I was originally going to post this right after my first visit to Union 613. Then I found out that I was going again a week latter for a friend’s birthday party, so I thought I would wait until then to post a review of this great restaurant. Almost two weeks ago now, I had a crazy Thursday. I was up before the sun and off to a great work event. When I got home Thursday night, after an early morning and a full work day, I wasn’t feeling like cooking at all and neither was Sarah. So we decided to go out for dinner. We always keep a running list of new places that we would both like to try, so we dusted it off to figure out where to go. One restaurant that was at the top of our list was Union 613. Union 613 had opened earlier in the summer but we never had the chance to go until this past week.
Union 613 is a cool restaurant on Somerset. Their focus is on Southern style food with a Canadian twist. Not only is the food southern in style but so are the drinks and hospitality. Some cool features of Union 613 include communal seating, an awesome mural done by local artist Julian Garner, drinks served in mason jars, cool wood paneling and beer taps made out of different kitchen tools. They also are the place to go for a late night drink. Their hours are Monday through Friday 11:30am until 2:30pm for lunch, 5:30pm until 11:00pm for dinner and 11:00pm until 2am for late night food and drinks. Saturday and Sunday they are open for dinner from 5:30pm until 11:00pm and late night food and drinks until 2am.
For our first visit we showed up around 5:45pm for dinner with no reservations. We got some seats at the bar which was great. The bar is a great place to sit, not only does it have conveniently placed hooks to hang your purse or camera but you also get to chat with awesome bartender (@tasket). I always enjoy sitting at the bar. You get your drinks fast and get the chance to chat with some of the staff and other dinners. After consulting with the very knowledgeable bartender, I ordered my drink and got a pretty good apple flavoured beer. One of my new favourite snacks is boiled peanuts. When you’re waiting for your dinner you get a bowl of boiled peanuts. The peanuts were one of my favourite parts of the meal and between Sarah and I, we ate almost the entire bowl. If you’re a lover of salty foods, these peanuts are for you! They are super salty, soft and are legume, so they have to be good for you. For our appetizer we split the deviled eggs. The deviled eggs were awesome, the filling was creamy and had a great flavour.
For my main I had the swine special which was onions that had been roasted and hollowed out filled with pulled pork and goat cheese. The combination of the rich pulled pork and the sweetness roasted onion was delicious. I am a sucker for goat cheese, so add it to a dish and I am sure to love it! For my side I ordered the cheddar and roasted garlic hominy grits. Hominy is corn kernels that have had their germ and hull removed. The hominy with roasted garlic was great and made even better with cheese. Everything is made better with cheese and bacon!
On our second visit to Union, we had a reservation with for 12 people. When we got there, they let us know our table was going to be a few minutes late and offered us all a free drink! Talk about customer service. Most places I’ve been too would have just told me to wait. Instead a free drink for 12 people, it really shows you how much they care about their customers. During our short wait for the table, I enjoyed the signature drink of the night, a Kentucky Waffle. I didn’t think to ask what was in it but I knew there was bourbon and that it was finished with a star anise for garnish. It was really good, if you like a sweet drink with a bit of a kick, I would highly recommend it. Before meeting with everyone for the birthday, Sarah and I had just had a Thanksgiving turkey dinner. We weren’t crazy hungry so we shared some appetizers. We got the deviled eggs again because they are awesome and we shared the fried green tomatoes, boston bibb, pimento cheese, pickled onions, bacon & black pepper ranch salad. The salad was great, my favourite part by far was the fried green tomatoes with a little bit of the pimento cheese. I never thought I would like green tomatoes so much. One of the highlights for my friends was the Alberta brisket meatloaf, red eye gravy, onion rings, and rye toast. Nothing beats meat stuffed with more meat. The brisket was super tender and the gravy was delicious.
Union 613 is a great addition to the Ottawa food scene. It’s a place that cares about it customers offering great customer service, a cool ambiance and great food. For me Union 613 has become one of my favourite restaurants in Ottawa, I will be heading back again and again!