Third time’s a charm; or at least it is when it comes to my brunching relationship with Highland Kitchen. After two previously failed attempts to experience their breakfast offerings (one day it was closed because it was Saturday, the other time the wait was too outrageous for my famished body to take) I finally got the chance to see what all the hype was about for myself.
This time around I was determined to make none of my past mistakes. Knowing that Highland Kitchen starts serving brunch at 11, I showed up literally at 10:58 on the dot in an attempt to beat the rush. Unfortunately there was already a long line, but the doors had just opened and it appeared to be moving at a brisk pace.
The minute I got to the door, eager, excited and filled with anticipation, the hostess exclaimed, “I’m sorry, we just filled up. The wait will be about 45 minutes, unless you want to grab a seat at the bar.” Which there were none of, except for two small stools which appeared to be squeezed into an uncomfortable corner pressed up against the front window near a small counter. The place was a total mad house and the idea of waiting over an hour for eggs seemed terrifying. I asked if they still served brunch at said awkward counter corner and the hostess replied, “Of course! Just place your order with the bartender when you’re ready.” Done.
I will say it probably wasn’t the most comfortable place to sit, but I wasn’t feeling boujie and the reality is I was starving. Waiting longer than 20 minutes for breakfast just wasn’t an option, nor was waiting 20 minutes, so I ordered a pre-breakfast snack – Beignets!
Hot, fluffy, light, airy, and under $4 — everything you could ask for in a donut hole and more! I immediately wanted to order three more apps as I zoned in on the Fried Green Tomatoes, Texas-style Beef Chilli and Hushpuppies. Thankfully my brunch-mate Sam, a socially acceptable 20-something female who isn’t trying to join the cast of The Biggest Loser anytime soon, advised me against it. Instead she encouraged me to focus on picking out a breakfast entree, which also proved to be quite a challenge seeing as our seats by the bar provided the perfect viewing of all the BBQ inspired dishes coming out of the kitchen as they were dispersed throughout the restaurant. But alas, brunch can’t go on forever, and so we made some choices while promising each other we would be back soon to try the other 17 things on the menu that looked good.
Sam ordered the Pork Hash served with home fries, collard greens and topped with fried eggs. This dish was pretty dank. The egg yolk could have been a bit more runny in my eyes, but it was still delish and didn’t really effect the overall integrity of the dish. It’s definitely something I would order again, but my real favorite was the dish I ordered.
It was a tough decision, but in the end I think I made the right one when I ordered the Dirty Bird, a fried chicken sandwich served with applewood smoked bacon, fried egg and sausage gravy on a buttermilk biscuit. I opted to have my sausage gravy on the side since I’m a little picky when it comes to sausage gravies. I also figured I probably didn’t need to drench my bacon, egg and fried chicken sandwich with another 1,000 calories, but then again who am I to pretend I count calories. I’m also not going to pretend like I didn’t completely devour this thing in a somewhat timely fashion.
Given where we were seated, I really can’t complain about the service. Whenever we needed something we’d jump up and lean over to ask the bartender who was always smiling, helpful and efficient, especially when he had a full bar to feed and an entire restaurants-worth of cocktails to make. The food came out pretty quickly, and I have to say it was better than I had even expected.
Highland Kitchen is quite the neighborhood restaurant if I’ve ever seen one. The long line pre-11am is standard, most of which is made up of locals. I actually ran into an old friend while there (while choking on my dirty bird none-the-less) who happens to live in the neighborhood and apparently putting your name in and wandering around the area for a bit before returning for your meal is the way to do it. Maybe not an ideal scenario as we enter the harsh reality that is winter in New England, but hey, it’s an option.
150 Highland Ave.