Archived Posts from "'Reader Mail'"

What if you get sick after eating out?

What is the proper way to handle restaurant experiences in Hoboken?

Got a “tweet” from a girl who had dinner at Dino & Harry’s last weekend saying “My entire family got food poisoning in Hoboken… #gross!”

I proceeded to ask from what, how, etc. – and she suspected it was from the calamari – and added that “service was awful, horrible!”

But is shaming a restaurant via social media the answer? Was it really “food poisoning” or just “angry they had a douchebag waiter?” Could they have gotten food poisoning earlier?

restaurant complaints in Hoboken

How would you handle “bad food” in Hoboken?

It’s quite possible they were served bad fish – it happens in the food service industry. Almost impossible to avoid entirely. In fact, it happens all the time IN YOUR OWN HOME as well!

Would you ever “tweet” that YOUR cooking sucks? Of course not – friends would NEVER come visit again!

You see – I’ve gotten food poisoning in Hoboken as well (several times in the past two years, which were my FIRST bouts in my life, too). You want to know what my solution was?

I don’t frequent those places anymore. But I did NOT publicize our woes. I could have had some food that might have been under-cooked, or mishandled in some way. That is no way indicative of future prospects – and if it was, then natural “market dynamics” would solve the problem. A place that makes every customer ill from food-poisoning wouldn’t last long!

It was my choice not to “risk” going to those places anymore. Am I failing to prevent others from getting sick? Probably not – just the same way I can’t promise that some people won’t get food poisoning from a place I give good reviews for either. I would just rather not talk about those places anymore. My way of handling the problem.

But that twitter girl should have probably gone back to Dino & Harry’s and explained their issues (or even called the same night) instead of asking the social media power-brokers for attention (hello, socialism!)

The shitty thing about social media (Twitter especially) is that people make profound statements (in 140 characters or less), without painting a full picture. No idea what the back story is or was, no idea if they tried rectifying the problem or when it occurred. Did they call the restaurant? Ask for restitution? Why mention bad service? Maybe that was their gripe and they pinned food poisoning to “get back at them?”

And lastly – while we post here what we were “fed” (no pun intended) on social media for this particular instance – this type of complaint really should be done in private.

The restaurant is obviously successful for a reason. They have been doing things right for quite a while. To potentially “harm” them for something that may have been a “fluke” is a bit harsh.

This is exactly why social media and “constant contact” between everyone and their brother is a detriment to society. Not only are people NOT doing constructive and productive things, they’re also “shaping” how others behave – without any real merit. Yes, “social media” can be quite helpful, say in times of emergency – like a flood or weather event – but for shit like this, not so much.

Look at your last 1000 tweets or fakebook updates – Did you really need to mentally process them?

Parking hell to hurt Hoboken

Visiting Hoboken costs money 100% of the time

When you have a vibrant city like Hoboken – you WANT people to visit, have great things to say about it, and encourage them to come back time and time again. Not curse out loud and find better, more accommodating venues. And if you’re the “mayor” of a city like Hoboken, you’re supposed be an ally of small businesses, and help them find ways to attract more customers – not treat their (whatever) customers (they have left) like another revenue stream for luxurious salaries and gold-plated health care packages for yourself and your cronies.

Hoboken has practically become 100% pay to park.

And geez, when members of the clergy feel the need to speak out about this – you know it’s bad, as Father Alex Santora of Our Lady of Grace Church recently did.

Hoboken Parking Hell

Letter: Hoboken parking will only get worse

“Parking in Hoboken is nearly an oxymoron. And it’s about to get worse.

Most towns have meters in their shopping districts. Hoboken will be the first city to expand it all over town. Yes, those ugly, utilitarian pay and park machines will grace every block, even on (residential) Hudson Street. And visitors without permits will be required to shell out not the usual 25 cents but $1 per hour. So when family and friends come to visit, it will cost “mucho dinero.” For houses of worship, it means people have to pay if they drive to church and park on the street. The town will tax people for patronizing our schools’ events and fundraisers.

Hoboken is already not auto friendly with more cars than it can park on the streets because it keeps green-lighting tall buildings without requiring the tenants to park in their garages.

What’s next? Valet parking at the six entrances to the city? Or limiting cars in town only on certain hours?”

Reverend Alex Santora

Stevens garage – 5 years later

Stevens Garage “stuck in the mud” 5 years later

This is one of those situations – where you’re not sure what’s good and what’s bad anymore. On one hand, the Fund for a Better Waterfront certainly deserves credit for some of the amenities along the Hoboken “coastline.” But sometimes, do you think they just meddle too much? This proposed garage over at Stevens didn’t look like such a bad idea.


But the constant opposition and appeals and involvement some groups do – end up hurting more than helping.

I know some people have “grand visions” for what they think areas like Sinatra Drive should look like – but at what point is private property actually private? Can’t we just move on already?

Look at the garage today – 5 years later. Nothing has changed. “Stuck in the mud.”

Stevens Garage remains unfinished in Hoboken NJ

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No excuse for snow ineptitude

In reverse: No excuse for mishandling Hoboken snow cleanup

They say that practice and repetition (experience) improves people. The more you do something, the better you get at it. But it appears that the $100 million dollars in property tax money residents give to city hall actually impairs their productivity.

There really is no excuse. No major blizzards. No power outages. Just typical “nuisances” that winter regularly brings. What is wrong with this so-called “administration” if they can’t even administer proper snow cleanup? And the majority of people in town have all but lost faith in these clowns – saying things like:

“Let’s wait until April for it to melt itself,” says Hoboken resident cpepe13 who snapped this pile of toxic snow in front of a bus stop, no less.

no excuse world class snow cleanup in hoboken NJ

In Hoboken’s case – you do NOT get what you pay for, that’s for sure!

Phallic Lackawanna?

Phallic Lackawanna? Or just decorative?

Hoboken411 reader Lenny sent in a photo highlighting a design element of Lackawanna Plaza.

“What is this supposed to represent? My perspective is the designers were trying to get away with something that was hidden in plain sight. I can’t imagine in over 100 years I am the first to notice this…”

Well, he’s obviously suggesting that it represents male genitalia (obviously, since he named the attachment “penis.jpg.”)

I don’t know – sure, you can say it looks kind of phallic – but to say every oblong ornamental design was *intended* to represent a penis is a bit of a stretch.

My call? Too much porn in today’s world – otherwise Lenny wouldn’t have “penis” on his mind where that was the only explanation he could come up with.

phallic lackawanna symbols in Hoboken NJ

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Catering hell on Super Bowl Sunday

Catering hell: If you can’t stand the heat – don’t OPEN a kitchen!

Wow, some Hoboken residents got shafted during their Super Bowl party this past weekend. You’d think that if someone opens a food service business (and touts themselves as being super-duper awesome), that they’d have their shit together. Apparently not – as you’ll discover from this “game day” horror story.

Tony Boloney super bowl fuck up in Hoboken NJ“I’d like to share a Super Bowl catering disaster from Tony Boloney’s.

We ordered Super Bowl catering from Tony Boloney’s this year. I called them a week ahead and they took down all the information needed. It seemed like everything was in order. The delivery was scheduled for 6:00 on Sunday evening.

The Super Bowl came, and the food was nowhere to be found. 6:00pm passed. Then 7:00pm, I decided to call. First, I called their main line. I waited for 10 minutes, hung up, called back, waited 10 minutes again, and nothing. It went to an automated system and just left me on hold with a song in the background.

I tried calling their catering hot line (separate from their “main” line.) No one picked up, so I left a message. You’d think on Super Bowl Sunday, their Super Bowl catering hotline would have someone. But nope. And no one ever called back.

Finally, an hour and a half later and no response, call back, or anything, we gave up. We ordered somewhere else (Pizza Republic) and got our food in an hour. (Great job by Pizza Republic by the way!)

Tony Boloney’s left a bad impression on us. To take our order, yet not have an active phone number to contact is a complete joke. I will never be ordering from this place after the complete let down of not having food delivered to my party. Just a bad job, and I’m just so curious how an order could not only be forgotten, but how we couldn’t contact anyone the day of a big ordering event.”

Technology to blame?

So apparently – a whole bunch of people were “affected” by Tony Boloney’s reliance on modern “technology.” And as a result – offered a deep apology to their (possibly former) customers. After you read this – perhaps everyone should have a contingency plan ready to go at ALL TIMES. As well as BACKUP COPIES of everything. Like your contact info on your phones. Can you recite ANY of your friends phone numbers?

Anyway – here’s their apology:

tony boloney computer problems to blame for customer screw ups“At Tony Boloney’s we spend everyday making from-scratch grub & try to offer the best customer service, delivery of our food, and overall experience 100%.
Yesterday, Superbowl Sunday, was not a reflection of the above.

In our Hoboken Store, our computer system went down at around 2:30PM; this included phones, computer system, ability to print kitchen tickets, see customers orders, look at pre-orders, etc… We resorted to writing tickets by hand, using our cell-phones, trying to go through order email inquiries and trying to contact customers, etc… It was a nightmare across the board.

Although most customers still received their orders on-time, there were some that waited hours, or never received them at all.

We take full responsibility for any orders and refunds that will need to be issued due to this, and want to make sure that our customers are taken care.

We fully understand that the last thing our customers want to deal with, especially on a big day when most host a big party or are guests at one, is having to worry about where your pre-ordered food is.

That is our job, and again, take full responsibility.

Everything we do at Tony Boloney’s is focused on making sure customers are #1 along with their experience. We know you have expected this from us, and we are making sure we are taking all appropriate steps to make sure this never happens again.

We have spent all morning on the phone trying to recover customer orders, and we will be spending all-day contacting customers. If you are one of them, please call the store directly as we want to make sure you are taken care of.

Owner, Tony Boloney’s”

One more thing (in relation to the highlighted portion above): This is a keen example to people “forgetting” how things used to be done – and their ineptitude without technology. You can tell, because the owner used the word “resorted,” as if it was PURE HELL actually “writing” something down. Go to ANY old-school place (like Biancamano’s for example), and they ALWAYS take their orders BY HAND and RARELY fuck anything up (especially with that kind of magnitude).

Perhaps those reliant on computers and technology can learn something?

I doubt it (just remember all the zombies after Hurricane Sandy who were helpless without their iPhones?)