Friday, March 30, 2012

Highland Park is changing fast: Highland Cafe is the latest

Highland Cafe is just a few doors down from Cafe de Leche
The former El Chapin market and bakery, which had breakfast, pupusas, tacos, Mexican pastries and burritos, has become Highland Cafe, which will have Handsome Coffee, pastries, breakfast and sandwiches. It looks to be the same owners since the sidewalk tables and pastry case are the same, but with a new vintage-y look and less-Salvadoran menu.
It's hard to go wrong with more good coffee, but this changeover is another sign that Highland Park (or at least York Blvd.) is really changing fast. Someday I'd like to see another breakfast spot like Cacao that combines great coffee with creative Mexican/South American breakfast dishes -- maybe French toast with goat cajeta?
 The opening of Maxmiliano kicked the Highland Park restaurant scene into high gear. Now French bistro Ba is nearly open down the street and Garvanza's just might open one of these days. We tried Highland Park Kitchen, the much-needed makeover of Marty's, the other night. The window along York is indeed a big improvement. But the roaming magician and air-headed waitress who kept asking "Did we save room for dessert?" and "Are we going to order drinks"? were a little too intrusive for a relaxing evening, and the food wasn't anything we would rush back for.
Is anyone getting nostalgic already for the old Highland Park, or do more restaurant choices make up for losing some of the neighborhood's character?


Anonymous said...

The neighborhood's character? What are you talking about? Run-down auto body shops? HPK is a welcome addition to the neighborhood. We need more places like it, Highland CAfe, etc.

Anonymous said...

Character as in this largely working class, Mexican neighborhood will in a few years most likely be a hipster/yuppie haven with much of its old businesses, residents and "character" priced out and moving elsewhere. Some people like the neighborhood just fine as it is, and a few new additions like this are nice - until they overwhelm and force out what has been here for decades.

Anonymous said...

where is the highland cafe????
it would be nice if you could link your post with address and telephone number.

Irving said...

HPKitchen is nothing special... as much as I want to support local business, I was not impressed.

Ba is so smart to release their deliciously tempting looking menu in advance of their opening! Super excited about this one.