Brooklyn >Food & Dining > Union Smith Cafe
305 Smith St., Brooklyn, NY | Directions 1123140.681588 -73.993949
Neighborhoods: Carroll Gardens
Union Smith Cafe – Well I have to disagree with the negative comments posted here or the Union has done a complete 180 with gusto.
We dined here on a Sunday afternoon and the food was truly delicous, well presented and with just the right touch of personal flair from the chef. The kind of good that makes your problems go away for the short time you are eating it. The flavors hit all the make me weak in the knees buttons.
Even our most picky diner completely demolished his meal. I wanted to put the broth from my mussels in white wine in a container and take it home with me.
The waiter we had, Steve, was flawless. His timing was spotless and his manor friendly, engaging and respectful. The ambience is laid back and comfy - no pressure - we were not rushed and we did not wait a long for our food. Time to give this place another chance! I recommed it.
Bad Service OK Food, Better Options Elsewhere – This is the second time I've been there and I will not go back for a third. Both times it took forever for the food to come out! Waitstaff seems stressed and super busy, but with what I'm not sure. Both times there were loads of empty tables. You're lucky if you get a curt response to a question or request. Funny thing after being so inattentive, check came without being asked and was picked up only seconds after we paid. Hmmm....don't let the door hit you on the way out? Food was ok.
--Annoyed that I threw away money at a place that treated me like this. Never again.
SO RUDE – the staff at union smith are so incredibly rude and dismissive it is ridiculous. this is including the so called "management" and hostess. they should realize that there is nothing particularly special about their restaurant or their food and that there are COUNTLESS other restaurants in the neighborhood where patrons would want to spend their money. also, awful delivery service. sorry for the rant but its very upsetting when restaurants in such a wonderful, down to earth neighborhood can employ such pretentious, ignorant people.
This place is a true gem. I've been with friends from out of town numerous times. Everyone raves about their dishes. Amazing french onion soup to start. (actually it arrived luke warm, when we asked them to heat it up, they were apologetic and gave everyone new soups and comped them) But even warm, and eventually hot, it was great french onion soup. Between my friend's and I, we've tried over 10 different dishes and each one has be wonderful, so you should be fine with whatever you order. Enjoy!
Yes!! Avoid!! – I'd like to clear up the issue of service problems at this restaurant. The reason the staff tends to be so inept, is that any reasonable waiter would bolt on the first day. The average length of an employees tenure is about a week or two, or for smarter individuals, minutes. Union Smith Cafe illegally pays no hourly wage or shift pay to its staff. Anyone with experience realizes this fact and walks out, you can imagine that this results in a pretty unskilled staff. New employees are routinely warned by their coworkers to keep an eye on the tips. Management collects all tips for distribution to staff. Any questioning of how this is done, ie. the finale amount and who gets what, is met with defensive talk, screaming, or termination. The lesson here is to not ask questions, and eat elsewhere.
If you would like to investigate health violations of Union Smith Cafe, go to NYC.gov and search for SONNY'S this is the former name of this establishment and is what all inspections are listed under, very convenient.
Its obvious from this post that I worked at this restaurant. I was desperate for the money at the time and put up with the ridiculousness for entirely to long. This is meant as a warning to all in the business to work elsewhere. If you don't care about how the staff is treated, then be my guest eat at his restaurant, the food isn't too terrible. Thank You
Avoid!!! – What was once a dependable neighborhood spot has turned into just a sore spot.
For a recent brunch, I took two out of town guests there and was praising it non-stop the whole way there. I would be eating those words...along with cold eggs and burned pancakes...later.
I can't even detail how bad Union Smith Cafe was.
The ugly hipster waitress with so much acne that I thought I would not be able to eat my food was a great start. I am always aghast at awful servers giving me attitude when they you call them out on being slow or screwing up the order. This, after we had to wave her over since she was standing behind the bar drying coffee mugs instead of, oh, waiting on the other 6 tables.
When you make a living on tips, why would you go out of your way to be so rude? Well, Zitface didn't get a nickel from me and I'll never step foot in this hole again.
AVOID AND SUPPORT OTHER SMITH STREET ESTABLISHMENTS WHERE THEY ACTUALL WANT YOUR BUSINESS!!
Nice setting, s-l-o-w service, small portions – The waiter had no personality and did not welcome our party. Only two of the four menus had the insert describing the prix-fixe. No discussion or recommendations relative to the menu. Seemed in a rush to take our orders -- he was definitely overworked.
Appetizer green salad was very sparse for $9. We waited for a long time for the salads to be brought to the table and then for the plates to be bused. They took the forks and we had to ask for replacements after the main course was brought to the table. Long wait for the main couse also.
I would not return to eat. Perhaps a drink or to see the excellent jazz/funk band.
nice outdoor seating, decent but average food – I went here for the first time the other night. I ordered a chicken sandwich with fresh mozzerella, olive tapanade, and pesto; my girlfriend ordered the pesto lobster roll (a steal at $16). I enjoyed my sandwich very much, but the fries tasted like the oil needed to be changed. The lobster toll was heavy on the mayo and light on the lobster, which is expected at this price -- but it would have been nice if the bread was smaller to provide a better balance. The flavoring of the lobster mix was unique. Her salad looked good, but she said it was bland. Overall, the food was decent, but nothing extraordinary. On the plus side, our waitress was very friendly and competent, the prices are good, and they have a nice patio with pleasant and not-too-loud live music. I'll go back if I am in the area and in want of a casual bite, but I wouldn't make a special trip.
This is my first time writing a review. We used to go to Union Smith Cafe all the time because it was a great place to bring our children and they served good food. The service was friendly and fast. However, that has changed over the last few months. The service has become incredibly slow (truly ridiculous) and the food is basically subpar. We gave it chance after chance to redeem itself but each time we go it just keeps getting worse. This neighborhood is filled with wonderful restaurants to get a delicious meal. Union Smith Cafe, unfortunately, is no longer that kind of place.
Something for Everyone! – I also used to work here, however I have a much higher opinion of USC than my colleague. I loved this restaurant. The majority of the staff were very well presented, articulate, polite, and knew the menu. The food was excellent, as were the drinks. With all the choice of restaurants on Smith Street, I continually returned, with children-in-tow, to Union Smith Cafe. I knew the kitchen was clean. I particularly loved the pecan crusted trout, lobster roll, beet and apple salad, among other dishes. As far as brunch was concerned, I was always working, but I had the same guests return time and time again for the eggs benedict, the burgers with a choice of cheese, and fries or salad, the French Onion Soup or the Mac and Cheese (both of which I have not tasted better elsewhere). The portions are generous, and the atmosphere is warm and inviting. I urge you to give this restaurant a try. I guarantee you will find something on the menu to tickle your fancy.
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