Breakfast is one meal where any proud cheapskate can find plenty of places that are good and affordable. The only thing you need to do is sniff out these good places that are too often buried under less enjoyable yet somehow better known establishments. Ms. Classy went into full research mode and discovered The Highlands on 14th St NW. One theme we saw throughout the online reviews was a lack of attention to detail and the staff consistently commits little blunders, but the food was really good and cheap. Well, to repeat everything we read, that pretty much summed up our experience.
I will begin with saying that I loved the atmosphere. I liked the mural covering an entire wall of the dining area, the bar-style stools along a table against the front window, and just the overall feeling of the place. Since the eating area was small and customers seemed to be coming in at a regular pace, I staked our claim at a table while Ms. Classy and her parents went to the order counter and ordered our breakfast. Here is where we experienced our first staff mistake: they forgot to give me my coffee. I went to the register and explained and they quickly gave me my coffee without hassle.
For our breakfasts, we ordered the Highlands Omelet and Brioche French Toast. Here is where we discovered a second mistake. According to the menu posted on their website and the one on the wall behind the ordering area, the Highlands Omelet comes with ham, creamy havarti cheese, and spinach. When we dug in, we discovered a switcharoo with the cheese. We were served cheddar. Was it good and did we eat it? Yes. However, if they were out of havarti, we should have been informed or it may have been a staff error when cooking the omelet. The ham was good and I love almost any dish that contains spinach so in the end I liked it. When I checked the downloadable menu, American cheese was listed, so who knows what is right or not, but it is a detail that needs attention.
The Brioche French Toast as amazing. It comes with two eggs any style and we chose over medium. I usually prefer sunny side up because too many places have misinterpreted over medium with over hard. Not The Highlands, the yokes were the perfect amount of slightly firm outside with the rich, runny inside that slowly flowed out when cut. We were both pleased with this selection.
If you’re swinging by and only have a modest appetite and a handful of pocket change, the two eggs any style with toast is only $1.75. Throw in a small coffee for $1.60 and you have yourself a quick breakfast for the price most places charge for just the most basic of basic breakfast sandwiches. If the quality of their over medium eggs are always as good as we had, this is more than worth it.
Now, back to another detail that needs attention: serving the orders. While we were eating, we (and patrons at the neighboring table) were approached by several servers with arms full of entrees, asking if we ordered anything they were carrying. Of course, I went to point to something that looked particularly appetizing when Ms. Classy anticipated my nefariousness and politely sent the servers searching for the proper customers. Very simple ‘order number’ style identification could easily take care of this detail.
So was it good? Yes. I would rank my specific experience a three out of five. It was good and I liked the atmosphere of the place, but if I happened not to like American cheese at all, or if they gave me hassle about my coffee, or if some other customer was served our order and I had to wait for it to be made again, that ranking would have dropped significantly. If they found a way to organize themselves a little more, it probably would have been a four.
-Mr. Cheap Eats