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Union Smith Cafe (formerly Sonny's)

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  • LJ Feb 20, 2006 04:09 PM
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Does anyone know the scoop on this place? What is the relation with Sonny's and is the food better? At Sonny's, in my opinion, everything was "off," so I am very curious how the place is now. Thanks!

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  1. New owner/chef and definitely better than Sonny's (where most things were indeed a bit "off"). Granted to food at Union Smith will not change your life, but it's a solid casual place for basically any meal of the day. Some good sandwiches and salads as well as lots of brunch options.

    1. Same owner, but new chef who is very involved. I like the chicken paillard (sp?) and the lobster roll.

      1. For an unpretentious, 3 meals kinda casual place, its quality. The food is freah, portions are fair and prices are right. Good burgers and salads, nice brunch, too.

        Good when you don't want a "dining exp[erience" but want better than a diner or take out.

        1. For an equally unpretentious, economical, 3-meal place, head a few blocks north on Smith to Luluc -- I find the food and vibe vastly superior to Union Smith (which is admittedly vastly superior to Sonny's). One thing Union Smith does have, though, that Luluc doesn't, is live, outdoor music (bluegrassy stuff)on Sunday mornings in the summer.

          1 Reply
          1. re: cgchow

            You know maybe i'll get it another chance one day, but we had a terrible meal at Luluc the time my husband and I went. The waitress suggested a white zinfindel when I asked what white wines they offered by the glass. One entree was entirely wrong (ordered steak soft shell tacos which were on special and it came out as steak frites). The steak frites was crowded out by french fries which covered 90% of the plate. My fish dish came toppled over which wouldnt have been so bad if the waitress didnt feel the need to point it out to me as she set it down and then bizarrely left me with it and walked away. None of the food was better than average. The staff all looked like they were sleep walking. Granted it was a warm afternoon in the summer but still ;) Far too many french bistros on Smith to return after that experience.

          2. Sorry to hear about that, Nehna. I've only had really good experiences at Luluc at the countless times I've been. I'm hoping that perhaps it was just a bad night. Love the burger, the salads, and the fries. And the pancakes are terrific -- so good they can stand alone without butter or syrup. That said, they've been recently relegated to 2nd place on my Smith Street pancakes list -- Chestnut now wears the crown.

            1. I've somehow been fixated on the scallops with leeks and bacon every time I've been to Union Smith, so I can't comment personally on any other dish. But clearly I love the scallops :) and others I've been with have also enjoyed their dishes.

              It's unpretentious, kid-friendly without being overrun with noisy kids the times I've been there, reasonably-priced...maybe not an amazing dining experience, but a comfortable neighborhood place with decent food and service, imho.

              1. No comparision to Sonny's which was awful and disorganized. Union Smith Cafe has a very good menu, great prices, and a very complete wine and beer list. All the meals I have had there have been great. The atmosphere is comfortable and service is good. Love dining on the patio in the summertime. So nice to have a good neighborhood restaurant that appeals to the whole family.

                1. I was there yesterday, with a party of five.

                  I had ham, brie and fig-onion jam on a baguette. Highly recommend it. The Prince Edward Island Mussels were very good.

                  1. I went to to Union Smith three times in one weekend! Couldn't get enough of it. Had dinner there Thursday and Sunday and brunch on Saturday.

                    Such a delicious, fresh, and comfortable food. Huge menu selection - something that I would normally be wary of - but I've yet to find anything unsatisfying.

                    The chanterelle mushroom soup is one of the best I've ever had. And turkey meatloaf absolutely fantastic. Can't lose with their $19.50 prix fixe. Great options, great quality. And to top it all off -- service is fantastic. A new smith street fave -- comforting, homey, goodness!