I’m introducing my first restaurant review for the year!
We visited Union Square in Hillcrest at the Oxford Market, for the first time late last year, but we’ve eaten there since. They specialise in burgers, wings and ribs, and although we’ve only eaten the burgers – specifically the 100% beef smashed burgers, they’ve been so mouth-wateringly delicious that we haven’t yet strayed to the other side of the menu!
My other half and I decided to give them a go on one of our date nights, although they aren’t the most ‘romantic’ of restaurants. The setup is quite plain, with yellow and white decor, and the burger grill out in the restaurant itself, rather than in the back. However, being the eaters that we are, we didn’t let decor deter us – we were there to put tasty food in our bellies, as well as perhaps a good bottle of red wine.
Now their drinks list is quite limited – don’t go there if you’re planning to be super fussy about your choice of wine or beer, but what they do have is just great. After all, they have a decent selection of beers on tap (both craft and regular), craft beers and ciders, regular beers, a full range of spirits and soft drinks, four wines by the bottle, and three by the glass. We settled on a bottle of the La Capra Malbec, and it was just what we felt like – smooth, easy drinking and absolutely delicious. The next time I think I’ll go for my favourite Kopparberg cider though – the strawberry and lime is just so yummy!
We had a brief look through the menu and saw spare ribs (rum and chilli basting sauce!), steaks, wings, different ready made burger options (check out the French Connection burger and the El Mexicano burger… *drool*) and a ‘build your burger’ option. Some of the ready options just looked so amazing though, and Nick settled on the Insanity Burger – smokey mayonnaise, sweet pickled red onions, crispy bacon and aged cheddar melted over the top of the smashed beef patty.
I, on the other hand was trying to be a tad healthier – I opted for the Banting Burger – it comes with no burger bun, but served on top of a grilled black mushroom, and includes avocado, bacon and cheddar on top of the smashed beef patty.
The burgers at Union Square don’t come with sides, but you can choose between regular, sweet potato or cheesy fries or a selection of salads. I was trying to be healthier, but I’m a cheese sauce fanatic, so when I saw they had cheesy fries as an option, it just had to happen. And they were worth Every. Single. Calorie. There was some kind of cumin spice dusted over them or in the sauce and it was so good I was licking my fingers openly at the table! Since we’ve been back I’ve actually had the cheesy fries with sweet potato fries rather than regular, and they’re just as amazing!
As much as we both wanted to taste the desserts on offer (just for review purposes, obviously!), we just didn’t have it in us to squeeze more into our satisfied, happy tummies. They have some incredible puddings on offer – homemade ice cream, peppermint crisp tart, brownies with ice cream and gourmet waffles, as well as regular, gourmet and adult (with booze) milkshakes. My must-haves include the Nutella, Banana and Vanilla ice cream Waffle, the Ferrero Rocher Milkshake and the Café XO Adult Shake (with Coffee Patron tequila in it).
The service was fast, efficient, and very friendly, and the manager that goes around checking on the tables always has a ready smile on his face.
As I said, we’ve been back to Union Square since our first visit, and we’ll be going there again and again, for a long time.