Monday, March 31, 2008
Hawk and Dove
For one of the big primary nights, we we decided to head to the Hawk & Dove for some political debating, cheering, and consoling. The Hawk and Dove prides themselves on being "Washington DC's oldest Irish Bar though it's reputataion among locals is probably more for being a hotbed of young politicos.
Allow me to preface my review of the place by acknowledging that it was a busy night with all of the political hoopla. That said, it was not busier than many other bars/restaurants I've been to around here.
We were fortunate enough to grab a table in the back of the bar early on, fairly enclosed in the political center of the bar. The first problem that arose was that for some reason there was but one single bartender for the entire room to make every single drink, take every person's food and drink order, hand every person their individual dish and of course close out every tab.
For dinner, Kym had the veggie burger while I, on the advice of a friend who had been there a few times before, ordered the chicken nachos. Ordering this food required me waiting at the bar for around ten minutes amongst a vertiable mob of people until I could flag down the bartender to place an order for the four-person table.
Kym was the first to receive her order. The veggie burger came with lettuce and...nothing else. No tomatoes, onions, pickle, absolutely nothing else, The burger seemed microwaved and the bun looked and tasted cheap. Really, it was appallingly pathetic for an eight dollar burger--probably even worse than the burger at Brickskeller. The fries the burger came with were not much better. The paltry 15 or so puny fries that did manage to make their way to the plate were shriveled and not very warm.
My nachos came about 10 minutes later after Kym had pretty much finished her burger. Less-than-fresh nachos are even worse than burgers and fries of the same state. By clearly letting a good amount of time pass between melting the cheese and serving it to me (well by 'serving' I mean the bartender shouting my name so I could wade through the mob again to grab my plate from him) the chips don't melt together, they meld together like fired clay. The chips were slightly stale, cold, not well covered with cheese, and for some reason all the other condiments came on the side-- in very small quantities I might add. Making nachos is really not a tall order, so to speak, for a chef. For them not to even add the ingredients themselves is a bit pathetic.
Another person in our party placed an order of nachos on the same ticket as ours, yet still didn't have his by the time we had both finished our dishes. At that point we again waded through the sea of people to ask the bartender about the missing order and sure enough, 5-10 minutes later it arrived.
What put the hilarious icing on the cake of the whole night was when the check arrived and they had added an automatic 18%! So just to recap, I had paid for two people's food and ordered pitchers with two other friends, and they counted that as a four person group which according to their policy necessitates an automatic 18% (since when is 4 people a 'large group'?) even when they serve each dish at different times, completely forget one dish, and neither take your order nor serve you at your table.
Really I think this sort of behavior is an insult to servers who actually perform a task well to receive an 18-25% tip while these jokers think that their 'service' (if you could call it that) not only deserved, but required at the minimum an 18% tip. For the first time ever I was actually tempted to cross out the 'included gratuity' and write my own, although I don't know the actual legalities of the situation.
At the end of the day, of course it was just a few bucks so I let it go, but the overall poor service combined with their cheeky policies will make me hesitant to head there again.