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highland kitchen somerville

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worst.meal.ever. organic mixed greens - not bad but don't bother with the goat cheese crostini - it was not goat cheese. not sure but it tasted like the rondele stuff my mom served at parties in the 1970s. the pierogi appetizer was truly awful - I was looking forward to the pierogis and the carrot puree with tasso ham - but really folks, the menu should mention that the piorogis will be toasted (actually, they were fried) and that the filling and the carrot puree will have hot pepper. A word to all restaurants and chefs: not everyone likes hot pepper. In fact, some of us really do not like it at all and we carefully read menu descriptions to be sure that we do not order an item that we will not like. Our server offered to replace it with another item but after two bad food items, why bother to try another??? All of the servers were very good. But the food was very, very substandard.

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  1. That's too bad that you had such a bad experience. I generally love Highland Kitchen, but definitely did not like the one salad I've had there.

    I had that pierogi appetizer recently and loved it. I didn't taste any hot pepper, but who knows. I might just not have noticed it if it wasn't super hot. It's too bad that you didn't try a replacement. Their food is generally very good aside from the salads.

    5 Replies
    1. re: maillard

      Thanks Maillard. I have been to HK in the past, though not in a while. It's hit or miss. We live nearby so we sure would like to like it. It was too late in the evening to get a replacement. And that may have been part of the problem: it was about 9:30 when we sat down. But since they do serve until 10:00 or 10:30, it's reasonable to expect some consistency.

      1. re: dreaminfood

        I'm surprised, their chow is generally righteous. I don't think the time of night should matter, if they state their open, then the chow and service better be flawless. IMO, they should have comped you for your next visit. I'd email the GM about your experience.

        1. re: treb

          Flawless? That's a tough standard to reach.

          Just curious, why do you think the meal should have been comped? It sounds like dreaminfood's dissatisfaction was more a matter of taste than poor performance on the part of the restaurant.

          1. re: hckybg

            OK... for me, the service and food better be the same at 10pm as it is at 6pm. If you're open then you're open and ready to take in customers, even at 9:59 pm. As for the comp, if everything 'was' as the OP described AND the OP let the mgr know exactly what the issues were, then I think HK would do the correct thing.

            1. re: treb

              I guess that's what I don't understand. The service was "very good," the greens were "not bad." The OP didn't like the cheese, but it doesn't sound like there was anything objectively wrong with the cheese--it wasn't spoiled. The OP didn't like the taste of the pierogis, which is completely his or her right, but it doesn't seem obvious that a restaurant should have to provide a free meal to a customer for whom a dish wasn't to his or her taste. I am sympathetic to the issue of spice but don't agree that merits a comp. I don't think that is bizarre enough that a restaurant should have to list it. My friend is allergic to cardamom, so he asks if restaurants are using cardamom in the dishes he orders.

    2. What kind of "hot pepper"?

      I have a coworker that views black peppercorn as being too spicy. Should that be listed on a menu?

      If you do indeed mean chile peppers, I think it depends on what it is. If they're truly putting in *hot* peppers (I'd say starting around the habanero range, say 250k-300k scovilles) then yes, they really should put that on the menu. But just putting in something relatively mild like jalapenos? That's silly.

      At least you're not one of those types that gets something listed as being spicy and then complains about it being too hot. I saw someone whining about All Star Pizza's atomic meatloaf pizza. Those people are the reason that we can't have nice things.

      1. I had the pierogi Thursday night and didn't detect any hot pepper. Also, pan-frying pierogi after boiling is a pretty traditional preparation--not sure why you think it needs to be noted.

        1. I'm sorry you had a bad experience, but I think it's an aberration. I've really never had a bad experience at HK, though I haven't had the food you mentioned. The unannounced spiciness element surprises me a little, since every time I'm there the servers give multiple warnings to anyone inquiring about their spicy goat stew. The way they talk about it makes it sound like it has habaneros floating in it, when it's not especially spicy to my taste. It's all fairly subjective, of course, but I'm surprised that they wouldn't mention anything about it.

          1 Reply
          1. re: morecheesejer

            I haven't been for a long time (child care issues, long wait issues) but the last time I went, server tried to discourage us from ordering the pulled pork in any form, saying "lots of people don't like it because the sauce is so vinegary", I"m from NC and DH is a total convert, and we replied in unison "we love the sauce and we are ordering it b/c of the vinegar." Then she smiled and said, good, just wanted to be sure you knew.

            Not trying to generalize my experience to anyone else's, but I thought it was a remarkable comment.

          2. I'm guessing that the hot pepper you objected to was from the tasso ham, which is very spicy cajun ham. Sounds like it's an ingredient you were unfamiliar with, but if it says tasso on the menu, then you're gonna get something spicy.

            1 Reply
            1. re: katzzz

              I have had those pierogi at HK - it was definitely the ham that was spicy, and not hot pepper.
              However, I would agree that the fried part was a little unusual, in terms of pierogi - these were fried until almost uniformly crunchy - definitely not what this seasoned pierogi eater was expecting. And I also did not realize that tasso ham is so spicy - I liked the dish, but I can see how it would have thrown off the OP.

              Agree with the OP - very excellent waitstaff.

              Too bad the OP did not go with the fried baby artichokes, which were on the specials board as of last week. One of their best concoctions.

            2. I had the arugla salad with the ham last night, and it was very good. I went with friends who feel HK as kicked it up in flavors from their last visit. The mussels, flat iron steak, goat stew were all amazing. Lots of depth to the flavors. I'm sorry you had a bad meal. The service was v. good. The bartenders were slammed, but still found a moment to have a quick chat with me about my "Mark and Stormy" drink. I recommend it, if you love ginger beer, it is sooooooo gingery and spicy! He told me they make their own ginger beer.