Go Now: Highland Tap and Burger

September 30 2010, 11:30 AM

Lower Highland has added yet another eatery to its oh-so-hip dining scene. Along with its popular neighbors, LoHi SteakBar and the Squeaky Bean, Highland Tap and Burger has grafted itself onto this area and is finding that it likes the ZIP code.

“I just fell in love with this area,” managing partner Kevin Eddy says. “And after being in the business for so long, I really wanted to expand into this neighborhood.” (Eddy, along with two other partners, also owns Spill Lounge downtown.)

Area residents seem to be enjoying the spot, as well. Although the space includes a quieter dining area, Highland Tap really feels more like a bar. On a hopping Tuesday night, most patrons dive into the extensive beer list (19 craft beers on tap), swilling at the long wooden bar lined with TVs, or snagging seats near the open garage doors. But don’t let the bar atmosphere fool you: The food does not take a backseat to the beer.

Although the menu includes items you’ll find at many local bars (potato skins, mac and cheese), most options rise above standard fare. For starters, the smoked chicken wings arrive unadorned—a tasty surprise—but come with a tangy cup of red sauce for dunking.  The Tap Burger—a patty of beef piled high with root-beer-brined pulled pork and topped with two beer-battered onion rings—is a decadent and delicious gut-buster served with a heap of above-average fries. And the Shroom Lover's Burger’s sublime truffle-tinged aïoli and Swiss cheese don’t overpower the earthy mound of sautéed mushrooms.

In all, Highland Tap is on the right path. The spot may not have the culinary chops of the Squeaky Bean or a well-known chef-owner like LoHi SteakBar, but it executes its ambience, food, and service very well.

2219 W. 32nd Ave., 720-287-4493