Friday, November 7, 2014

Make the Drive up 75 to Union Woodshop!

I've heard about Vinsetta Garage's older brother Union Woodshop for a while now. It was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. It has won numerous awards for their mac and cheese, amongst other menu items. But, for some reason I had never taken the trip up 75 to this raved restaurant. Well, when I finally took the trek tonight, I found one of my new favorite restaurants.

Sadie suggested going to the Union Woodshop because she loved it the few times she went in the past and she had been wanting to head out there for another venture she's working on, called Tastemade. (You can get more details on that here.) I was in the mood for something new, so I figured, why not!

When we got to the restaurant there was about a 30 minute wait for a table, but the hostess directed us upstairs to a bar and lounge area. Kind of bummed about the wait, but holy crap, cutest bar area ever. I was already super digging this place. The decor is retro and woodsy, like I was in a cabin in the '60s.

Plus, at the top of the stairs was an awesome little shop that sold all sorts of cute gifts and quirky items. There was everything from coffee table books about Dads being hipsters to Skull shaped coin banks. Even the greeting cards had me entertained for quite a while. While we were upstairs we also had one of the best cocktails I have ever tasted, made up of fresh squeezed grapefruit juice and whiskey.

Once our buzzer buzzed, we headed downstairs to the main area of the restaurant, which was even cuter than upstairs. A mix of art deco lights, '50s style booths, red, teal, awesome artwork and even a mirror with Simpsons' lines on it, it all added up to one of the coolest looking restaurants ever. Let me put it this way, I wish my house was decorated exactly like this place. But, we all know that when it comes to restaurants it's not the looks that matter, it is the food.

It took quite a while to decide what I was going to have for dinner, I definitely had to go over the menu about five times. So, Sadie and I decided to get a starter, fried pickles. Always one of my favorite appetizers, but Union does them a little different than a lot of the places have been lately. They fry up entire spears instead of chips and they use a thick fluffy batter. So frickin' good! The dipping sauce was smokey and wonderful too. Plus this appetizer was super cheap, only about $3.

It was really tough to decide what to get as our main courses. The "Samiches" all sounded delicious, I thought about a tasty salad, but I figured if I was going to try this place, I had to go all the way.
I chose the pulled pork with potato salad and the famous Union Mac & Cheese (you get two sides with your meat, I wasn't just being a pig). It was all delicious. The pulled pork was probably the best that I have ever had. The macaroni and cheese was rich, but not too rich with a super crusty baked cheese on top and the potato salad was a little dill-y and had me wishing it was still summer.
Sadie chose the special for the night, that was a steak with blue cheese melted on top, with mashed potatoes and brussel sprouts on the side. She said it was one of the best steaks she ever had and her boyfriend agreed when he tried her leftovers. That brings up another big plus of this place, not only was the food delicious, but they give you a ton of it! We both left with carryout boxes full of food, definitely enough for another meal.

Now, I realize that some of you vegetarians and vegans reading this might be disgusted by the entrees that I have described so far. Don't worry, Union Woodshop has options for you too! One item that popped out to me and I actually almost ordered was a sweet potato burrito with spicy sweet potatoes, black beans, and a whole bunch of other tasty veggies packed in a tortilla. I was also excited to see the pizza menu, which included the Loaded Potato Pizza, one of my favorites at Vinsetta Garage. This is another friendly option for non-meat eaters and it even has mushrooms on it that taste like bacon. Super good!

There were some awesome desert options on the menu as well, but we were too stuffed to even consider that. This was by far one of the best meals I have had in awhile. I can see what everyone has been raving about for years. Do yourself a favor and take the ride up to Clarkston to try the place out. It sounds like waiting is pretty common though, so leave home before you are super hungry. Also, while you are in town, head down the sidewalk to the Union General which we were told is a larger version of the small shop upstairs. We didn't make it there tonight, but now I have double the reason to make the trek to Clarkston again soon!


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