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The Independent, Somerville - worst meal in a long time

Here goes:

Mixed greens - bitter greens, benign, practically tasteless dressing

Fish and Chips - good french fries, tired fish that was almost inedible. Fry job had a weird beige/yellow color and tasted like it looked

Steak salad - small amount of dried out meat on greens

Cheeseburger - prepared properly and while average, was a least edible

Service was nice, but two of the entrees arrived about 10 minutes after the first two arrived

The temperature of the restaurant went from too warm to freezing and back again at least twice.

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  1. My experiences have been very different, I've always thought the Independent offers some of the better pub food around.

    Was there something else that made the experience particularly bad? The review doesn't seem so horrible as to warrant such a strongly negative title.

    Did you have any drinks? I just want to know if you thought the whole restaurant was off or if it was limited to the kitchen.

    1 Reply
    1. re: DoubleMan

      Funny you should ask. The margaritas were too sour the first time. When some of us ordered again we asked that they add more triple sec. They came out the same way.

      As to the title, that was my experience. I'm glad yours was different.

    2. KansasTornado, I'm so sorry you had a crap experience at the Indo. Like DoubleMan, I've had great pub-gub meals there, and have in the past quite enjoyed the fish and chips in particular. I hope that you experience is an anomaly, and not an indication of a downward trend. I haven't eaten there in, probably, 3 months or so. But I will say that the last time I had drinks,which was much more recently, the usually terrifically mixed inventive cocktails just weren't up to standards. I was hoping it was a one-off problem, but perhaps not?

      1. I went once myself and was underwhelmed by the pressed veggie sandwich I got (not much flavor and bread too charred), though I did like the bar bite of fried almonds I got to start. There sure is worse, but it's not my first choice.

        1 Reply
        1. re: bachslunch

          four years ago i lived around the corner and would frequent and it was always decent food but the vibe in general was non-descript. i still frequent union but really only go to the bar at independent. i feel the menu and food are tired and the staff uninterested. *sigh how i wish the nog was still around there....

        2. Sorry to hear that. It's a local go-to place for us, and we're there once a month. The only bad experience we've had was the very first meal there, right after they opened (which excuses the problems we had in my book). The food has always been solid, and the service always good -- and usually very nice too. We tend to stick to drinks (their taps selection is great), apps, and sandwiches -- but do get the occasional entree (which has never missed, and once or twice been outstanding). In fact, I'd say our continued enthusiasm is a surprising, as when it opened, we were expecting a bit more of a Burren/Tir na nOg vibe from it, but it's always been a bit more restaurant than pub.

          1. Sorry to hear that. The Independent always does me good. If you had told me their fries were bad, I would have dropped from my seat. :) Probably the best fries in town. Great cocktails too.

            1. Sorry your experience was so bad.

              I am a regular--drinks once a week, and dinner twice a month--and I am still occasionally disappointed by the food. They seem to hit the mark 85% of the time, but that 15% really hurts because I want it to be better. Agree that beer selection is very nice.

              I think the chef is talented but a little lazy--the menu changes infrequently, and often features things way out of season (braised short ribs with mashed potato in July?), and the staff (including bartenders and servers) can be hit or miss.

              1. I just moved to Union Sq., so I want to like one of the (few?) local bars, esp. since I missed out on Tir na Nog. I've had very good beer experiences--selection, freshness, temp--at the Independent so far (no cocktails yet), and the service has been friendly and prompt. My one meal wasn't as bad as KansasTornado's, but it was mostly lame: braised greens were bland and oily; pasta/pesto was just okay, also too oily; the french fries were the biggest disappointment. I could've sworn when I was there a couple nights before I saw what looked like beautiful, hand-cut fries passing by on someone else's plate, but my fries looked like sad little imitations of those--literally little. Strangely little. Skinny and small, lukewarm and greasy. Bummer.

                Who knew that deviled eggs could make up for all that mediocrity? I grew up in the South, I've eaten a lot of deviled eggs; the Independent's were seriously good. The eggs themselves were seasoned just right and topped off with a little sprinkle of olive tapenade that gave them a great salty kick; they were served on cucumber slices...what a great idea. The cool crunch was a perfect counterpoint to the eggs.

                Who says you can't live off eggs and beer alone?

                1 Reply
                1. re: cincin

                  Anyone who lives with you.

                  Seriously, that is a lovely description of those eggs - I'll have to make it down there again to try them. I used to be a weekly at The Independent back when they'd have cheese tasting nights each month.

                2. i went there once and also thought it was the worst meal in a long time. given the prices i was very annoyed.

                  1. I haven't had the best luck there and I definitely noticed the same temperature problem a few months ago. Annoying.