We did not meet quorum this month, so technically this was not a DNO. However, beers were sampled anyway.
We had intended to meet at Loreley Biergarten but a freak thunderstorm formed and the thought of sitting outside in the rain was suddenly less appealing. It was also mighty crowded inside with young E.Vil hipsters, so we opted for Plan B: Spitzers Corner. Plan B was also a bust thanks to another crowd of E.Vil hipsters. Plan C involved a short hike to Croxley's Ale House that, thankfully, was rain free.
Regular readers will know how keen I am on Hoegaarden Witbier as a summer quaff. We ordered two as we waited for a table. Sadly, the two Hoes were a bit flat—a bad omen that we should have heeded.... I love Hoegaarden, but both Dan & I felt this was definitely lacking. This just goes to show ya, it doesn't matter how good you are, you still have to show up for the game!
Next up for me was a MC Chouffe, an unfiltered Belgian dark beer that is re-fermented in the keg. It was pleasantly smooth, but nothing extraordinary; if anything, it felt a little light for a 8.0% beer in a girlie-glass. Dan went for Brooklyn's Six Point Righteous Rye Ale. Dan's a big rye man. It's not my style, but I respect his discerning palate.
Our table was dark. Maybe it's my middle-aged eyesight that's going, but I had to whip out the cell phone just to read the menus (more on this in a bit...). Third round was a Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale. Good, and timely—we had ordered medium wings that were really scorching—but again, there was something a little off here. I was beginning to wonder if I even got the right beer: it had a strong chocolatey note—more like a porter than a brown (not that I would have been able to see the difference!). Anyway, another well-loved beer that just wasn't up to par. Dan followed the Six Point with a Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye. This was definitely a step down from its predecessor.
At this point, it was becoming clear that the night was going to hell in a handbasket rather quickly, so we settled up and got ready to leave. I threw a $7.50 on a $48 bill and signed the charge slip. That's when I whipped out the cellphone for a better look. Stamped on the slip was a note that a 15% gratuity had already been added to the bill. You've GOT to be kidding me—a 15% tip on a party of TWO?!? The waitress explained that on Thursdays, everyone gets charged a gratuity. I offered to pay cash instead, but my card had already been charged. When I asked what would have happened if I hadn't been able to read the notice about the gratuity, the waitress said "well, I would cross off the extra tip." Yeaaaahhhh, right!
This is a BoguS, BuSh-league and BallSy practice that must be roundly and loudly decried! I, for one, won't be back here anytime soon and I suggest you avoid them until they straighten up.
28 Avenue B,
New York, NY 10009