Friday, January 16, 2015
Unite Urban Grill or A Study in Contradictions
"You have got to talk to Bailey for me!" Hawk cried to Brandy over the phone one day, "She spent all of the Christmas break watching food documentaries on Netflix and now she's terrified to eat anything but kale and quinoa! You have to help me, Brandy. A man cannot live without bacon!" "Calm down!" Brandy said, "I'll have a chat with her, don't you worry. If there's one thing I can't stand, it's someone with no sense of balance in their life, and I'll be damned if one of my friends is going to start lecturing others on what they should or should not be eating based on fad diets and unproven testimony."
Brandy decided to take Bailey out to Unite Urban Grill, a West Town hidden gem that recently launched their brunch service, which featured a lot of brunch classics with their own signature twists. Brandy thought this choice was particularly apropo because of it's back story: opened by married couple Joe and Megan Krouse, the name itself came from the fact that Joe based the restaurant's concept on a combination of his love for grilling and meat with Megan's love of grains, vegetables, and semi-vegetarian cuisine. "The two of them have come together to to create well balanced cuisine, which is what we should all be striving for," Brandy explained to Bailey. "But is their food gluten free, organic, heirloom quality, fair trade, cold processed, and raw?" Bailey asked in a panic. Brandy rolled her eyes. "Now listen here. You're going to order a cooked meat dish, you're going to eat it like regular food, and you're going to like it, just as you always have," she said, to which Bailey gave a frightened whimper.
Quickly after being seated at one of the tables near the bar, the ladies ordered a couple of drinks. Bailey took advantage of the customizable Bloody Mary menu and ordered one made with scotch instead of vodka and a skewer with salami, mozzarella, and a pickle. Bailey thought the Bloody Mary had a nice subtle kick of spice with an extra richness from the scotch. Brandy went for a cocktail called the Noble Square, which consisted of vodka, lemon, port, and chocolate mole bitters, which she found to be positively enchanting with its bright flavor, warm spices, and sweet, zingy finish. "Strangely, it makes me think of summer and winter all at once," Brandy commented, "Yet another harmonious contradiction."
Brandy ordered the Unite Reuben with a side of fries. The fries were much like a Belgian frite; thin and crispy. Brandy found them very easy to munch on, enhancing them by dipping them into some sriracha aioli, which their server had strongly encouraged her to try (Brandy was at first terrified of the spicy aioli, but her fears were at once quashed when she tasted the smokey, creamy, and slightly tart sauce). The main event, the sandwich, looked like a typical Reuben, with its succulent pastrami, melty Swiss cheese, Russian dressing, and sauerkraut on marble rye ("I've never noticed how international a Reuben sandwich is!" Brandy exclaimed), but Brandy was pleased to see that, while fairly traditional, it had been done very well. "It's not too vinegary or overly burdened with spice from the meat," Brandy mused, "Though I could do with a little more cheese." "There's never enough cheese to satisfy you!" Bailey laughed. Brandy began to rebuff her, but found her friend was probably speaking the truth, and so she just continued enjoying her sandwich.
The well balanced food of Unite Urban Grill certainly did seem to calm a lot of Bailey's food fears with their well prepared versions of classic dishes, knowledgeable service, and bright, friendly atmosphere. "Now do you understand how one can eat healthy and mindfully without sacrificing needless deliciousness?" Brandy asked her as they headed out of the restaurant. "Yes," Bailey smiled, "But I still kind of like kale and quinoa." "That's fine," Brandy sighed, "But for Hawk's sake, when just throw some bacon in there next time."
The writers of this blog were invited to dine by the restaurant free of charge in exchange for an honest review.
The Short and Sweet Review
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