Food + Drink

January 24, 2017

Union Social has something for everyone

Yonge + St. Clair is a community with lots of good energy, hustle, and bustle. It also serves as a transit and business hub for many in the city. And while this action is an attraction, it can become difficult for many to find the time to relax amidst all the dates and deadlines of busy life. Enter Union Social Eatery. This establishment aimed to address that concern; finding a comfortable escape, when they opened their second location at Yonge + St. Clair in 2014, bringing their ‘union of a casual restaurant and a lively neighbourhood gathering spot’ to the neighbourhood.

We sat down with Union Social managers Linton Wright and Marla Forbes to talk casual dining, community gatherings, and life at Yonge + St. Clair.

Union Social’s philosophy is “common food, done uncommonly well” through their well-crafted menus and cocktails, extensive draught and wine selection, and comfortable and hospitable atmosphere.

“It’s a full package,” explains Linton, “The name itself says it – Union Social. It’s a place to come in, have fun, lay back and relax. We work hard to make it a spot that’s full of excitement and energy.”

Union Social achieves this with a broad and reasonably priced menu. “There is something for everyone,” adds Marla – and she’s not kidding, the Union Social menu is vast, you could visit Union Social every day for almost two months and not have the same meal twice. This doesn’t even include weekend brunch, the weekly lunch feature, or the ‘killer chicken’ special. How is a first timer to manage?

To help, Union Social is adamant of always having a manager seat a table with a first timer. “We like to get to know our guests a bit when they arrive – where they’re coming from, how they heard of us. We want to get a feel of what brought them here.”

To that end, Union Social will often provide a starter as a thank you for joining them. “We feel it’s the key of getting guests to come back,” adds Linton. “We even try to remember our guests birthdays and bring them a little cake.”

To start, Linton and Marla recommend the Mediterranean trio dip of house-made hummus, Kalamata tapenade, and sundried tomato and feta ($8.00) or one of their four types of tacos ($8.00 for 3).

“The price point is probably the best in the neighbourhood, and the food is fantastic – made from scratch with simple ingredients. It’s common food done uncommonly well.”

As for their personal favourites, “I eat the Thai Bowl almost every day” shares Marla. “The Vindaloo is another go-to, and the burgers here are phenomenal – 100% beef-brisket, hand pressed, made to order.”

“I second the burgers and the Vindaloo,” adds Linton. “I also fancy the Candy House Salad with sugared walnuts, mango, roasted red peppers, and feta. I can eat those every day.”

“Well maybe not every day, I am getting older,he says with a chuckle.

In regards to the Yonge + St. Clair community, Linton and Marla are impressed. “It’s great – we’re not really downtown, we’re not uptown. Yonge + St. Clair is a true midtown, and because of that we get a wide array of people coming to Union Social.”

“The working community, the local families, we have everything we need right here. It’s the perfect spot.”

Union Social Eatery is open 11AM to late seven days a week, and is participating in Winterlicious until February 9th.