Union Local 613 is something of a honey pot for chefs and serious foodsters. If you like the atmosphere — decidedly personal, burbling with quirky, fraternity charm — you put up with the uncomfortable seats, the communal dining set-up, and sometimes, if you get the wrong guy, the swaggering service.
This one-year-old describes its food as a ‘Canadian take on Southern hospitality’, calls itself a ‘Brotherhood of Growers, Cookers, Eaters’, urges us to support the Food Bank, and claims “we really don’t know what we’re doing but we enjoy getting drunk” loud and proud on its home page.
If I were the 613 boys’ mother I’d be proud of the youthful vigour, but tell them to grow up a bit, stop crowing about being ignorant and think a bit about including the Sisters.
But as I’m not, I’ll tell you instead about my lunch here.
It was frat-boy portioned, crazy rich, not very expensive (given the quality and size of the plate) and drippingly delicious.
I had something called ‘cat head biscuits’ ($13) — so named for their size, which I guess was about right, though they were so topped and smothered and thatched it was tough to tell. They tasted like my granny’s buttermilk biscuits, soft, crumbly and slightly sweet, and arrived split and topped with two sausage patties, well garlicked, well flavoured, smothered in a thick and peppery gravy, a sprinkling of crunchy scallions and a cat’s wooly tangle of shoestring fries.
I should have eaten half and brought the rest home. But I ate it all. Every bit. Like a teenage boy.
Lunch mains $9 to $13. Open for lunch Monday to Friday, dinner seven days a week, and late-night Wednesday to Saturday. Union Local 613, 315 Somerset St. W., 613-231-1010.