With 16 solid years as a fixture on the local dining scene, West Chester’s High Street Caffe is by no means new. But the corner eatery has recently undergone some renovations, amping up its purple color scheme while adding a bar, live music and late-night noshes.
Weekend nights at what’s now the High Street Caffe and Vudu Lounge are often packed in the small dining area. Just be patient, grab a cocktail or a brew from the massive beer list, and chill. The eclectic Creole fusion cuisine is worth the wait. Bold Cajun seasonings, wonderfully complex bourbon-tinged sauces, generous portions and unusual ingredients (for this area, anyway) strike all the right chords. After all, it isn’t every day that you see catfish, alligator and crawfish on a Main Line menu.
Those who love heat will flip over the Voodoo Shrimp’s spicy “XXX” barbecue sauce. For something milder, try the plump Firecracker Crawfish Tails in a lemon-pepper cream sauce, or the smoky chicken-and-andouille gumbo. Entrée options include the meaty blackened crab cakes, a tender and flaky mustard-fried catfish, the piquant Vudu Pork (tenderloin marinated in pineapple juice and jerk seasoning), and a rich Cajun seafood linguini. Or go New Orleans traditional with the tomato-and-rice-based jambalaya or a hearty portion of étouffée served over rice. A time-consuming roux gives the latter its thick, velvety consistency. Both can be ordered with chicken, crawfish or seafood.
With authentic dishes like these, it’s no wonder High Street is still hot.
322 S. High St., West Chester; (610) 696-7435, highstreetcaffe.com.