Ali, her friend Emily, and I headed to Hogan's Hideaway (197 Park Ave.) for dinner. Ordinarily Ali and I have excellent service and food overall. There is one server, however, that we've had terrible luck with and that happened to be the very one who served us tonight.
We ordered a carafe of house wine and he managed to spill a bit on Emily when he poured it. Rather than apologizing he quipped that her animated ways caused him to get all worked up — peculiar and unto itself not a big problem. Emily also happened to notice lipstick stains on mine and Ali's glasses so she asked that he get clean ones. He returned with two fresh glasses and left before I noticed that the new glass I got had a stain as well … I just wiped it off, but come on!
Ali had ordered the quiche of the day (ham and cheese, I think) but what she got was something different (artichoke and roasted red peppers). Even though he returned to the table to confirm what she wanted, he didn't bother to mention they had switched quiches. By now we all had our meals and he just said that "they must have run out" and offered to put in an order for something else ,but Ali decided it was good enough rather than waiting 20 minutes for another dish.
Next, Emily found a piece of eggshell on the bottom of her sandwich. When she inquired with our server, he said (and I might not have the quote exactly right but it's pretty close), "I assure you that eggs are one of the ingredients when making the rolls". The way it was stuck on, it was obviously not baked in but collected from being set upon the eggshell. He said, "well what do you want me to do?" Before we could answer, he headed back to the kitchen then returned and offered to remove the item from the bill. Emily asked to see a manager and he said there was nobody available. She asked, "well, who's in charge?" "I guess I am," he replied. In the end, she decided to eat the sandwich with no bun, hoping to avoid getting sick. We snagged someone busing tables and asked, "hey, is that guy really in charge?" and they said he wasn't and laughed incredulously.
When we got the bill, he had removed the sandwich but had added a salad we didn't order. We told him and he removed it. He came back and in his haste of busing the table, he managed to dump several items on Emily. He didn't say a peep — I had enough of him and I almost told him to just leave everything until we were gone.
We ended up leaving a 10% tip. In retrospect we should have gone with our original plan to dine-and-dash, stiffing them with the whole bill.
After all, it's not like there was a manager on duty to chase us down.
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