Times-Pic restaurant critic headed to High Hat Café on Freret Street, the Deep South-inspired casual eatery by Adolfo Garcia and Chip Apperson, giving it three beans. He starts with the catfish, pretty much raving about it, before noting that the way the restaurant "nods lovingly to the cooking beyond New Orleans and into the Deep South becomes more obvious once you order a few of the menu's other dishes." Take the pimento cheese, for example:
It comes here as you've seen it before, anchoring a large plate of crudités, but more memorably as the catalyst that sent two dishes to the moon: as the spicy, creamy binder in macaroni and cheese, a special served recently with fried chicken; and melted into a gloss covering one of the best cheeseburgers in New Orleans.The pimento cheese reflects the overall vibe of High Hat. Given that "New Orleanians long have considered their hometown an appendage, not a vital organ, of" the Deep South, High Hat owes much more to the culinary and "neighborly" traditions of that broader region, while still featuring New Orleans staples "without affectation."
For Anderson, it really is all about the neighborly feel, "which High Hat Café suggests could be a category of cooking all its own."