The name alone suggests things that are wrong, a little inappropriate, and still SO DAMN GOOD. And that would be accurate. I’d like to talk about UBK (Union Bar & Kitchen) in it’s entirety though, because this was my second chance for this place, and it proved that this is precisely why you give restaurants (and people?) second chances. My first experience with it wasn’t amazing, but this time around, I give it a lot of praise. Here’s why:
The space in front is perfect for an after-work drink/meal, and the black leather banquettes in the back give off a sexy vibe. So pick your poison. Either way I’m sure it will work. We sat in the back because we were feeling sexy. Or we just wanted to eat a lot of food and not have a ton of people judge us? We started out with the smoked trout deviled eggs, the watermelon gazpacho, and the Mexican mussels. See…don’t judge.
The deviled eggs were probably my favorite, along with the mussels. The smoked trout was a great salty accent to the already delicious deviled egg filling – home run and could have eaten 5 more of those.
I typically don’t order mussels too much, because I have to really trust the place, but these came highly recommended by the owner (hi Jonathan!), and they were awesome. The chorizo was really spicy but tasty, and the jalapenos and onions were cooked down into the broth that just melts in your mouth. Oh and they serve it with this crusty bread for dipping, as they should when the broth is THAT delicious, and it was baked with some kind of butter/herb/cheese concoction. I honestly don’t even remember the exact elixir, but it was damn good.
I’m going to give a shout out to the gazpacho, even though I don’t really eat gazpacho. Jonathan had put a lot of work into this one and insisted we try. I told him I’m no expert, but I gave it a shot anyway. My dinner companion Chelsea said it was tasty, but she felt like we could dip some chips in it. Again, not experts. It was a smooth broth, not what I’m used to seeing with gazpacho (read: chunks), and the slow heat from the peppers was a nice touch. If you’re a fan, give it a shot. Cold soup is perfect for summer anyway.
NOW. Onto the real reason I’m writing: The Morning After sandwich. We were lucky enough to get the background story on the name of this sandwich from the owner, but I won’t tell you all that. Let’s just say both are worth a trip to UBK. Here’s the ingredients: fried pork cutlet, pickled onions, fried egg, english muffin. When I read the description, I imagined a giant hot mess of a sandwich that I wouldn’t even be able to finish, but alas! It was the PERFECT size and oh my goddddd so delicious. These are a few things that I would never put together and expect to taste good, but I also happen to make a ridiculous hangover sandwich that makes you go “what the F%&!?” so I guess I get it. There’s a fine line between genius and gluttony. When you take a bite, your face will go from “hmm..” to “what?” to “holy shit this is amazing”. Trust me.
So full by this point, but we still had a teeny tiny bit of room left for dessert. Peanut butter chimichangas with vanilla ice cream, and assorted cookies with chocolate and sea salt. The cookies were better than I expected, but my heart still lies with the chimichangas. Crispy fried peanut buttery goodness with melty ice cream – come ON. I would like to take those, and the Morning After Sandwich, and make a home with it.
I’m happy we came around again for UBK, it was 100% worth it. I plan on heading back there for a drink and that sandwich. They have awesome happy hour specials too, did I mention? Well, now I am. 4-7 pm is happy hour at UBK, and they have half priced beer and wine, $1 oysters and clams on the half shell, and $2 fried oysters, pork belly sliders, and baked clams. Yes…you will be seeing us again, UBK.
Union Bar & Kitchen
300 Spring Street
Website: Union Bar & Kitchen