A Canadian take on Southern hospitality.

Weekend Brunch at Union: Local 613
Weekend Brunch at Union: Local 613
Union: Local 613
Union: Local 613
Union: Local 613
Union: Local 613
Union: Local 613
Union: Local 613
Union: Local 613
Union: Local 613
Union: Local 613
Union: Local 613
Dessert at Union: Local 613
Union: Local 613
Cocktails at Union: Local 613
Union: Local 613
Union: Local 613
Union: Local 613
Union: Local 613
Union: Local 613
Union: Local 613
Union: Local 613
Union: Local 613
Union: Local 613
Union: Local 613
Union: Local 613
Union: Local 613
Union: Local 613
Union: Local 613
Union: Local 613
Union: Local 613
Union: Local 613
Union: Local 613
Union: Local 613
Foods from Union: Local 613
Comments

2012 Aug 4
Only got a taste of the cornmeal dusted lousiana catfish & creole remoulade but it was fantastic great texture without that metallic taste we have come across with catfish in Ottawa. The grits were a little different but still very tasty think that is my next main. Can't wait to try the greens next time out.

2012 Aug 4
The buttermilk fried yardbird & hot sauce was amazing. No you are not seeing things those are huge pieces of chicken with a nice salty corn coating with the buttermilk giving the chicken that creamy juicy consistency move over BeerBrothers this is what fried chicken should look like. It ain't southern fried chicken without that buttermilk brine. Cornbread was great not too sweet with a nice bottom crisp from the cast iron pan. Beans were very firm and believe the description because you can taste all the flavors from the lemon to the chili to the mint all very predominant.

2012 Aug 4
Our new favorite place to eat. Boiled peanuts were soooo tasty. Tried them for our first time from of all places at a gas station passing through Virginia but it is a whole different ball game when they are fresh cooked and hot especially with a cold Kichesippi served in a mason jar.

2012 Aug 3
Met up with two friends of mine who had been dining at Union 613 to grab some drinks.

First off, the atmosphere is fantastic. The lighting and decor really hits a vibe that says young and urban. Love the bookshelf next to the couch. We sat at a little side table in the kitchen, watching the chef and cooks do their thing.

I was only there for drinks, but my friends who had dined there were stuffed and had saved a little bit of everything for me; I couldn't have been more pleased! Here's what I tried:

- green beans: perfect sauce/seasoning, the lemony acidity is just right, and it makes for a really balanced taste
- fried yardbird: crispy, perfect skin, juicy meat. the homemade hot sauce taht came with it makes the dish.
- cornbread with bourbon brown butter: by far, without a doubt the BEST CORNBREAD THAT HAS EVER TOUCHED MY LIPS. Seriously. I would go back just for this alone.
- coleslaw: I normally hate creamy slaw (I'm a fan of the vinegar kind) but their creamy dressing was pure garlicky, mayo-y fantasticness without a hint of sweetness (which is what I usually hate most about creamy slaw)
- crispy pig ear: my favourite dish (followed very, very closely by the cornbread). perfectly seasoned, spicy, flavourful and very crispy. it's not on the menu; it was just recommended to my dining companions because one of them is friends with several of the cooks. However, I would DEFINITELY recommend asking for this.

Bottom line: DEFINITELY going back. After watching the cooks work their magic, I particularly want to try the beking eggs!

2012 Jul 28
I had such a good lunch here today that this place shot into my top 5 in the city after one visit. Excellent food, service and overall atmosphere. My friend and I shared the radish, watermelon and arugula salad, I had the Texas shrimp grits as my main while my friend had the Kentucky hot brown (an open-faced turkey sandwich) and we shared two desserts (one chocolate and another raspberry/lavender). My grits were a flavour bomb - of the best variety. The tasso gave the dish a spicy, Southern kick that was just a delight. As noted in HMB's review, the grits are not typical (at least not in my experience), but they were very tasty and went well with the dish. I'll definitely be back and soon.


2012 Jul 27
New post on Union 613.
happymouth.ca/?p=7257

Exerpt:
"When we heard that Chris Lord, formerly of the Whalesbone Oyster House and, most recently, of Wellington Gastropub opened his new restaurant, UNION 613, on Somerset St. and it specialized in Southern-inspired dishes, we had to check for ourselves. it's location on Somerset Street has suffered from high turnover in recent years having been at least four different eateries in recent memory. We certainly hope that the latest tenant breaks the pattern. We loved tonight's visit. The menu made good on the promise of a refined (but only slightly) take on southern classics, most of which were represented in some form or another. Fried greed tomatoes, pimento cheese, muffuletas, fried chicken, mac salad, grits, biscuits and gravy, fried catfish, ribs and cornbread all made appearances."

2012 Jul 25
Wow! Just what my neighbourhood needed. Full disclosure: one of the partners in this new resto is a friend of mine from high school, but I had no idea that he had turned into a restauranteur with such an amazing place!

My visit on Sunday night was a solo venture, just for a drink and to check out the renovations. When I asked for something in the theme of a scotch & soda, but more the barkeep's style, I was treated to a cocktail with Sazerac rye, absinthe and something else, with a twist of lemon peel. Wow! Then I enjoyed the mint julep they had on special (because once you start with bourbon...). To ensure that I didn't feel terrible the next day, I needed some carbs and that is where I experienced the cornbread of my dreams. Prepared obviously a la minute and served in a cast iron pan, this cornbread (that comes with a healthy dollop of browned butter) is ethereal.

Tonight my friends and I decided to really give the place a go and ordered a LOT of the menu. The biscuits & rabbit gravy were universally acknowledged as "to die for" and the rabbit gravy isn't an ordinary "gravy" - more of a rabbit ragu. Delicious. Other hits were the cheddar and roasted garlic grits - perfection - as well as the incredible watermelon/arugula/feta/etc salad. The oysters were amazing and fresh, and the charcuterie plate was really tasty. I am a huge fan of devilled eggs and could have eaten a few more of these all to myself. The salad with fried green tomatoes and pimento cheese was also splendid, a great mix of tastes... I am promising myself to come back for the late nite menu, which features my dream sandwich - grilled pimento cheese. Looks amazing and I wish I was eating it right now!

Great friends, food and a very well made Pimm's cup. Lots of tasty and interesting beers on tap and a decent wine list. Yes, this is going to be my summer "go to" spot!

2012 Jul 20
fyi re Vendor`s page: the Website and Location links aren't working properly.

Website: union613.ca/

Location: 315 Somerset St W, Ottawa, ON

Phone: 613-231-1010

2012 Jul 19
Was treated to a lovely dinner tonight, and now am even more excited about this addition to Ottawa's food scene. Picture is of the warm, boiled in shell peanuts that arrived at every table. It was a nice touch that reminded me of many shrimp shacks I've visited in the Low Country.

The atmosphere here is very lively and convivial. Ran into a couple of friends, also there for the first time, and met some new ones who shared our communal table. The staff were very friendly and well informed about the details of the interesting items on the menu.

Interesting cocktails on the menu included Sazerac, and there were a number of house made aqua frescas. I enjoyed the watermelon which was refreshing and not overly sweet.

We shared the fried green tomato appetizer, on a bed of bibb lettuce with tasso and pimento cheese. Really nicely done, and this is the first time I have had them fried in wedges as opposed to slices, and I think I like them better in wedges, as the ratio of cornmeal to tomato is better.

My companion ordered the buttermilk fried chicken, which had a cornmeal crust and was served with a very tasty pepper vinegar sauce. The chicken pieces were very large and bursting with juices.

I had the grilled calamari with oxtail. There were 4 small calamari bodies stuffed with an oxtail mixture that was incredibly rich in flavor. The stuffed calamari were then grilled and placed on a thick tomato gravy and topped with cilantro. At first glance I thought the portion was a bit on the small side, but the oxtail was so rich and filling that it was more than sufficient for a main course.

We shared 4 sides: Coleslaw, which was well reviewed, and a macaroni salad with tiny shrimp that was cool and refreshing - and a perfect balance between creamy and chewy. I had the cheese grits, which were served in a little casserole and had the kind of firm but yielding texture that comes from rebaking properly cooked grits. They were topped with a sharp cheese and had a very smoky flavor (tasso maybe?) and were a big hit. The greens with smoked turkey were outstanding. So often greens are cooked to the point of being limp and soggy. These retained some firmness, deep green color and a bit of crisp texture. The peppery flavor of the greens was paired with many large chunks of smoked turkey. If you like greens, this is the place to get them.

Can't tell you what the bill was because I was a guest, and my companion was drinking several glasses of wine and champagne and I lost track :)

We did order a dozen devilled eggs to go for a road trip tomorrow, but had no room for dessert. We both loved the food and the friendly atmosphere and there were so many things on the menu that we wanted to try, I know we will be back soon.

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2012 Sep 13
The cocktail list changes weekly and it consistently delivers inspiring implementations of classic and modern drinks.

Pictured here is the "Gin Auld Fashioned" from this week, involving Botanist gin, housemade Earl Grey syrup, orange blossom water, and Spanish bitters. It was so good that I went out and bought a bottle of Botanist gin soon after. Drinking here isn't just a pleasure -- it's an educational lifestyle enhancer! ;-)


Dessert 3


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2012 Nov 2
Ottawa has a limited selection of dessert places, so Union: Local 613 fills an important niche with its late night service hours and excellent desserts.

Delizioso, I also had the fluffernutter dessert on my last visit but I was underwhelmed to the point of not even mentioning it in my comments here. It was clever to be sure, but no more pleasurable to my senses than an actual PBJ/fluffer sandwich would have been. Just thought I'd add a counter-opinion to the glowing ones here, for balance. :-)

I absolutely *loved* the cheesecake parfait here. Definitely one of the best desserts I've had anywhere.

2012 Nov 2
FLUFFERNUTTER!! Best thing, I've ever eaten. The food, drinks, and service were great as everyone else has mentioned but the dessert was the high point by far. I would go back and just order this dessert. I cannot say it enough, BEST DESSERT EVER....Maybe even best dish EVER!!!

Cardamom describes it accurately, so I won't repost the description. But it's a must try dish for sure.

2012 Sep 26
Pretzel shaped beignet with lime glaze, dark chocolate sauce, sea salt and chile bits. Suzie Q who?

I heart Union. Right now the plan is to order 3 of these next time around, one as an app, one as a main and one for dessert, naturally ;o)

2012 Sep 22
After previously stating that I'm not overly keen on the desserts here, it looks like I might have to change my tune. A girlfriend and I shared their new fluffernutter dessert last night (peanut butter mousse, marshmallow fluff, brioche french toast sticks and Concord grape jelly) and seriously went speechless after the first bite. It was so perfect. I haven't felt this way about a new dish around town since Art-is-in's fried pickle melt :) It just hits all the right notes and is delicious and inventive without being at all pretentious: salty/sweet, melting softness/crunchy peanut, comfort food goodness/pig-shaped jelly... you know, all the usual stuff you'd expect from a great dessert. Anyways, try this one. I need to go back to try their new peach and buttermilk tart.

Also, thanks FF for the gin old fashioned tip. That was one enjoyable drink. The Earl Grey simple syrup was a subtle twist that really worked. I had another great drink there a couple of weeks ago with ginger syrup and basil, but that one was on the sweeter side.




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2019 Jun 30
Fried egg on fish cake with spinach salad and home fries.

2015 Feb 6
butwhoami, their hours are on the website (click Brunch and scroll to the bottom) -- weekends only. As I said, no lineups yet. We called ten minutes before and they told us to just come on in!

2015 Feb 6
That looks so good, need to try it-- do you know what time it's served from/until? Easy/hard to get a seat? And only Saturday and Sunday?

2015 Jan 29
The kids were at simultaneous play dates last Saturday, so wifey and I jumped at the chance to try the new brunch at Union.

Union still has all its charm! Awesome staff, excellent food, reasonable prices, and chairs that keep you shifting so your butt doesn't go numb.

I had the "fried chicken and waffle, sandwich, sunny-side egg, pickled green tomato, spicy maple syrup, iceberg, homefries". This was very well executed and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Not really a sandwich in any sense but loaded with homefries (hidden in the background of the pic). A steal at $13, especially compared to other offerings around town.

My wife enjoyed her smoked pork back ribs with scrambled eggs. Her orange spiked sparkling wine cocktail was good too -- true to the dry bubbly, with just a hint of orange. The comically flat mason jar in which it was served was the ultimate antiestablishmentarian champagne flute.

The brewed coffee was good. Don't expect any hoity-toity lattes or cappuccinos here. Our server's eyes were rock solid when I asked, but I swear they were rolling on the inside.

Other plates going by looked great. Worth checking out on a weekend if you like brunchy things. No lineups yet!