My boyfriend loves this place. It has a manly vibe, a jukebox, lots of bearded, tattooed and androgynous waiters. There’s a live blue grass band that plays Sunday brunch and fun, funky, fifties decor abounds. The menu is pure comfort food with some unexpected twists thrown in like coconut curried goat stew and a chicken liver omelet. If I didn’t know better, I’d venture to say it has a Brooklyn vibe. But since it’s located off a quiet little strip in Somerville, let’s settle on “hipster” for it’s vibe-ability.
I like Highland Kitchen. I do. I’ve been several times. I take out-of-town guests there for brunch and one New Yorker claimed Highland Kitchen’s was the best burger she’s had in three months…but then again, she’s pregnant and easy to please. I’m less so.
For me, the trouble with Highland Kitchen is the food. I like the atmosphere, the welcoming staff, the fact that the kitchen stays open til 11pm (which for a NYC ex-pat like me, feels like 1am by Boston’s standards), but I just don’t love the food. I’ve had to return excessively soggy macaroni ‘n’ cheese, pushed aside a bowl of spicy Texas beef chili that tasted like the tin can it no doubt came out of, and forced myself through a bowl of mediocre mussels. As a bit of a comfort food connoisseur, I guess I just expect more.
That said, there is one menu standout that keeps this Buffalo gal coming back to try again; the Buffalo Fried Brussels Sprouts are transcendent. As a Buffalo native, I can tell you these perfectly tender sprouts smothered in hot sauce and served with a side bleu cheese dressing give chicken wings a run for their money…and keep me happy each time my man suggests a return trip to Highland Kitchen.
150 Highland Ave
Somerville, MA 02143