Located on Brady and Arlington is a place that I often wondered about but never actually stopped to check it out. Yesterday I got my chance, and I must say it went quite well. The Hi Hat Lounge is one of the many little "hipster" kind of places to eat/drink on Brady St. Walking inside, it was nothing like I expected it to be. From the old brick walls of the outside, I didn't expect the inside to be this huge almost fancy looking place. Everything was super clean and had kind of an old fashioned look to it, which I guess is why they call it the Lounge. When you enter the building, you are taken to the top floor, which is mostly a small eating area. While your up there you can view the downstairs over the railings, which gives you a perfect look at the bar that they have. Another interesting thing that I found about this place is that they have a hall upstairs that leads to a place called the Garage. Which has the same menu and everything as the side I was on, but gives up a more loud bar feel, with louder music and not as much of a old school fancy look to it as the other side. If you end up sitting in the lounge, you will get a nice little view of Brady St, and the outside dining there, which is always a nice little way to people watch. While the look of the place interested me, the food is the important part.
The menu at Hi Hat was very bizarre to me and I had to have it explained to me but in reality, it's not that difficult to understand. Basically you get to choose from 2 different kinds of sandwiches, either a burger or chicken. If you just want the plain burger or chicken, it's $9 and extras such as cheese can be added for another $1. If just a plain sandwich doesn't interest you, there are different options to choose from at the bottom the menu that can be added to your sandwich. They give you options such as The Knot, The Wisconsin, The Cowboy, The California, and the Rockefeller. Each of these has it's own little thing going on, such as the Wisconsin having apple, chedder and bacon, while the Knot has mayo, brie, apples and bacon. So you choose your meat, then choose which one of these you would like, or don't. Each of these is served with fries or a noodle salad. It was a tough choice for me but I wasn't upset with my choice.
I'm not a burger fan so I chose the chicken right way, the real debate came between the Knot and the California. In the end though, I chose the California which was a grilled chicken breast topped with avocado, a crab cake, bacon, and pesto for the price of $11.75. While I found the price to be a little much, when I took my first bite I know that it was worth it. The first bite was a little intense, there was so much flavor going on that I didn't really know what I was eating and I had to take a second bite to figure it out. As weird as the combination of these things sound, it was delicious! The crab cake was very soft and mushy, which was weird, but it had a good amount of crab meat in it and had a really great flavor to it. The bacon was done perfectly and added a nice crunch and saltyness to the sandwich, while the chicken was grilled to perfection. The avocado didn't really add much to it, but added a little texture while the pesto wasn't that noticeable, but when it was it added a nice little garlic, oily taste to everything. After I took my first bite, I couldn't put it down and I was finished within a few minutes. I must also mention that I went with the noodles instead of the fries, which were good and tasted like a basic noodle salad. The fries the I did try were also really good with a nice crunch to them and your normal french fry flavor. These two didn't really matter though because the sandwich really took the cake in this meal.
While my original concern of this place was the price, with everything basically starting at $9 and going up to about $12 for just a sandwich. It was really well worth it and I'd gladly pay the price again to get another one. If none of the things I mentioned really interested you, they have a few other things such appetizers that include chicken wings, fries, crab cakes, and cheese stuffed mushrooms, which range from $6 to $9. They also have a Friday Fish Fry which has your normal fried cod, or you can choose 3 fish tacos, which I found interesting, for around $10. The Hi Hat is also known for their Brunch, which is served on the weekend and has your normal breakfast items such as omelets, french toast and sandwiches. If food doesn't interest you, there are also the 2 bars I mentioned before, and it seems like they also have Djs that come in on Fridays. While the only negative thing I'll say is that the service was a little slow, but very nice, I would say that this is a place that is worth taking the time to check out if you are ever hungry out on Brady st.