Union Kitchen & Tap

Union Burger (7-27-2015)

UNION Burger
Union Bison Burger (7-27-2015)

Bison Burger

San Diego Burger Club went to Union for lunch today.  We are going to make a couple stops in Encinitas during our summer beach tour, even though the burger spots in Encinitas are not directly on the beach.  The results at Union were kind of mixed today.  On average we gave it a B, but there was a large variation in grades with the low grade being a C+ and the high grade being an A.  We concluded that you need to order carefully at Union to be sure you get something that is to your liking.

I generally order my burgers medium-well, in part because I want to be sure they are adequately cooked, and in part because many restaurants undercook their burgers and will give you a burger that is closer to medium when you order your burger medium-well.  This strategy did not work out so well today, as my burger arrived well done and tasted over-charred.  I also did not care for the “tomato jam” that they put on the UNION Burger.  It was a bit sweet for my taste.  That was actually a divisive issue at our table because some people liked it and some didn’t.  Among those who got burgers with cheese and bacon, there was agreement that the bacon was cooked nicely — not underdone like many places serve it — and at least one member commented that the cheese (“NY White Cheddar”) was overpowering for the burger.  The fries also were divisive.  Some people really liked them, and some thought they were not crispy enough and were insufficiently salted.  There also was a hiccup with our service.  One member ordered a “buffalo” burger and the waitress was quick to point out that it was a “bison” burger, not a “buffalo” burger.  The member said he would have the “bison” burger, but when his burger arrived it was the standard UNION Burger (i.e., a “Brandt Beef” hamburger, not a bison burger).  They took the burger back and cooked him a new bison burger, but that took a few minutes and in the meantime everyone else had been served.

In the end, we concluded that you have to know what you are getting at Union and order carefully.  For some people, that may mean leaving off the cheese, leaving off the tomato jam, asking for extra crispy fries, and/or ordering a burger a step down in temperature from one’s usual order.  Our members who liked their burgers liked them quite a bit, so if you get your order right you may have a very good meal.  On the other hand, our members who found flaws in their burgers tended to rate their burgers below average, so if you haven’t been to Union before and scoped out what you like and don’t like, you could end up disappointed.  Overall, we give Union a “B with a high standard deviation.”

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