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Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Picky Eater's Guide to Union Loafers

Posted By on Thu, Mar 24, 2016 at 7:00 AM

click to enlarge Union Loafers is located in Botanical Heights. - PHOTO BY LAUREN MILFORD
  • Photo by Lauren Milford
  • Union Loafers is located in Botanical Heights.
Union Loafers (1629 Tower Grove Avenue), the bakery/café in Botanical Heights, has taken to heart the idea that it’s better to do a few things well than try to be everything for everyone. The small menu features just a few sandwiches, soups, salads and snacks, but everything is absolutely delicious.

The eat-in space is sparsely decorated, but the exposed brick and industrial-style bulbs keep things feeling warm. The huge bar and bakery to-go area are a great spot to grab a quick lunch or take a baguette for the road.

The tricky part about Union Loafers’ small menu is that if you are not an omnivore, your choices are slim – but we still think that it’s worth a visit. Read on for our take for the vegetarian, gluten-free, paleo and young.

Vegetarian: Try the little gem salad or kale and garbanzo soup. You can pair the latter with the smoked beet or nut butter sandwich. The smoked beet sandwich was a little juicy, a little sweet, and both hearty and earthy. Potato salad, cole slaw, sauerkraut, pickles and kettle chips are the veg-friendly sides.

From the bakery, you can order fresh bread (the selection changes daily), pizza rossa, cheesy bread or a pretzel. Union Loafers serves Blueprint coffee, cane sugar coke (!), Diet Coke and iced tea.
click to enlarge Smoked beet sandwich. - PHOTO BY LAUREN MILFORD
  • Photo by Lauren Milford
  • Smoked beet sandwich.
Gluten-Free: Given that it’s a bakery, and not a gluten-free bakery, Union Loafers may not be your first choice for lunch. But you could have a delicious soup and salad combo here, with the Cobb salad and kale and garbanzo soup (as long as you tell your server to leave off the breadcrumbs). The chicken and rice soup is also gluten-free, as are all the sides (potato salad, cole slaw, sauerkraut, pickles and kettle chips). We would come back for that kale and garbanzo soup alone – it’s surprisingly rich and creamy.
click to enlarge Creamy kale and garbanzo soup. - PHOTO BY LAUREN MILFORD
  • Photo by Lauren Milford
  • Creamy kale and garbanzo soup.
Paleo: This bread might make you rethink your paleo diet (or be your cheat meal, if you’re into that). But if not, you could enjoy the kale and garbanzo soup or the Cobb salad (minus blue cheese). You could also order a sandwich without bread and cheese – the roasted pork or braised beef would be your best bet.
click to enlarge Roasted pork sandwich. - PHOTO BY LAUREN MILFORD
  • Photo by Lauren Milford
  • Roasted pork sandwich.
Kids: While there isn’t a kids’ menu here, we think little ones would love the nut butter sandwich with butter, nut butter and apple butter. We wouldn’t think twice about bringing them here for lunch.
click to enlarge PHOTO BY LAUREN MILFORD
  • Photo by Lauren Milford

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