Terrible service at Hogan's

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.


Hogan's, Station 55, and the Bug Jar

Ali, Stacie, and I went to Hogan's Hideaway (197 Park Ave.) for dinner. I stuck with the sure bets of a good wine, French onion soup, and a grilled cheese and was not disappointed. Well, okay, except the sandwich which wasn't grilled as much as I'd like.

After that we headed to Station 55 (55 Railroad St.) for the ArtAwake event. We were surprised to find that they charged a cover at the door — not exactly an art-gallery-kosher move. I was then disappointed to find the works were not particularly impressive. Worse was that the lighting left nothing to the imagination and there were no nooks to explore. It didn't help all this any that there was no wine to be found either — which, among other things, can help loosen one's ingrained bindings with America's corporate-consumer culture. Alas, it was a big disappointment for me, and kind of kicked off the evening poorly.

So then we went to The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) a bit early to catch the bands there. Unfortunately — despite it being a rather popular headliner — GaylordMySpace link, in their last Rochester show before moving to Atlanta — the happy-hour vibe was still in full-force: blaring house music and all. I only really saw the first band, Razor Wire ShrineMySpace link who are an instrumental chaotic rock band with subtle influences from all over the place. I only caught a little of Fledgling DeathMySpace link, a thrash/heavy metal kind of band. By then the three of us were quite tired and decided to call it an early night.

In related news, The LandfillMySpace link (625 Weiland Rd.) has been shut down (related because sucky Station 55 has not — it's too milquetoast to displease the aristocracy). I recall reading it in a news clip from The City Newspaper but it doesn't appear to have made it to the online edition. I believe it was a casualty of Mayor Robert J. Duffy's plan to shut down house-parties, as I was pretty sure it was some guy's house. When I first heard of that law, I was concerned it would be abused beyond its original intent: to give police the leeway they "needed" to shut down house parties when they came upon them. Now, my vision of a house party that needs to be shut down is one that is completely out of control — where the residents have lost their ability to control the party themselves.

Once again — like the shutdown of A|V Art Sound Space (N. Union St. at Trinidad St., #8 in the Public Market, formerly the All-Purpose Room) — the creative fringe of this city has had its hands chopped off. And once again, I theorize that this will push one more of these inspirational creators to go find a tolerant city. And the Mayor and all his cronies will sit around and not care about those one or two fringe people, but to me, they inspire — and I assume so of other creative people. And unfortunately that is not a column in their spreadsheet and it doesn't compare well to tax dollars.

So, I'm left giving this advice: don't trust the police. They are not your friends. They are not there to help you. If you see them, go away from them.

I hope this is what the mayor has in mind.