To celebrate my birthday, I invited several friends out to a Saturday brunch at Union Kitchen. As you can imagine, the girls in my life also love a good brunch, so it seemed like the appropriate choice. Of course I had a great time with my girls!
The Setup: Urban Kitchen has several locations in Houston. This location is on Bellaire in a crowded shopping center. It’s right next to Dr. Nowzaradan office. He’s the doctor on TLC’s show My 600 pound life. I actually say a film crew filming a patient as I entered the restaurant!
We sat on the covered patio and nearly melted. We asked the servers to move the fans towards us to help cool us off but it was still HOT! I do not know what I was thinking when I asked them to seat a group of 15 outside on the patio. The inside of the restaurant seemed nice and definitely much cooler.
The Service: I temper my expectations when it comes to service when I am with a large group. Frankly few waiters are really good at serving big tables. The service was just okay for the most part. Our waitress seemed to avoid our table because she could tell we were waiting on more people to arrive. That’s fine, but that does not mean the rest of us do not want water or mimosas while we wait! Once about 90 percent of my crew arrived, she began to focus on getting our food orders. Interestingly, we watched another waiter drop someone’s order while ambitiously carrying five plates. Well not so interestingly he also dropped my friend’s order after again attempting to carry too many plates! I have never seen that happen at a restaurant once, let alone twice!
The Drinks: So the clear draw to Union Kitchen are the bottomless mimosas. For $9 dollars you can drink as many mimosas as your bladder can hold. Now these mimosas are probably 9.5 parts orange juice and .5 parts champagne, so you will not be calling a cab to take you home. The mimosas were good though probably because I prefer more orange juice anyway. Some of my other friends ordered the bellinis. They enjoyed them even though they were not bottomless.
The Food: The food presentation was good. Most dishes looked pretty and appetizing when they made it to the table. I first ordered, the fried chicken and biscuits as sort of an appetizer. It came with a large egg on top even though the menu did not list eggs. I am not an egg fan. Once I slid the huge egg to the side, the remaining part of the dish was decent. Also, before the food comes out they bring out a bag of small muffins for the table. They did not bring out nearly enough for our table so I did not get to try any
On to entrees. I ordered the Bananas Fosters french toast. It was just okay. I have had better bananas fosters pancakes and french toast at other restaurants. My friends were even less satisfied than me though. Many went for the omelet dishes or the Union Bowls (scrambled eggs, potatoes and sausage mixed together), but complained that they were bland. Another ordered the pancake sliders, which seemed to be the signature dish. It was probably plated the worst and also not too exciting to the tastebuds.
Overall: It was not the worst brunch ever, but with so many other options in Houston I cannot say that I would be rushing back to Union Kitchen for anything other than the mimosas. Others did note that they felt that some of the other locations are better, so maybe those will be worth a try. More than anything it was great to gather so many of my friends together! It was a fun brunch.