Highland Creole Cuisine
Light on charm, heavy on the beans
On the Cheap by Rob McKeown
From the outside, Highland Creole Cuisine is hardly charming. Faded pink
tablecloths have seen one wash too many, and the light bulbs are two watts from
a dark death. To make matters worse, it straddles the last (and least
accessible) corner of Somerville's Highland Avenue.
But there's a certain appeal in the bilingual menu (French and English) and
in the single-minded mission: Creole food, straight up. Conch ($8), a mollusk
ordinarily confined to Florida and the Caribbean, takes the spotlight here.
Though the accompanying sauce is somewhere between oily and gelatinous in
texture, it's also smoky and sweet and a tad spicy, which makes it a fine foil
for the chewy, mellow-in-your-mouth conch. "Vegetables smothered with beef"
($7.25) is a case where more really is more -- a stew, with falling-apart
morsels of beef and flavor-soaked chunks of broccoli, carrots, and
Here, $7 or $8 doesn't just buy you dinner -- it brings on a one-man feast.
Each entrée comes with two sides and a salad to boot. The plantains are
sliced thick, golden in their fried goodness, and admirably well-seasoned. At a
mere four per plate, they're also underrepresented, which is not the case with
a bowl of rice and beans. For sheer volume it probably surpasses the rest of
the dishes put together.
Highland Creole Cuisine, located at 15 Highland Avenue, Somerville, is
open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to
11:30 p.m.; Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.; and Sunday from
9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Call (617) 625-8333.
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