July 19, 2017

32 Problems But The Beer Ain't One

If you’re having hunger problems, I feel bad for you son, I got 32 problems, but the beer ain’t one! Okay… so maybe it’s not quite 32 problems, but the hunger problem was definitely an issue for my wife after a stop by the newest restaurant to hit the Twin Cities food scene.

That new place that had me singing Jay-Z on the way out the door was Union 32 Craft House in Eagan at the intersection of Hwy 55 and Dodd Road. This place hasn’t even been open a month and there are definitely plenty of growing pains to get through, at least from our perspective and I hope some changes I’m about to suggest will help keep this place open.

They have two unique concepts that sets them apart from anyone else – one is called The Wall and their kitchen has been dubbed an Indoor Food Truck. The Wall is a wall with 32 taps, all from Minnesota breweries and you use a card to unlock the flow of suds that you pour yourself and keep a running tab going. They also have their own inhouse brewery and 4 beers to soon be released and added to the wall. As for the Indoor Food Truck, this is what needs some major overhauling and I wouldn’t describe it as “upscale pub fare” as their website suggests.

They have a lunch and dinner menu (not sure it’s necessary) with sandwiches, wraps, A burger, A salad, some apps and no menu for the kiddos. It comes across as more of a happy hour/after work kind of place with an excellent selection of brews and some grub to go with your brews. After grabbing a flight of some brews to try, it was time to try the food! And this is where things quickly went south and if I was the owner, I would overhaul the entire menu and start over.

We ordered; the Pork Tacos, Chicken Tenders Basket, Sausage and Pepperoni Flat Bread and the Pretzel Sticks. Sounds like a ton of food, but the portions are just fine for sharing. Started to nibble on the pretzel sticks and they were actually pretty good, but a pleasing meal was short lived. The style of pork that they put in their tacos belongs on a sandwich with some BBQ sauce which they should just do. A taco option could stay on the menu, but the pork needs to fit in the picture correctly.

The chicken tenders were completely flavorless, but if you add a little ranch, that should help. Certainly, keep an option like this on the menu, but then find a chicken tender that has some flavor and something you would be excited about serving up. As for the flat bread, take it right off the menu and don’t look back. It looked and tasted like something that came out of bulk packaging you can buy at Costco or Sam’s for a lunch at work. My wife even said, “I would take the pizza they serve at Sam’s at their food counter over this flat bread” and I would have to agree.

As for the rest of the menu, well after reading everything else, nothing really is exciting. Nothing jumps out screaming, try me, try me, try me! As I mentioned earlier, my wife was feeling a little hungry and that’s because she didn’t eat much of anything that was at our table and neither did I really… We both joked, “Think they would get offended if we went next door to grab a Jimmy John’s and bring it back?” I would certainly have been a better option. Keep it simple - a well prepared burger or two with side options to add on, maybe an extreme grilled cheese sandwich or a Philly...

There is plenty of room for growth and definitely some needed changes to the menu and I hope changes are made because I really like the beer wall and indoor food truck concepts and the fact that everything on the wall is from Minnesota. But, It’s going to be quite a while before we make another trip and hopefully it gets better.

Union 32 Craft House
2864 Highway 55
Eagan, MN, 55121

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