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The Independent -- WHAT HAPPENED?

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I have been a fan of The Independent since it opened. Through their many amusing remodeling iterations, through several chefs, it has remained homey, comfortable, and always had some tasty food. Some periods were better than others, but there was always something about the place that kept me coming back.

Most recently, I heard that the B Side chef had moved to The Independent. This was exciting, because a) he brought the gouda in a skillet with him, and b) I always had decent food at the B Side.

However, a recent visit to The Independent was ABYSMAL. My husband had some sort of chicken and dumpling dish that looked downright gross. Although the restaurant was not busy, we sat for about 20 minutes with nary a beverage in sight (had we not been with a group of 5 friends, I would have been tempted to leave). My vegetarian sandwich was completely boring (they used to have a grilled veggie/gruyere/pickles/spicy aioli concoction that was to die for), amateurish, could easily do better at home. A friend who is also quite familiar with the place went about a week later and said his meal was rather disappointing, too.

I am sort of mourning the loss of this restaurant right now. I hope they can turn things around, but I'm really reluctant to go back.

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  1. Give em a call and let em know.

    1 Reply
    1. re: StriperGuy

      Maybe I'll just email them a link to this thread. I would really like them to turn things around!

    2. Yeah, I quit eating here when the "Fried Clam Roll" was clam strips.
      Still good beer though.

      1. I hear you loud and clear. About 5 years ago we loved the Independent - the food was great at a very reasonable price. Then suddenly, the place went down hill very fast. Since that time, I have not seen good review here and we have not returned.

        1 Reply
        1. re: debidokun

          Agreed. I ate there last January for the first time in several years (I used to live in Union Square but moved away) and was appalled at the ridiculously long wait for mediocre food.

        2. I don't know what happened, but I had the same experience. I went for brunch, and the same sweet potato biscuit and gravy that I loved so much at the B-Side was just terrible here. Quality went way downhill fast. I don't know if the cook didn't stick around, or what, but I can't believe the same person made it.

          1. We stopped going when they got rid of the steak and gruyere cheese apps. How I miss those.

            1. Have not eaten there for years, but I do remember the excellent pressed sandwiches from 4-5 years back. It is a shame they have gone bad.

              While I remember a few good meals at the B-Side when it first opened years ago, in my experience (and that of many others), by the last couple of years the food was decent at best and inedibly vile on a bad night. It does not shock me that the former chef has not done great things at the Indo.

              1. Wow, I'm really surprised to hear that. I've eaten there several times since the new chef started and have been really impressed with the food. I usually order off the nightly specials but I've had the house made veggie burger several times and its been great. The service is always good too.

                1. I also went there a few times in the past month and it was terrible. I won't go back except to get drinks at the bar. It really bums me out.

                  1. We went there last weekend and all agreed to do dinner at La Cantina Mexicana and drinks after at the Independent. The food is seriously lacking nowadays.