5425 Russel Ave NW
Hi-Life's menu has a word in it that I HATE: “blunch.”
They think they're so fucking cute, calling it “blunch” instead of “brunch.” Fuck off. Brunch is pase. Homer Simpson discovered a meal between breakfast and brunch. The taxonomists at the Royal Society have named the new meal “breakbrunch”. Using Homer's success as a starting point, I took his research further: I discovered a meal between breakbrunch and lunch, which I dubbed “breakbrulunch”. Then, I used a fractal equation to discover a meal between breakbrulunch and lunch, or “breakbrululunch.” By this point the amount of computer power needed to isolate any further new meals from the meal-time continuum had grown so large that I realized I'd need to use one of those supercolliders that will someday turn earth into a piece of beef jerky. Unfortunately, I can't afford that, so I instead dropped what had been a fruitful line of scientific inquiry went to Hi-Life.
So they remodeled the old Ballard Firehouse. Now there's nothing in the Seattle city limits for Great White to burn down! Where will Kevin Dubrow go to shake the sweat out of his jerry curl wig? (editor's note: Quiet Riot lead singer Kevin Dubrow is dead now, so fuck his corpse for ruining my joke) You goons in the Chamber of Commerce need to provide a draw in our fair city for all of those valuable B-list cock rock dollars, or the Emerald Queen Casino will get it all!
I know from experience that the place can get crowded, especially around “blunch,” which I finally discovered is brunch for people who can't spell. Luckily we got a table pretty quickly. The menu at Hi-Life is seasonal, with each season featuring a different European cuisine. This time, the featured cuisine was Spanish.
We started with a pitcher of sangria ($19.75), which was a let down. I expect sangria to be spicy, with hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and slices of orange and lemon. Hi-Life's menu claims the sangria has figs in it. A worthy innovation, I'd say, except that you couldn't taste the figs in it. In fact, you couldn't taste any of the spices, only the shitty jug wine. There was no actual fruit in it. But that, of course, didn't stop me from swilling that shit like it was going out of style. After all, I might be bitchy but I hate wasting stuff (because I'm destitute).
Next came the tapas table ($14.50) and the pollastre de grellada ($29.50). You might think those prices are steep, but those two dishes were enough to feed three people. The tapas featured some interesting choices: marinated grilled flank steak, olives, sliced chorizo, eggplant spread, sauteed garlic shrimp, and spiced almonds. The flank steak I found a bit chewy, though pleasantly spicy, with lime and paprika. The olives were the standard mixed Mediterranean selection: black and green, tiny and big. The shrimp was fucking brilliant, and came served in a small dish of garlic and olive oil. When we finished the shrimp, the shrimpy garlic oil was in itself good enough to sop up with some bread, which we did, especially me, because I hadn't eaten in days. The eggplant was WEAK, similar to baba ghanoush, which I don't like to begin with. The almonds were dusted with chili powder and dotted with a cheap granular salt that looked and tasted more like Morton's Iodized than Fleur de Sel, the end result being that they were too salty and not spicy enough.
But it was the chorizo that insulted me the most. Imagine that, a grown man being insulted by a cured meat! How is such a thing possible? Well, just between you, me, and my nutsack, there's plenty of stuff that's offended me: Wal-Mart. The Academy Awards. The Strokes. Now add the chorizo in the tapas plate at the Hi-Life to the list. Why? Because there wasn't enough chorizo to go around. There were three of us, and TWO slices of chorizo! I HATE when places do that. Cheap bastards! Fuck.
The pollastre de grellada sounds boring when you try to describe it: it is, after all, roast chicken. But never mind that. The chicken was perfect. The skin was so crisp it shattered beneath my teeth, and the flesh beneath was so juicy and tender you didn't even need to chew it (Surgeon general's warning: always chew chicken thoroughly). The meat was well seasoned throughout. Grilled red peppers and green onions, deliciously charred on the skin and tender inside, were served as an accompaniment.
Dessert? $4.75 worth of standard, middle of the road flan. Am I getting predictable with the desserts? Seems like I get the same dessert every week. Sorbet. Flan. Sorbet. Crème brulee. If you don't like it, fuck off. Oh, and go fuck your mother, while you're at it. She's free tonight because I just got finished doing that very thing! What, your mom's dead? I know. I fucked her to death.
Rating: 6 dates with your mom out of 10.