Richmonders, Avoid Hondo’s

What can you say about an overpriced steakhouse that can’t get medium rare right after two tries? If it’s Hondo’s in Innsbrook in Richmond (Glen Allen), Virginia, then the answer is “avoid it”.

My family was celebrating a special occasion, and we enjoy gourmet steakhouses because everyone can get something they like: fancy food for some, and simple steaks for others. We chose Hondo’s because of its location, convenient to us, but we should have known after we saw the clientele that it wasn’t going to be a good experience. 85% of the diners were older white guys in shirts and ties. It’s an expense account place, where repeat business doesn’t matter as much as feeling pampered when you’re on the company’s dime.

The sad part was that the service was also terrible. Our waitress had to be asked to refill the water glasses, and then it took her at least another ten minutes to get around to it. She also didn’t understand that you don’t clear plates until everyone is finished with the course. When the steaks start at $29 and rapidly escalate to $42, great service is essential, and like the food, the service was mediocre at best.

Strangely, the lamb chops in demi-glace were delicious, even as the steaks (filet mignon) were tough and dry. Their signature side dish, Hondo’s Potatoes, were unevenly cooked potato slices in too much butter under stringy melted Parmesan cheese. (They described them as scalloped potatoes, but they weren’t creamy enough.) The garlic mashers (too cutesy a name) were microwaved, based on how quickly they cooled off. The capper to a poor experience was having to wait around to get our vanished server to take payment for the check when we were ready to get out and forget the bad meal.

Next time, I’m driving downtown and going to Morton’s — THEY’RE everything a steakhouse should be, and they know how to treat their customers well.

One Response to “Richmonders, Avoid Hondo’s”

  1. Barry Says:

    I had the same experience in a venerable south Florida steakhouse where I had to send my steak back twice because they kept overcooking it when I wanted it cooked at medium rare. If it’s a good steakhouse, this should not be a problem. By the third try I was so frustrated I ate whatever they put in front of me, but I don’t plan on going back.

    I’ve heard great things about Mortons but have yet to eat there. If you’re ever in NYC or Palm Beach, try the Striphouse. It’s quite possibly the best steakhouse chain I’ve eaten in.




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