Restaurants & Bars

Houston's, Riverside Sq., Hackensack

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Restaurants & Bars

Houston's, Riverside Sq., Hackensack

M-L. | Apr 12, 2005 10:22 PM

I tend to shy away from chain restaurants of any kind, complacency among some of the many reasons. Whether or not that caused the following, here is why I and my dinnermates will not return.

For a birthday celebration, six of us arrived as a complete party at 5:45 and were taken to a table that could only comfortably accommodate four. We moved to a larger table, and one of the group told our server we had moved. A "next level" person (hostess?) came to ask us to move as a group of nine had reserved the table. One of our party pointed out that the restaurant takes no reservations and that we preceded the other group. We were even willing to move to a large enough table, but she conceded we were right. Her demeanor can most politely be called snotty. Next:

* Water ordered all around. Two glasses delivered.
* Entrees ordered. Three of the requested items were delivered. First apology -- "Sorry, we're out of Arctic Char." Second apology -- "Sorry, there are only two redfish servings left." This was at 6:30, not 9 p.m.!
* Entrees arrived after a 45-minute wait.

We finally got the manager, and the one-time restaurant owner in our group took over. Coffee and desserts came gratis. The bill, including tip, for one bottle of wine, two appetizers, and six entrees came to about $275. We also spent at least $60 at the bar beforehand. All of us agreed that the food was good, but the service was atrocious. What took place was out of the hands of the person who waited on us, and her tip suffered, since it was included, because the desserts and coffees were not charged.

NOT a nice experience. We're good laughers, but this was an embarrassing birthday "treat."

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