Quick Bites:Union Public House is a hit

Written by Julio Diaz

When I was invited to the soft opening for the Union Public House, the new gastropub from chef Blake Rushing and mixologist Patrick Bolster, I was expecting great things. And I wasn't disappointed.

Presented with a variety of dishes and cocktails from the menu, my wife and I found a lot to love.

We started with a couple of delicious cocktails from Bolster's signature offerings, and really loved The Settler, a gin-based tribute to the city's heritage. We also tried and liked Bolster's take on the classic whiskey sour, the New York Sour.

Then came the appetizers, and if I die tomorrow, I want to be buried in the house boiled peanuts, perfectly seasoned with Old Bay, garlic and lemon. It's a gourmet version of the Southern roadside staple, and I nearly wolfed down the entire large bowl.

Speaking of Southern standards, the fried green tomatoes are maybe the best I've ever had, perfectly battered and fried to a tasty crisp, with a tangy chow chow and Green Goodness sauce. They were swiftly scarfed, too.

The wife, meanwhile, tried one of Union's more unique options, Rushing's take on a Scotch egg. Blake gives this pub staple a Southern twist with crackin' "breading" including Andouille sausage and an avocado mayo dipping sauce. She praised the consistency of the perfectly soft-boiled egg.

I got to try a boiled egg of my own, served with the massive kale salad I had as an entree. The egg served aside the salad was treated with a soy sauce, and at first nibble, I worried that the salty soy would overpower the egg, but but before I knew it, I was taking a second bite and making involuntary "yum" noises. The abundant salad which it accompanied was simple and flavorful, with sunflower seeds and golden raisins garnishing a mountail of kale dressed in a decadent yogurt/peppercorn vinaigrette. A large helping of charred cauliflower rounded out this delicious dish.

Meanwhile, my wife was digging in to the massive UPH Burger, a shortrib patty with Cheddar and bacon that would challenge the biggest mouths around. The waitress instructed her on how to smash the burger down before cutting it in half to get it to a more manageable size; even then, my wife quartered it again from there, but loved every bite. The fries that accompanied the burger were perfectly crispy and salty, served with a perfect peppery dipping sauce.

Union opened officially for dinner on Monday, and will add lunch to its offerings on Friday. I told Blake and Patrick that they have a hit on their hands, and now I'm telling you the same. If you love good food and good drinks, you absolutely need to put Union Public House on your radar.

Union is at 309 S. Reus St. (the former Dolce Vita building, in the shadow of Blue Wahoos Stadium and City Hall). For more information, call 607-6320, or visit www.facebook.com/unionpensacola.


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(c) 2018 The Union Public House • 309 S Reus St., Pensacola, Florida 32502 • Telephone: (850) 607-6320
Open Monday - Saturday: 11AM to ????

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