Is Houston's worth the wait?
I used to love the Houston's back home, but I can't say the same for the one in NYC. My friend and I went to Houston's on 27th st and park ave last week for dinner. We didn't make a reservation, but the host at the desk told us that it'd be a 15-20 minute wait. We told her we'd be at the bar having a drink and she said she'd come and get us. After 30 minutes, we asked her if our table was ready, and she said it'd be about another 10 mintues. We ended up waiting a total of an HOUR and 10 minutes. How does a 15-20 minutes turn into over an hour?
We were so happy once we sat down at our table. We got the peel and eat shrimp and spinach dip to start, which is always good, but my friend told me that she saw the waiter use his bare hands to place the chips on our plate. I honestly would rather not know. Anyway, for our entree, I ordered the ribs and my friend ordered a steak medium rare. When I got my ribs, it was 90% fat! There was barely any meat. My friend's steak was well done instead of medium rare and the top half was so burnt. We still tried to enjoy our dinner, but we were still hungry because I didn't have any meat on the ribs and my friend's steak was so hard that she couldn't even chew through it.
Is it just bad luck?
Sadly, no. I've only eaten at a Houston's here in NYC once and it was several years ago. It was fine but unmemorable. It certainly wasn't as bad as what you've described, but I still don't think I'd wait 15-20, let alone an hour for it.
If you're looking for a decent steak at non-steakhouse prices, you can stroll into just about any french bistro and get a good mid-priced steak (~ $25) that's better and less chain-like than Houston's.
No. This is a pretty standard experience at Houstons in the city. Long waits for dinner, though usually shorter wait time (or no wait time) for lunch. The only dish I can stomach from Houstons, whether in NYC or the burbs, is the spinach artichoke dip. I find the rest of their food abysmal.