Union Social Eatery (Toronto)

Union social eatery

Union Social Eatery is a new casual dining restaurant in the Yonge and Sheppard area. Their comfort food heavy menu is reasonably priced with no dish over $20. The crispy buffalo chicken tacos are a steal at $9.98 for three; they’re also packed with flavour from cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses, a gorgonzola ranch sauce and salsa.

After eating here at lunch and dinner, I found the atmosphere similar to the Jack Astor’s down the street and the food quality slightly higher. Perhaps they were experiencing issues in the kitchen during opening month, but my first lunch visit was a tad slow to meet a corporate crowd’s dining needs.

Since my husband and I had the day off, we weren’t in a rush; but three tables in our vicinity were asking about the status of their dishes. The meal took about one and half hours, which is not outrageous but could be improved for a table of two. My advice: develop a lunch menu incorporating easy to execute dishes to help speed up lunch service.

My husband had the grilled fish tacos ($11.98), which weren’t as substantial as the buffalo chicken version - the small fish pieces became lost in the napa slaw. But, the kick from the wasabi sauce was a nice change against the typical chipotle mayo.

The U.F.O. burger ($11.96) appeared to be a popular lunch choice. The freshly made beef patty could be cooked less to allow it to be juicier. Nonetheless, it was a decent size and there was an abundance of fixings topping the burger.

I chose to upgrade the Yukon fries to the truffle option ($3 supplement) and sadly found the truffle aroma and taste non-existent. If they were marketed as parmesan and rosemary infused fries, I would have been pleased as there was no shortage of any of these ingredients, but to have the truffle taste missing was a disappointment.

On a return visit with friends, we ordered the appetizer version of the parmesan truffle fries ($7.94) and it was a touch better – this time I could at least get a whiff of the white truffle oil, albeit the taste was still covered from the strong grana padano cheese and herbs.

In my opinion, just go with the plain fries, in both experiences I found the truffle ones to be too oily and glutinous feeling. The plain variety that accompanied the Steam Whistle fish and chips ($15.44) were good enough for me. Even though Union Social isn’t an English pub, the fish was pretty good – a large piece of haddock with a crispy airy batter. A house made sweet gherkin tartare sauce and a buttermilk coleslaw rounded out the dish.

For those who like coconut shrimp, the banana coconut crusted chicken ($16.91) would be the perfect main. The chicken breast was relatively moist and had a distinct sweet coconut crust. I wasn’t fond of the tamarind, mango and brown butter sauce and found the poor quality rice lackluster. However, in fairness, this generally isn’t a dish I’d order; we did so on the recommendation of our server. One friend, who does like sweet coconut dishes, found the chicken enjoyable.

While the weather is still beautiful, visit Union Social to sit on their rooftop patio. It’s one of the best features of the restaurant and they have incorporated plenty of awnings and umbrellas so you’re not roasting.

Even their cocktails are reasonably priced; the original mojito ($6.81) was refreshing and incorporates generous amounts of muddled mint leaves. If you enjoy beer, their weekend specials should entice: $15 pitchers on Fridays and $5 Sleeman & Steam Whistle pints on Saturday and Sundays.

Overall, Union Social’s food is decent and it’s great, that their prices, will not break the bank.

Overall mark - 7 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 4899 Yonge Street
 Website: www.unionsocial.ca

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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!

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