Update: The Hi 5 concept has been closed, its has since been reopened as Drafts Carolina Beers and Burgers.
Originally last Friday night Sara and I were suppose to say goodbye to Bogart's as it ends its decade long residency in downtown Raleigh. Unfortunately, so did the rest of the community. Not willing to sit at the bar top, we decided to go elsewhere. Lucky for us, specially since I forgot a jacket and it was a chilly night, Hi5 was just a couple steps down to the basement of the building. My original experience at Hi5 was the same as many people, an undergrad trying to exude my charm to the ladies with high alcohol consumption. Little did I know there was an actual restaurant. Since then I've had a mixed bag of experiences at the sports bar as both a bar and a restaurant, but this isn't a blog about my experiences of being cramped into a small dance floor chest to chest with freshmen with fake ID's and the middle aged men trying to pick them up.
(minus two other wontons, we were pretty hungry)
It felt like a slow start for the basement sports bar, which is why it perplexed me that it took us so long to place our orders. Another initial disappointment was the signature margarita. For $8 (guess they have to make money somehow) it was small, watery and weak. When Sara considers a drink weak, I question even the presence of alcohol. Once we finally received our food, we started with the crab wontons. It's crab, it's creamy, it's fried; a decent way to start our meal. I am a fan of the sesame ginger dipping sauce.
Sara enjoyed her entrée of the Chicken Taco Salad. The chili-lime vinaigrette was very full of citrus but I didn't get any burn of chili. The shell was nice and crispy and the lettuce was fresh. I couldn't give too much of an opinion on the dish since I only took a couple bites here and there.
I was excited to try the Blue Devil burger. Fried jalapeños has become my new favorite burger topping. However, I was faced with disappointment from the moment the plate came out. I decided get a half order of onion rings with my meal. Placing the dish at the empty table behind us, the waitress dropped an onion ring. As she delivered our dinner in front of us, she asked if there was anything else we needed, without any mention of the fallen onion ring. Looking at her and back at the forgotten ring, I begrudgingly said we were fine. Now don't think there was much she could do for me, unless there were some extra rings in the kitchen. But the absence of an apology for wasting .60 cent of my money really irked me. Say sorry, or if you want to go above and beyond offer a way to make it up, don't just hope I didn't notice. The onion rings themselves were good but the burger offered further dissatisfaction. Though they were able to get a nice medium cook on the burger, the toppings were nothing but a faint bump in the radar on my taste buds.
We also shared a side order of mac and cheese. We both enjoyed it, but I am more of a casserole mac and cheese guy, so I never really get to excited about stove top mac and cheese.
I think Hi5's food is better served late night and even further enhanced after a couple drinks. An evening out with the wife? Probably better served elsewhere on Glenwood.
Hi5 Sports Restaurant and Bar510 Glenwood Avenue, Raleigh, NC 27603