Where: 214 State Street, 845-8243, unionale.com
What: A brewery serving lunch and dinner inside and on their patio, with a wide variety of high-quality pub fare
How Much: Starters $4-$8, deluxe burger $8, flatbread pizza $14
The Dish: Union Ale Brewing Company opened its doors last year in Santa Barbara’s self-proclaimed Funk Zone on lower State Street by the train station. The notoriously difficult spot for restaurants has seemingly found a formula that works, with the focus on a quality selection of draft beers (house beers are brewed by Firestone) accompanied by fresh American-inspired cuisine. Union, which attracts diners, sports game watchers, and beer drinkers, adds a little sparkle to the traditional brew pub food—fries, burgers, and pizza—with the option of crispy sweet potato fries, up to nine sauces to dip them in, freshly baked daily special burger buns, and flatbread pizzas made from nine-grain wheat or white dough. A full bar, 24 beers on draft, Sunday-Thursday happy hour, and a late-night menu are among the restaurant’s selling points. Appetizers include deviled eggs with pickled peppers and olive oil mayo, BBQ chopped pork sliders, and stuffed artichoke. A Bucket A’ Wings comes with your choice of five to 52 pieces ($8-$37), and the SMOG flatbread pizza is a favorite, with sausage, mushroom, onion, and green bell pepper. The ginger tofu salad, pulled pork sandwich, and rack of smoked St. Louis pork ribs are popular, and much more exciting than your typical bar menu. Brothers and co-owners Matthew and Ben Chrestenson hit the bull’s-eye for Santa Barbara, with food that complements the drink
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