 at 09:49 am
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I see this place from the streetcar every day and I always think to myself, I don't ever want to go to a restaurant that uses the word "eatery"....it sounds so suburban. And it actually IS suburban!!

I doubt it will last, nothing in that space ever does.
chris / January 20, 2014 at 10:24 am
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They need to do something to spruce up the frontage. It will not attract customers the way it looks now. There's a temporary sign that makes it look thrown together and it always looks closed, despite the sheets of papers they've taped in the windows announcing they're open. Maybe turn on those overhead lights they have on their sign.
What gives.. / January 20, 2014 at 10:27 am
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I thought this was the food court at the Eaton Centre?
Huuk / January 20, 2014 at 11:08 am
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Went last week and it was far better than any chain alternative. Great bar-style food (burgers, nachos, tacos...)and very non-pretentious for an area with a stick up its butt. Not a destination restaurant, but I would go back for sure.
lol replying to a comment from Chris! / January 20, 2014 at 11:30 am
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Exactly. *yawn*
Chris! / January 20, 2014 at 11:43 am
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Also, $8 pints and $6.50 cocktails! Too much for mediocre beers, too little for cocktails to be made with anything good.
rp / January 20, 2014 at 11:49 am
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Went last Wednesday night, wasn't busy at all which is a shame.

Food was really good and Craft bottles were $5 on Wednesday, I had the "chicken sandwich of the week" which last week was closer to a chicken burger, but it was fresh and hand made, (not a frozen chicken burger) topped with avocado, and a Gorgonzola sauce.

It is close to my office and on the way home as well, so hope to frequent it more often, hope others give it a whirl. The location seems a little cursed for restaurants/pubs (Fran's, Fionn MacCools, Harry's Social all in the last 5ish years).

i think its the best pub at Yonge/St.Clair... Scally's, Sportscentre and Fox are OK but food at those locations aren't great and usually over run by football fans (Scally's) or young college kids (Fox & Fiddle's college night?!).

I do agree with people's assessment that their signage is lacking, but only open 2 weeks, give them time!
Alison / January 20, 2014 at 12:00 pm
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One positive I'd like to point out about the Mississauga location is that they were very accommodating and knowledgeable to my celiac table mates. They were aware of what items on the menu were gluten free or customizable, and our server went the extra step to check with the kitchen that food was being cooked separately (if required).

I hope the same attentiveness and efforts are also present at the Toronto location.
Tammy replying to a comment from Alison / January 20, 2014 at 12:51 pm
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Your friends sound like a lot of fun.
Alison replying to a comment from Tammy / January 20, 2014 at 01:00 pm
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Curmudgeon much?
mar / January 20, 2014 at 01:23 pm
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Toronto is the best city and people who whine about toronto being snobs are the worst but some of the twats on here prejudging a restaurant because it started out in mississauga is embarrassing. its fucking food and drinks either its good or it isn't who cares if it started in the burbs.
Lxpatterson replying to a comment from milo lai / January 20, 2014 at 03:30 pm
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That's exactly right. The food is mediocre and not carefully seasoned or especially fresh at the mississauga location. The front of house operations work smoothly and staff are pleasant. It is popular. Perhaps this will be better foodwise?
Marc replying to a comment from jen / January 20, 2014 at 08:34 pm
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But if it was St Clair and Oakwood (or heaven forbid, Queen and Gladstone), it would be ironic and so awesome.

"Omg, remember eatries back in the day. Liek so kewl. I'm gonna take a pic and fax it to my friend through Yahoo mail."
Marc replying to a comment from mar / January 20, 2014 at 08:35 pm
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Heads up. Usually those people aren't from Toronto. They're from Caledon or Bruce County and think they've "made it" in the big city.
Basshat / January 20, 2014 at 11:54 pm
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Read the comments to count the hipster douchebags mocking the suburbs. Was not disappointed.
A / January 21, 2014 at 07:11 pm
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I dunno what all these people are talking about, I went last week with a few friends for dinner and drinks and we were all pleasantly surprised with this place. To start we shared a trio of house-made dips, a delicious dragon sushi roll and a deep fried creation called "fire crackers" which were to die for. For my main I had the grilled salmon which came with a lemon dill cream sauce that was incredible and I would definitely go back for just that. I tried bites of my friends' meals as well and they were all equally delicious, especially the swordfish burger. To drink we all tried a different martini because one of the drink specials on Thursday's is $5 martini's. The portions are large, the service is great and I am definitely going back. So happy this place is finally open!!!
JD / January 21, 2014 at 10:19 pm
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Finally a decent place in the area. Been there twice so far for lunch. Both times apps and mains were really good and drinks aren't over priced. Hot waitresses.
james / January 22, 2014 at 11:22 pm
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I haven't been here but been to the Mississauga location 3 times. They were really good and had beautiful women. The second time all the women were wearing pants. Third time a guy served us - this is how restaurants die or thrive. They start all good and trying and edgy, then they stop trying then they get lazy then they lose it all.
Typical: a business will only remain and grow if they keep trying every day not if they become lazy. haven't been back anymore.
da chica / January 24, 2014 at 11:01 pm
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We are regulars at the Miss location. It is perfect for lunch with my girlfriends, a date, or family. The food is superb. From the salads to the freshly made from scratch chicken tenders. The draft selection is great too.
chris / January 27, 2014 at 11:56 am
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Went last Thursday. Food was well made and inventive and our server was attentive and knew her stuff. The space is nicely done and is well suited for larger groups. Taps are probably the best in the neighbourhood. I hope they keep it up. I think I have found a replacement for the Jester.
NK / February 10, 2014 at 09:50 pm
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Funny, how the only negative comments are from people who have not been here but are slamming it cuz it started out in the burbs. So friggin what!!! I am totes checking this place out!

Sam / February 22, 2014 at 10:06 am
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I live right around the corner and I have been dying for a spot that I can hang out with my friends and grab a good bite to eat and this place is great (although the name is kinda corny)

I got the beef short rib tacos and they were really well done, but I do think they could be a bit spicier. My friends got the chicken BLT and the epic cheeseburger and I had a bite of the burger and I will DEFINITELY be back for the burger. It was a great portion and very well done. I especially liked the french fries.

We went on a wednesday and had a few pints and bottles of beer. Bottles were only $5 on wednesday and pints were fairly priced compared to everything else in the area.

All in All, its a really great spot if you are local looking for good food and a decent priced drink. I recommend it.
Emily / March 4, 2014 at 04:41 pm
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Great place for lunch or dinner, skip the brunch. I hope they fix the exterior asap! I live in the area and really hope this place can get it together so they stick around cause the atmosphere is great for hanging out!
Mike / March 22, 2014 at 01:49 pm
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Great food, attention to detail, friendly staff. You can't go wrong here! I'll be back with some more friends.
hide / March 26, 2014 at 11:13 am
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best looking waitresses in the area... when a woman flaunts her beauty and is confident and tries then I try to for that business even if the burger is like $14!
Definite return

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