197 Park Avenue
Rochester, NY 14607
Hogan’s has been on park for over 20 years. It’s got a great little spot next to Parkleigh and on both sides of the building are fabulous murals. Walking into Hogans, you are transported into a neat, slightly funky place. It has the fun quirks of an older building with some creative decorating which makes it casual and interesting at the same time.
The menu is larger than I expected. You have your usual selection of salads and sandwiches, many with a fun culinary flair. Hogan’s has nightly specials that present more of a fine dining experience, without the stuffiness you might expect from this price point. The offerings change nightly, and you can view the menu online. I am always a bit skeptical about “nightly changing menus”. I’ve been to restaurants where they never change. Surprisingly enough, Hogan’s actually changes it up! While you may not be able to order the entrees we ordered, the descriptions should give you an indication of what you can expect.
For drinks we ordered a Park Avenue Ale ($4.00), and a Stove Pipe Stout ($4.00). Both had a great draft taste. For those who might want to try a darker beer, but are afraid of the thick, strong taste, try the Park Avenue. For a dark beer, it was still extremely refreshing. The Stout was also recommended and it is a good change of pace from Guinness.
Fresh bread was brought to the table after our order was taken. Normally, I can pass on the bread. I do this because I know I have a hard time finishing everything anyway. I never see dessert (which is probably a good thing!). The bread came out and smelled heavenly. Hogan’s bakes their bread on site and they do a spectacular job. The taste was incredible too, with a slight hint of cinnamon. This was especially delicious later in soaking up some broth in my soup.
I started with the French Onion Soup ($3.75). First, it was served in a crock. This is important. I have been to places where they serve French Onion Soup in a bowl. That should be against the law. The soup was just right in temperature, the onions sautéed to perfection, and the cheese melted perfectly. My only slight complaint was even though it did note a hint of sherry, I felt it was much stronger than that, making the broth a bit much near the end.
My dining companion had the Seafood Chowder($2.75). A creamy, tasty chowder that was enjoyable. There was one seasoning that we couldn’t put our finger on that just made it slightly “weird’. It was still extremely edible, if just a little off tasting to us.
For my main course, I ordered the Center Cut Pork Chop ($16.00). The pork chop I found to be tougher than expected, especially when it was slightly pink inside. The accompanying sides made the dish all worth while. The pork chop was served on a bed of homemade applesauce which made the tougher than expected pork chop taste much better. The horseradish mashed potatoes were out of this world, and whatever they sautéed the green beans in, was incredible. (Was it a mix of butter and extra virgin olive oil? That’s about the taste I remember. Yum!)
My dining companion decided to continue down the seafood path, and ordered the Grilled Mahi Mahi ($21.00). The only negative comment was that it doesn’t really taste grilled, and our impression was that it was probably baked first. However, the fish was a perfect texture and the bed of what was similar to jambalaya, including onions, peppers and a tomato sauce, made the meal fantastic.
This is a restaurant I would recommend, even with a few “off” things. I look forward to returning and trying out some of their more casual fare, along with tasting more of the varied specials they have.
Read more reviews at eatoutrochester.blogspot.com