Kirkland Tap & Trotter - Consistently Great (Somerville/Cambridge, MA)

We had another great meal at Kirkland this week. My wife asked if they put out anything that doesn’t taste delicious and I had a tough time remembering a miss there. Some highlights from this visit included a delicious swordfish kebab with beans gigantes, and the roasted beet hummus with pepperoncini. We had to get another hummus as our kids devoured the first order. My wife wanted something smoky and spicy to drink and the bar delivered with a mezcal old fashioned.

It’s not a bargain, but I don’t mind paying for the consistently excellent food and service. The fact that kids eat free during the week makes it reasonable as a family dinner out. Everything off the kids menu is the same quality of ingredients and preparation. We definitely prefer the atmosphere of the lounge side. With the bug windows and open fire in the kitchen, the atmosphere is quite nice.

“Kids eat free” is something that keeps me away when most people are awake because kids and it sounds like they’re hurting for business.

Last time I was there I got one drink as they filled up and left reeking like a campfire. I should have sent them the dry cleaning bill.

[quote=“Unfoodie, post:2, topic:2894, full:true”]
“Kids eat free” is something that keeps me away when most people are awake because kids and it sounds like they’re hurting for business. [/quote]
Typically I’d agree with you, however this is not the case at Kirkland. They do a good steady business for dinners and weekend brunch. The price point is a bit high for a casual neighborhood spot and it seems they use promotions to ensure a steady flow of business from open to close.

Where exactly were you seated? Did you complain? I wonder if they were having an issue that evening. I must say that in all my many meals at Kirkland I have never been smoked out, at all. In fact, they seem to have an excellent ventilation system as all I notice is the open fire, not the smoke. Strange…

I was sitting in the middle of the bar and it wasn’t even smokey in there. I’m not one to complain about such things because I’m a smoker! As soon as I walked out I could smell it on my clothes. I was amazed. I guess I’ll wear jeans and a hoodie next time I go much to the chagrin of Slim.

I have to say, my last experience with kids’ meals here was brunch and my 2 and 4 year olds were still hungry after their one free pancake each and we had to order them another meal. D’oh.

I’ve been to KT&T three or four times and on only one occasion did I notice a ventilation issue, but that one time was pretty bad. Maybe there’s something intermittent.

Slightly off-topic, but has anyone tried KT&T weeknight chicken to go? I’m considering getting one for my hubby tonight since this week’s rub is “everything,” which is one of B’s favorite flavor profiles. I want to be sure it’s worth the effort of either driving into that part of Cambridge at 5 PM on a weekday or taking public transportation with a big bag of chicken and an unpredictable 2.6 year-old spring onion.

A friend with sophisticated taste was favorably impressed, saying that it was cooked to really showcase the best things about chicken; seasoning was on point, flavors were wonderfully locked in, and texture was juicy and tender rather than at all dry or mealy, even after reheating the next day.

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we had this two weeks ago. my friend’s daughter goes to the daycare center right next to KTT so she picked it up and 4 adults and 2 toddlers shared it for dinner. Her toddler did not touch anything but my 2.10yo ate the chicken. my friend was very nervous when she picked it up saying there was no way it would be enough food for us but the portions were surprisingly good. the sides were quite large and delicious. two different types of salads - one grain and one bean maybe? i don’t remember but they were great and for $25 this seems to be a good deal. i’m part of a very large local Facebook moms group (LOL) and people are going nuts over this deal so lots of local moms at least are taking advantage of it and everyone seems to be happy. nice you can order online too! how much of a pain for you is it to get there? i’m not necessarily sure i would go out of my way on a weekday to get it because it is just not convenient to my work>daycare>home route. i live in union so i would probably just get machu chicken (although i think that is more expensive than $25 these days?) just because i feel like midweek days are already a shitshow. if it’s not too far out of your way and you’re already in the car - i think it would be worth it though!


Yes, it’s a great option. I posted about it awhile back (Machu Chicken [Union Sq., Somerville, MA]) and have had it several times since. It is a large bird and enough food for our family of 4, though we usually don’t have much in the way of left overs. For $25 it’s a great deal. Do order ahead, as I have seen them sell out several times. It’s become a regular in our dinner rotation a few times per month.


I knew I had read something about it on this board but didn’t have time to poke around for it when it didn’t come up under search for Kirkland Tap and Trotter. Thanks for everyone’s input – I’ve ordered one for tonight. I’ll be driving from Arlington Heights. I’ll probably tie in a playground stop before hand and then grab it on our way home. I’ll be sure to report back. It’ll just be hubby eating the chicken so it’s sure to last for a few meals (but I may take a nip or two). :wink:

PS and I just realized it’s located in Somerville not Cambridge. I was forget that about that little DMZ that demarcates Camberville.

It’s usually pretty easy to park and run in to pick up the food. There are metered spots just before and past the restaurant on Kirkland Street. I believe the spot directly in front is technically a loading zone, but I have never had an issue swinging in there and grabbing my food.


Thanks again to everyone who replied to my chicken query. After a long day at work, B was totally psyched to come home to a chicken dinner. I “chickened” out and had a soy protein as my main but the two side dishes, one a cold bulgur and cuke salad and the other a Middle Eastern-spiced eggplant stew-y side, were both awesome. And the pungent salsa verde went so well with both of our meals although B noted that it overpowers the rub, so try the chicken sans sauce first to get a sense of the flavor. B had both wings, saving the rest for tomorrow and probably into Saturday. We didn’t even touch the bread although spring onion had some. I must say a great value for $25 and they wouldn’t let me tip when I picked it up.

As for logistics, getting there and back from Arlington took about 50 minutes which is probably a record during rush hour. AND I found a metered spot right out front. Plus, the crew was blasting The Strokes “Is This It,” one of my all-time favorite albums. Good karma today. :relieved:


Per their Twitter account: This week’s #GrilledChickenToGo served w/ Sweet Potato/Poblano Pepper Salad, White Beans/Cherry Tomatoes, Salsa Verde + @iggysbakery bread.

To add to that: it’s a cumin-rubbed chicken.

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