By Julianne Boisvert
Although Tucson is known for its array of excellent, authentic Mexican restaurants, locals and visitors alike still rave about Union Public House. The restaurant, pub and bar serves American dishes and is popular for its “Whiskey Wednesday” where craft whiskey cocktails are offered at a discount. Located on Campbell Avenue, close to the foothills, Union Public House sits in the western corner of a shopping center with plenty of parking. The spacious restaurant has a sophisticated atmosphere to match the menu, with leather booths for large groups, several tables, and a circular indoor bar with seating as well. A patio with more tables and seating runs along the side close to the bar, allowing customers to eat and drink while taking advantage of Tucson weather and the view of the foothills. The calm mood allows for contented mingling or an ideal date night.
The menu offers a variety of classic American dishes with an original twist. If you simply want to indulge in drinks and small bites, I recommend ordering the soft pretzel for $6. Served with sea salt, house cheese sauce and stone ground mustard, this snack can be shared or reserved for one person. My favorite item on the menu is the mac & cheese that has add-on options such as bacon, short rib, roasted chicken, and lobster. Always opting for the lobster, the white cheddar cheese combined with tender pasta and transforms the meal into a satisfying fusion of taste. Another must-try dish is the Young Kale Salad for $10, topped with dried cherries, toasted walnut, teardrop tomato, Danish blue, tarragon and white balsamic vinaigrette. With add on options including chicken, steak, shrimp, and salmon, the crisp kale combined with sweet cherries, crunchy walnuts and tangy balsamic is delightful.
Although the food is the lure at Union Public House, the Moscow Mules are what truly defines the restaurant. Offering an impressive collection of whiskeys, the classic drink can be customized to fit your favorite taste. If you’re a fanatic and looking for something new to try, the whiskey and bacon Bloody Mary is the mother of all Bloody Mary’s – but drink with caution, it’s spicy enough to blast straight through the sinuses. My only qualm with Union Public House is that they don’t accept reservations, only call-aheads. Fortunately you always have the option of grabbing a drink at the bar while waiting for a table, and with such an appealing ambiance, it’s worth the wait. ♦