Taste Test: Snacking at Union Bar & Grill

union pork taco

The pork taco at Union Bar & Grille. (Photo by Fiona Coxe)

Union Bar & Grill has been a staple in the South End scene for years, offering modern and unique twists to classic American dishes while keeping their ingredients and fresh, local and sustainable as possible. Their relaxed fine dining atmosphere had made them a hot spot for diners, and now those looking for smaller bites at the bar (or at the table) have options thanks to a new—and cheap—snack menu.

Since prices on the menu range from a mere $2- $4, I tried a couple of dishes on a recent visit. I started with the Maine crab toast ($3), which consisted of a generous portion of sweet crab meat that was mixed with mayo, lemon and herbs before being piled high atop a huge slice of toasted bread. The bread was overwhelmingly large and a bit dry, so I ended up abandoning it and enjoying the lemony crab salad on its own.

I also ordered the pork and pickled onion taco ($4). A large soft tortilla appeared, filled with a heaping scoop of pulled pork, picked onions, an avocado puree and cilantro. The tortilla was warm and doughy, charred in spots from a turn on the grill. The pork, meanwhile, was tender and studded with flavorful burnt ends .

The portion sizes for Union’s snack menu are more than adequate, especially for the awesomely cheap price point. In addition to what I tried, there’s also plates like oysters on the half shell, the requisite deviled eggs, and other canapés. They definitely offer a successful accompaniment to one of Union’s craft beer selections or a nice glass of wine.

(Union Bar & Grille; 1357 Washington Street; Boston, MA 02118 http://www.unionrestaurant.com/)