With live music, a card-only photo booth, vegan fare, and games galore, this Capitol Hill joint channels the great Maximus and screams “Are you not entertained?!”
Normally, when a vegan walks into a bar they barely have any options to nosh on. Y’all know this is no joke. At Highline on Broadway, vegans will have a hard time choosing just one thing from their eclectic menu. That’s why I got 5.
The Starting Lineup
Calamari is a dish most people could get down on, but vegans? Never say never. Highline’s Kalamarri ($8) could easily be mistaken for the real thing. Served with ranch and a lemon wedge, these breaded and fried strips make your brain confused because it swears it’s authentic squid. The Kalamarri strips were thick and mouth-watering with a light flaky breading. Tasty, no doubt, but this gal could always use some more ‘fried’ in that ratio.
Appealing to the American child in us all, Highline features Nuggs ($8) with different flavor combinations on their ‘Shared Plates’ section of the menu. You’ve got Teriyaki, Buffalo and BBQ Nuggs and their corresponding sauces to choose from. Now, I’ve already given my $0.02 to the owner about tricking me in the naming of their dishes, but I couldn’t give him too much shit because this dish was still delicious. Don’t order this thinking you’re going to get chicken nuggets. Because you’re not. Instead you’ll get juicy strips basted in a tangy sauce with even more sauce on the side. And the chiggen texture of the strips was perfectly balanced with the sauce it’s drenched in. If you didn’t catch that, these nuggs are saucy. Fork, get ready to shovel.
The Main Event
As a born-again vegan, growing up with unhealthy ish up-the-wazoo and eventually finding salvation in veganism, I’ve learned to look at things and not find them appealing because of their forbidden ingredients. But my carnal and nostalgic instincts still lead me into temptation. These sangwiches satisfy greasy needs while still laying down the vegan name.
Highline’s Howie ($10 solo, $12 with a side) is a safe bet with its tempeh-bacon, soy-ham, cheddar cheez, lettuce, tomato, onion, and tartar sauce on grilled bread. The veggies were fresh and the house-made meats moist. Owner Dylan, if I may, I would rename this one “The Everyone-will-love-and-eat-it-everyday Sandwich” and that way, no one would get tricked.
I never truly understood the cult following of Reuben sandwiches but seeing it on a vegan menu, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try it for the first time. The Reubender ($8 solo, $10 with a side) made me a believer. House-made seitan pastrami (are you kidding me?!) and sauerkraut with Russian dressing and smokey provolone cheez sauce. Not entirely traditional, but who cares. BOMB. Its greasy grilled bread and pile of meat makes a strict vegan feel more like a hunter than a gatherer. Eat it with your hands and wipe your bare chest like a real caveman.
The Sweet Endings
Every Tuesday, the metal bar hosts Cakearokee, the obvious coupling of vegan sweets and karaoke. Two of the greatest things on the earth to create one divine night, every week. Each week features a different “cake” and it must have been fate because I landed on the week of the Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispie ($5). This Rubik’s cube sized treat was big enough to satisfy four people. I was nice enough to share. Go every Tuesday to be surprised by the sweet vegan treats and the equally enchanting karaoke-ers. Just as a word of advice, this place has its fair share of metal heads so don’t get on the mic and sing A Whole New World. Crickets, from experience.
Its cold-as-ice, metal cup of saucy gravy will rock your face off. Whatever that means. All youse need to know is that you’ll come back again and again to explore all that this place offers. And wave hello to the lady in the girly dress Bogarting the photo booth.
Check its full calendar of fun things to do at www.highlineseattle.com
Highline | 210 Broadway Ave E, Seattle | (206) 328-7837