The High Note Cafe is easy to overlook. It’s a small establishment squished between Flying M and Guidos. It often advertises itself as a music venue, and I don’t tend to conflate live music with good food.
But the food here is quite good. It feels homemade, as if your high-functioning, gourmand roommate just thought to make you lunch. Nothing is carefully plated, nor overwhelmingly seasoned, but the portions are generous, and the ingredients are left pleasantly intact.
The menu at The High Note presents a harmonious ensemble of starters, soups, salads, sandwiches, and brunch—which is served every day. Sandwiches are the core of the menu, but the burritos, tacos, and breakfast dishes are perfectly capable. (The caesar salad—the only salad I have tried—is too mayo-y.)
The proprietary ‘High Note bread’ gives the sandwiches their homespun quality. It is less chewy and more tender than a store-bought loaf, but prone to fracturing under your fingertips.
The tacos and burritos here don’t strike the same chord as taco truck fare. Here you’ll find chunks of roast chicken topped with spiced black bean puree, shredded romaine lettuce and fresh pico de gallo. They’re mild yet hearty and satisfying.
The High Note isn’t exceptional, but it is comfortable. The staff is always friendly, and if you can overlook the interior—which is painted darker than a teenager’s bedroom—it’s a place you can meet people for lunch again and again.
Most of the sandwiches cost between $11 and $15, a few dollars more than other downtown sandwiches, but a business dedicated to cold beer and local music is always worth supporting.
Bottom line: The High Note Cafe is good enough to be part of your downtown lunch rotation. Will it be a major part or a minor part? That’s for you to fret about. ∎
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