For over seven years The High Life Lounge has made a name for itself for cheap, familiar American lagers, and comfort foods both classic and re-imagined.
When Buzzard Billy's went belly-up after the Flood of 2008 inundated their Court Ave. basement location, a fair share of its menu items passed along to other Full Court Press bars like Hessen Haus and The High Life. One of my simple pleasures to grace the shelf behind the bar at High Life is the jar of pickled eggs. I've grown to enjoy the vinegary bite with a sprinkle of black pepper, or better yet a splash of hot sauce.
On the advice of a friend I was told to try the macaroni and cheese with jalapeños as a requested add-on. Expecting them to be baked into the dish I was disappointed to find them piled atop. No matter I ate them off first before delving into the soupy pasta, which reminded me of the Chef Boyardee canned variety with some Parmesan cheese sprinkled atop. It's not worth revisiting.
High Life offers weekly lunch specials to hungry downtown wage slaves. On Mondays its Tater Tot Casserole, a comforting creamy goo of ground beef, tater tots, green beans and corn, finished with melted American cheese. A homey, tummy-filler for sure.
The High Life Lounge is best known for tater tots. Not baked, but fried as nature intended. Pictured below with a chili cheeseburger, their crispy golden exterior is nothing short of awesome. But don't order them to go. The time spent in a Styrofoam box, no matter how brief, softens that luxurious crunch.
Another item of renown is the candied Bacon-Wrapped Little Smokies. A neat treat for sure! High Life also wraps tater tots in bacon with slices of jalapeño, then deep-fries and tops with shredded cheese. Despite the over-saturation everywhere of food items paired or flavored with bacon, this duo is just right.
Another unique appetizer and one of my favorites is the Velvet Elvis Dip, a spicy sausage and cheese dip, served with tortilla chips. I'd eat it straight from the bowl!