Yesterday, I burned one of my Restaurant-dot-com gift certificates at the Highlander Pub & Grill, hard by the St. Louis Science Museum, at 5656 Oakland Ave. It's a very attractive place, with walls tastefully decorated in humongous flat-screen TVs, all (at that hour) showing football games, except for one or two showcasing the gruelling sport of poker.
The wall near the men's room sports a poster showing Abbott and Costello doing the "Who's on First?" routine, with a full script at the bottom of the poster. Because I stopped to read it on my way out, I can say that I left the restaurant in tears without it reflecting badly on the joint. The skit really is that funny. I'm glad I read it after I peed.
But before that, I had to spend at least $20 on food so I could get my $10 off. I started with a couple of Scotch Eggs. No, they aren't eggs marinated in Scotch. They are hardboiled eggs, covered in a mitten of ground sausage, then broiled to a crisp. These particular ones were also sliced in half and finished on a grill, so that they had gridiron marks across the whites and yolks. They came with a dish of honey mustard sauce on which I can base no complaints. Most interestingly, the sausage was spiced up Italian-style. On the Hill, even Scots-themed restaurants cater to Italian tastes.
Scotch Eggs are a traditional British pick-me-up to be taken with beer. So, very prudently, I ordered a Black & Tan, knowing in advance that the Highlander served both Guiness and Bass on tap. There was no mistaking the Gaelicness of the drink, at least.
For my main course, I enjoyed a 6-oz. ribeye steak, "grilled to perfection" (according to the menu), and served on a French roll with onions, lettuce, and tomato. The waitress asked me how I wanted it cooked. I told her "perfectly." When she looked a bit flummoxed at this, I said, "Tell whoever is in charge of the grill to follow his or her best judgment." In other words, cook it any way they see fit. I thought such instructions might flatter the chef into giving me the best grilled steak he knew how. I wasn't disappointed. Thin but juicy, the steak needed no sauce to fill my mouth with rich flavor. The steak fries tasted unusually good, too. I even thought the pickle was tastier than strictly necessary. But maybe that was just my second Black & Tan talking.
My $20 minimum required me (alas!) to buy a dessert. I sprang for a key lime pie. Either the Highlander does all things well, or I just know how to pick 'em. It was a scrumptious key lime pie, not at all like the banquet hall/buffet restaurant type of key lime pie that always, everywhere, tastes like it came out of the same cardboard box.
The drinks menu was entertaining reading. My Dad, a Scotch aficionado, must go to the Highlander with me the next time he is in town. If you're into single malt, Guinness, artery-hardening food, or football, you must go to the Highlander, with or without me. When you do, drop me a comment and tell me how big-time you owe me for this toothsome tip!