When I saw a Groupon being advertised for an Indian-Nepalese restaurant in the Pittsburgh area I immediately bought it. Let’s face it, Pittsburgh is not the most diverse city, especially in its suburbs so the fact that Nepalese food was now available in a growing area about 20 minutes north of downtown was extremely enticing. I thought it all the more ironic since I doubted that many people in the area could actually identify Nepal on a map (no offense, but Americans are not known for their geography skills). I however, am not one of those Americans 🙂
Himalayas is located in a small strip center which describes most of the surrounding area. It’s easy to miss coming from one direction so we ended up turning around further down the road.
The Groupon had mentioned that reservations were required and thankfully I saw this ahead of time and called. I made reservations for 6 PM on a Saturday night and while it appeared there were multiple dining rooms, we were seated in one along with everyone else.
Now that I’ve gone over the “pleasantries” I’m going to get right into it. Everything about the meal from a service standpoint was abysmal. So I’ll begin with the bad and then finish up with the good.
A young woman who appeared to be in her early 20s (she may have been older) was our waitress, who also performed hostess duties and check handling. We had our menus for a while before she came back to take our order (nothing special here since this happens at countless places).
I had just ordered water but D had selected an ice tea. You can guess what never came until many…many minutes into the meal I spoke up about it.
We had ordered a Tandoori bread to split. The waitress asked us if we wanted it with our appetizer or with the meal. We opted for the latter. When the entrees came the waitress asked if we had everything, to which we replied we did not. The bread eventually arrived.
Numerous times we went without water even though both our waitress and another (who didn’t appear to really speak any English) occasionally walked by with a pitcher full of water, looking around. Our glasses were only ever filled when we stopped her and requested it. I didn’t know quite what to make of this terrible oversight.
For my entree I had ordered a Nepalese style soup, asking for it with chicken. Yes, I got the vegetarian version. And no, I didn’t say anything because seeing how poorly the meal had gone so far, well, it didn’t seem worth it by then.
Well, the food that did come tasted really good. Portions were very generous and hot, the the latter for me being extremely important. The menu offers quite a number of selections, both Nepalese and Indian dishes as well as a variety of vegetarian selections.
Chili Momo (steamed Nepalese dumplings sauteed with bell peppers
and onions and served with a tangy sauce on top)-$12 with chicken, $11 vegetables
Thank goodness for the Groupon, otherwise I would have been peeved that I had spent money on a not so great meal. With the Groupon, our bill came out to less than $10. D overheard that the restaurant was relatively new, having opened last fall. While I can understand there being kinks in a new place, that many kinks for one that has been operating for months now is pretty pitiful. I would be willing to try it again although I’d be more apt for doing pickup.
You can’t get Nepalese food like you can Chinese or Italian fare so it has that unique factor, but I sorely hope that service improves there asap.
Note: Himalayas is BYOB