BEST CHEAP EATS Minneapolis 2004 - Highland Grill
With its brightly colored '50s diner feel and convenient location (Cleveland Avenue and Ford Parkway), the Highland Grill is a terrific budget destination. Stop for a snack after watching a movie across the street or fuel up after a bookstore-browsing marathon. This family-owned restaurant offers many classics, but there's often a twist that makes them unique. Grilled cheese sandwiches here are made with cheddar and Cotswold, and tangy chutney hides within the gooey layers. Egg salad is curried. The black bean falafel sandwiches come with pineapple and poblano-peanut-pesto aioli. Fun appetizers include pierogi (starchy little dumplings filled with potatoes and cheddar cheese and topped with sautéed onions) and beer-battered green beans (crispy and light, with plum dipping sauce). The same golden beer batter is applied to fish and served with malt vinegar. And of course there are a variety of burgers that are just plain good. Most dishes cost $9 or less, and some even dip into the scandalously cheap $5.95 range, leaving plenty of cash for a $3 to $4 beer. Who says you can't have quality on a budget?