Daily Archives: December 9, 2013

Restaurant Review : Hudson Common (NYC)

This past Friday night I took my son to his first adult music concert at Lincoln Center to see the NY Philharmonic.  He’s been to their children’s concert series before and really enjoys music, so I thought I would introduce him to his first real concert.  We were excited to go despite the threat of bad weather and planned accordingly.
When I asked him where he wanted to go for dinner, I fully expected to get the usual answer of an expensive steakhouse or some fancy restaurant.  Instead he surprised me by saying he was in the mood for a good old fashioned burger.  Being that we would be going to the symphony, I couldn’t very well take him to the Shake Shack.  They have awesome burgers, but I wanted something just a bit more upscale but casual than a burger stand or a diner.  I also wanted to try something new.  After some online research, I decided we would go to Hudson Common on 58th Street in the Hudson Hotel.

The description for Hudson Common is of a casual beer hall with good, basic bar food such as burgers, fries, sandwiches, etc.  It sounded right up our alley and it was a short walk to our eventual destination.  Upon arriving at the entrance, it’s very difficult to even know you’re actually there as there are no signs.  We just guessed and followed the crowds up an escalator to the hotel lobby where someone greeted us and pointed in the direction of the restaurant. 

When we got to the restaurant, the “hostess” told us that most of the communal type benches were reserved that evening but there was one bench that wouldn’t be filled for another two hours that we could sit at.  She didn’t walk us over or provide menus or any other instruction.  Ok, I figured out that the menus were on some of the tables (not ours).  We looked over the menus I swiped off another table and decided what we wanted, but after waiting nearly 15 minutes, no one came to take our order.  So I walked over to the bar to see if we needed to order with them.  Here is what I discovered……

At Hudson Common, there’s an order window at the back where you place your order and pay, then they text you when your order is ready and you are supposed to go pick up your order, collect any condiments you need along with flatware and napkins.  Oh and if you want a drink, you have to go back to the bar for those and order & pay separately.  By now I was feeling like I was not just in a McDonald’s but one at a rest stop on the New York State Thruway.  But we were hungry so I ordered the food and we waited while sipping on some water and a Brooklyn Winter.  Oh yes, it took a full five minutes for the bar tenders to acknowledge my presence as they were too deep in a conversation among themselves.  When our burgers & fries arrived, I couldn’t believe how small they were.  I got a lamb burger and my son got their Common Classic.  Neither came with fries which we ordered separately.  The burgers were ok, nothing to write home about but they most definitely weren’t filling, even for our generally small appetites.  We had to eat again after the concert.

What bugged me about the whole experience was that I had just paid $48 for two mediocre burgers, a pint of beer, a glass of water and received absolutely no service whatsoever.  The so called beer hall isn’t even all that great.  I’ve been to so many better beer halls including Radegast in Brooklyn, Zeppelin Hall in Jersey City, Pilsner House in Hoboken and the Andecher Monastary Biergarten in Bavaria.  This one is pathetic in comparison to any of them in so many respects. 

All I can say is I would have been better off at the Shake Shack or convincing my son to go to a steak house to spend that much money.  Trust me, it wouldn’t have taken much convincing.  If you’re looking for food around Lincoln Center, skip Hudson Common. 

By the way, as we left the restaurant, I spotted a new place called “Red Cork” right next door which is a wine & tapas bar.  Menu looks interesting and the ambiance promising.  Will have to check that one out soon……
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