By Avery Ballmann | Guest contributor
Union room on Franklin Avenue is a glorified food court in the best possible way. It’s a labyrinth of thriving local businesses located in one convenient building. When my boyfriend and I couldn’t decide where to eat, we knew Union Hall had something that would satisfy our different tastes.
Although the Union Hall parking lot is a bit small and is usually full, this is how you know you are in a good establishment. We parked and visited every food stall inside. The best part about Union Hall is the immense amount of options it offers. My boyfriend and I settled into the Zuke tea bar for our drink, The Blasian Asian for the main course and Dough Re Mi for dessert.
TO Zuke’s tea bar, they have a multitude of options including black, green and chai teas served iced or hot. They were offering free samples and the man who took my order was very nice and helped me figure out which drink to buy. I had an iced green tea with the addition of peach flavor. I have to say I wish it was a little sweeter, however, when he asked me what level of sweetness I preferred, I said “not too sweet” so I know that for future reference. I would give the tea a 3/5. Nonetheless, it was very refreshing and I really want to keep exploring their men, especially when the hot summer days arrive.
For dinner my boyfriend chose the orange chicken at Asian Blasian. We replaced the white rice with their Garlic Fried Rice because we couldn’t resist it even though it was $ 2 more. We were able to split this entree quite easily and were blown away by the real orange flavor in the sauce and the crispy bits of fried rice. The food quality and taste of Asian Blasian is delicious and unique, but their price is a bit expensive. Entrance was $ 12 with the add on for fried rice and no drink, but that can be exceeded if you’re on a budget and don’t mind parting. I would give this meal a 5/5. Overall I loved the food and the quality of the meal. I would definitely recommend this place if you like to try new ethnic foods.
Originally, dessert wasn’t on our radar, but the way Union Hall is laid out, the tables are in the middle of all the restaurants. We were sitting right behind Re Mi paste, which is an edible cookie dough restaurant.
I think they could tell that my boyfriend and I are students because we practically inhaled our dinner – it was way better than the food in the dining room. Fortunately, they guessed correctly and informed us that students are entitled to half on Wednesdays.
We were easily convinced to get cookie dough and they offered free samples so they made a good sale on us.
I chose to get the single scoop chocolate chip cookie dough, which cost $ 5, but since I had my student ID, it was only $ 2.50. The single spoon was so huge I shared it with my boyfriend and we barely made a dent before it was too full. The cookie dough was so creamy and the crunchiness of the chocolate chips combined with the absence of fear of contracting a foodborne illness made the experience very enjoyable. The workers were so nice to us and made our leftover cookie dough to go because we couldn’t finish it. I would give the cookie dough a 5/5.
The beauty of Union Hall is that small businesses have a place to land and grow their store, like the Blasian Asian was once a food truck and now it has a storefront. Union Hall is a great place to take a large group or people with different taste buds, as there really is an option for everyone.
Don’t be afraid to venture into Waco’s small businesses. You will surely not be disappointed.