By Ethan Harmon
The West Village in Uptown is a bustling area full of life and culture. Restaurants and shops line the streets, welcoming patrons to shop, eat, and enjoy themselves. Tucked away at 3699 McKinney Avenue, right next to The Magnolia, is a little restaurant called Union Bear. Half outside restaurant, half basement bar/grill, Union Bear offers its customers unique takes on familiar dishes while boasting a large (and somewhat strange) beer selection.
One will immediately notice the difference between this “hole-in-the-wall” restaurant and its surrounding competition. The outside tables are lively, packed with talking families and friendly gatherings, immediately turning the business into a relaxed, friendly environment. The inside, which leads into a basement-like area, is candle-lit, creating a warm, homely feeling for each table. The hand-painted walls give the interior its personal touch.
While browsing over the menu, the eye will most likely wonder over to the bar, which is smack dab in the middle of the inner area, and the kitchen – located behind some of the tables. The aromas from the kitchen make the stomach growl, while the sight of beer flowing from the tap will make any sane person thirsty.
Union Bear is not going to blow any minds with its relatively small dinner menu. The menu is primarily filled with beverages, with the food section only taking up the middle third of the pamphlet. But the food at Union Bear should not be undermined, for it is one of the best aspects of the restaurant.
Classic dishes such as pizza and wings are on the menu, along with salads and sandwiches. It’s the unique spin on these dishes that makes the trip to this venue all the sweeter. One very interesting popular item is the “lamb and goat cheese pizza.” Lined with lamb meatballs and smothered in Texas goat cheese, this slice of heaven is a treat for the taste buds. Another favorite amongst guests is the “short rib sliders.” With its tender meat, hot cheese, and spicy mayo, it’s no wonder this item is a hit with every customer.
The servers are friendly, polite, funny, and not afraid to show a customer how to navigate the somewhat confusing menu. Beer recommendations are given based on guest preferences (the servers are packing some very impressive beer-knowledge). Food and drinks come quick, and always presented with a smile.
With its delicious food, nice drink selection, and outstanding service, Union Bear is worth the journey. The prices are affordable (beer is only $5!) and the environment is relaxed and comfortable. Absolutely amazing.
What to eat: Lamb and goat cheese pizza, short rib sliders, Dr. Pepper wings, Canadian tuxedo pizza
Who eats there: Locals, beer snobs, pizza lovers
3699 McKinney Avenue #306 Dallas, TX 75204