Pretty much anyplace we go, there is going to be a restaurant I want to go to. Our recent trip to Detroit was no exception. After seeing a show at the Fox Theatre, we decided to stay the night in the Detroit area. I found a nice place pretty cheap in Madison Heights, so that’s where we booked.
After relaxing at the Hampton Inn for a while, J suggested we go to dinner. For the longest time, I’ve wanted to go to the Union Woodship in Clarkston and we were only about 20 minutes away.
We assumed…and assumed wrong, that Sunday night would be a pretty low key at this BBQ joint in downtown Clarkston. I started to get a little worried as we drove in to the downtown business district. There were a lot of cars in the parking lots and on the streets. I didn’t see a lot of other places open as we drove by the Woodshop, so I had a fear that everyone had the same idea for BBQ that J and I did.
We found a parking spot about a block from the Union Woodshop on Washington Street. We made the walk back to the restaurant and saw people sitting outside with buzzers in their hands. Crap…we really didn’t want to wait.
J made her way in to the shop and found the hostess station right up front. She was told the wait would probably be an hour and fifteen minutes. With a 20 month old, there was no way we could do that.
Dejected, we started walking back to the car and J asked if they did carry-out. I had no idea, so we looked up a phone number and called. The bartender that answered the said they did and the wait would be less than a half hour.
We had a hard time finding a menu online because, for some stupid reason, their website uses Flash. We both have iPhones which doesn’t support Flash, so we couldn’t use their site to find a menu. Luckily, I found one on Urbanspoon that didn’t need Flash.
We put in our order at about 7:00. At 7:20, I headed to the restaurant to pick up the order. I went to the front bar which had Badass Beer on tap and told the first lady who engaged me I had a carry-out order. She asked who took it and I told her the name J gave me. She told me, that bartender was working on another to-go order and would be with me in a minute. The original bartender couldn’t just go get my order that was sitting right there and get me on my way…I had to wait for the lady that took the order.
It took about another ten minutes for the bartender who took my order to get to me. She was still filling drink orders for the waitresses and still taking call in orders all the while myself and another guy were standing there waiting for our to-go orders that were sitting on the counter.
When she finally did get to me, I handed over my credit card for the $28 bill, grabbed my bag of food, and we headed back to Madison Heights to eat.
Everything we ordered was packed individually, so when we got back to the hotel, we started popping open Styrofoam containers to divide up the food.
I ordered the Pulled Pork which came with a choice of two sides. The large container of pork had an incredible smokey flavor that didn’t really need any BBQ sauce. J did order my a cup of a thin North Carolina style sauce that I eventually used just to see what it was like and the tangy, vinegar based sauce made an already delicious pulled pork taste even better.
For the sides I went with an order of Handcut Home Fries and The Union Mac & Cheese. I’ll start with the fries that were fresh cut, skin-on fries that had that delicious greasy, salty flavor that you can only get from fries just cut. They are served with Memphis Mayo which J said reminded her of Fry Sauce….in fact, she said it was the best “Fry Sauce” she’s had since moving back to the Midwest from Idaho.
The Union Mac & Cheese was absolutely amazing. It’s the same Mac & Cheese that was featured on Diner’s, Drive-In’s, and Dives when Kid Rock showed Guy around his favorite Detroit spots. The portion was pretty large for a side, but there is just no way you could ever get enough of this creamy, cheesy Mac & Cheese. They use a Penne Regatta instead of of an elbow macaroni then the cheese sauce which is just Parmesan cheese….and it is heavenly.
J also went with the Pulled Pork, but she opted for the sandwich. Her sandwich came dry with a cup of BBQ sauce on the side. She chose the Memphis Sweet Sauce which was a little but thick and a lot sweet. She loved the pork as much as I did. For her side, she chose the same Handcut Home Fries and we added on an extra side order of the Union Mac & Cheese for her as well.
Our entire meal, even though we didn’t get to eat it in the restaurant, was amazing. The Union Woodshop does everything they do great. The BBQ was juicy and tender and the sides could have been meals on their own. Not getting to eat in the restaurant was a disappointment, but finally getting a chance to sample this amazing food made me really happy.