The Eats: The Highline, 210 Broadway E., 328-7837. Vegan pub food including mock meat grinders, wraps, and shared plates.
The Deets: Shelved above the medieval themed sex shop Castle Megastore and next to a medical marijuana collective, The Highline resides in one of the most eclectic parts of Capitol Hill yet still manages to bring its own spice to the stew. As a counter culture venue, it could stand on its own just by being vegan, but the Highline hosts all kinds of metal shows, B movie screenings, cakearoke (you're right, that's karaoke plus cake), and trivia nights. If you check your attitude at the door (and pick up some earplugs while you're at it), you can have a lot of fun here.
A word about the noise level: I stopped in not too long ago craving a late night vegan sammy just as a metal rock band was doing their sound check, and the mere hint of those decibels made my ear drums percolate. It gets loud here for sure, so if that's a concern, be sure to call ahead or see what's on the calendar for the evening.
But when things are mellow, they're mellow. Late afternoon to early evening is a good time to stop by before things get too nutty, and if you get bored waiting for your food to arrive, there are board and video games aplenty to occupy your puny attention span. If you're really lucky, a golden nugget of '80s pop culture like Captain Ron will kick off the evening's entertainment.
The Eats: Things can get downright nasty in the grease department--to the point of the dreaded gut rot you may remember from too many PBR pitchers and $2 pizza slices back in your college days. If you're suffering a gnarly hangover, be sure to hit up Highline's famous weekend brunch. If you're about to get loaded on a Friday, anchor your stomach with a pile of Highline's slippery BBQ Nuggs (made from "chiggen" nuggets, a soy composite, blasted with vegan barbeque sauce and served with vegan ranch).
For the trepid, sober eater however, their sandwiches are safer options, like the Reubender with vegan pastrami, russian dressing, provolone "cheez," and sauerkraut, or the Howie, with vegan ham, cheddar cheez, and tomatoes, lettuce, and onion. Portions are generous and so loaded with fixings they inevitably fall apart, so be prepared to flag down the nearest server for extra napkins, and think twice before upting the ante with a $2 side. They are large too, and the salads come stacked high with spinach and shredded carrot making veggies fly every which way as soon as you dig in.
All things considered, the food is cheap and pretty good. Hand in hand with a quirky atmosphere the Highline hits the spot more often than it misses.
The Tweet: Get your kicks and your greasy vegan fix at this punky Capitol Hill hideaway.