Having read several good posts on the HoDo Restaurant and Lounge in Fargo as well as seeing glowing reviews, I made reservations well in advance before my visit to Fargo.
We had reservations for a Friday night at 7:30pm. We decided to go early (at 7pm) to have a drink in the lounge before dinner. Upon arrival we were very disappointed to walk into a very smoky environment with overflowing ashtrays. At first glance it appeared that everyone in the place was smoking. We decided to skip the drink and go ahead and have dinner. We went to the restaurant side where the place was only about 25% full. We explained to the hostess that our reservation was not until 7:30pm but since they they didn't appear to be busy could we go ahead and eat. She said no problem and proceeded to seat us over in a side "hallway" type area. If you are standing in front of the restaurant it's a narrow space down the right side with about 3 tables. BEWARE of this area unless you really want privacy and prefer to eat alone. On top of that, the windows only come down about 1/4 of the way from the top so you are staring at a wall. I asked the hostess if we could have a table by the window and she said "it is reserved". Huh? We had reservations.....do you have to be from Fargo in order to have a decent table? We decided to try and make the most of it since we had heard the food was great. Well, after waiting almost 15 minutes without so much as a greeting from a waiter, much less a glass of water and menus, we walked out of the place. Keep in mind, as I said, the place was not busy. Perhaps they are resting on their laurels but I was really appalled at the service and wasn't about to spend good money at a place that acted like they were doing us a favor. I'd also like to add that we were very well dressed so there should have been nothing from an appearance standpoint to cause them to ignore us and give us a lousy table. In my opinion that area should not even be part of the restaurant.
We walked down Broadway to "Monte's" where we were greeted warmly and had a fantastic meal. If you want a nice dinner downtown that is where I would recommend. Avoid the "attitude" at HoDo unless, apparently, you are one of their "regulars" with an "in".