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Highland Kitchen- A Cool Welcome Retreat When It's Too Hot to Cook

opinionatedchef Jul 18, 2013 07:46 PM

So much to like about HK. It's dark and cool, and has a casual neighborhood vibe,excellent service, reasonable prices, lots of cute babies, enjoyable music, and some often excellent food. Our intuitive GPS brought us here tonight and we're very happy about it.
In keeping w/ previous visits, we are drawn more to the apps, and tonight that's all we ordered.

Highlights:
Oysters. Oyster provenance and love are highly subjective, but
these were the best i've had for a long time. Beautiful, deep flavor,not briny and sharp.Large and luscious at $2.50@- now THAT's fortunate.

Special- Crab and cheese pupusa w/ Ranchero sauce. We keep a stock of pupusas from Montechristo in our freezer but HK are amazingly superior . Not leaden/dense but lovingly tender. Perfecto. And the ranchero sauce was the best i've had, making that at East Cst Grill seem too thin and lacking in flavor dimension (but I LOVE ECG huevos ranchero!)

Potato Gnocchi w/ short rib ragu and Parm.(I know- what the heck were we doing -ordering this soulful winter dish on one of our hottest days? I guess the HK AC made us forget, And also>>)
Ever since I had my first ethereal potato gnocchi- at Union Bar and Grill, years ago, I have been searching for their peer. Who knew i would find them at HK?? Soft and creamy clouds. man o man.
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Disappointing:
Pork Belly Tacos- Go figure.Some pork belly is divine, but this was not. Even the ranchero sauce couldn't fix that flavor problem.

Shrimp, Chorizo and Yucca w/ Mojo Sauce- This dish would have been just wonderful except for one thing. One simple thing. Garlic that becomes horrid acrid when chopped in a food processor.It overwhelmed the whole plate. I scraped it off, but what a drag.

The Tomato Gazpacho was pretty good but pureed is not my fav version. Besides, i ordered it even though i knew full well that local tomatoes are not around yet. So mea culpa.
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I'm already thinking about our next visit. Rich Chudy's Boston Burger Blog has given high marks to the HK burger . Does anyone else love it? Is it griddled or grilled over a fire?Has anyone had the Berry Shortcake? I bet they do an excellent job with biscuits there. (Next time. After my 5 dozen oysters)

  1. opinionatedchef Jul 20, 2013 11:03 PM

    p.s. Turtle Cove were the oysters. HK's daily oysters seem to change often.

    1. Bob Dobalina Jul 21, 2013 08:39 AM

      The burger is a good one, but I like the veggie burger even better. I think HK does fish better than meats, if I had a choice. The blackboard fish special is usually pretty good. You should try the buffalo Brussels sprouts.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Bob Dobalina
        g
        Gabatta Jul 21, 2013 11:37 AM

        Agree that the fish, and other specials are generally excellent. They have had some great scallop prepa.

        HK is one of my favorites, but to me that veggie burger is like eating a bowl of black bean dip. There's really not a standard for veggie burgers, and any place that doesn't use a prefab patty gets points. However, the HK version isn't what I'm looking for.

      2. opinionatedchef Jul 21, 2013 10:17 PM

        Finally made it here for brunch today. Had terrific huevos rancheros, hush puppies, steak and eggs (man, what a surprise- that flat iron steak is sooo flavorful) and beignets. and best music mix i could imagine. Mark must be a stickler for fresh frying oil because in their fried items, we never tasted the oil.

        As good as the food and music are, i just really love the "Yes" nature of the kitchen and the smiling and professional style of servers David and Dana.Mark Romano has a great team around him.

        1 Reply
        1. re: opinionatedchef
          opinionatedchef Aug 7, 2013 04:04 PM

          We've been back for brunch a few times now; Mark's Ipod is def our fav house music anywhere. The hushpuppies continue to be stellar, and the beignets (shaped like the hushpuppies, small and round, and fried to order)are really good,but could be adorned in much more interesting ways.

          The one major loser was the Fried Green Tomatoes. Totally flavorless insides with thick crunchy breading. I had decided to go for them because of another poster praising the Strip T's version. Big mistake. Nevertheless, what a nice place.

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