It’s hard to say whether or not Union Bar and Grille is still a reliable food destination. It’s a shiny space with a comfortable bar setting, and that’s exactly where I found myself on a recent outing. It’s surely an enjoyable place to sip on a few cocktails, leisurely wasting the day away in the process. The burger certainly sounds appealing, as the “Prime Chuck Burger with smoked tomato remoulade with cheddar, bacon and fries” feels appropriately priced at $14.75. After placing our order, we waited, and waited, then waited some more for the food before it finally arrived.Even when the burger came to our table, it was easy to tell something was amiss. Upon closer inspection I could tell the burger had simply sat under a heating lamp far too long. The bread felt as if it had been toasted to the point of no return, scorching hot to the touch yet not burnt whatsoever. But underneath all that was a very juicy and very well seasoned burger. The first few bites were a flavorful and succulent adventure, featuring better than ordinary beef despite being a little over-cooked. The enticing sounding remoulade was completely unnoticeable, ditto for the cheddar and bacon. The only tiny notes I ended up tasting from the remoulade were nothing more than your basic mayo, not delivering at all on the promised smoky flavor, which was twice as vacant because the bacon was also nowhere to be found. The fries were delicious, skin-on and salty, they should have been crispier but I enjoyed the cast-iron pan presentation. The beefiness with this burger is appreciated, and I think with better care the bun most likely would have been a big check in the positive department. The bun deserved to be lush and soft because it would have held up better texturally with the juices of the burger, becoming one in my hands and melting into the desirable package.
It’s a funny thing, if this were just a plain Jane burger from the start, I’d be inclined to be more favorable with my review. But when you factor in ingredients and promised toppings that are nearly impossible to detect, it has to affect the outcome. Especially for just under $15, the Union burger needed to be executed better. The beef does have great flavor and the fries are successful, but the over-cooking of the burger and the m.i.a. remoulade, bacon and cheddar paired with a poorly treated bun and slow delivery add up to more misses than need be.
Overall Score 77