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Tujaques -- feh!!

  • s

That's the sound I felt like making while eating at Tujaques on Saturday evening. The only reason we ate there was because my husband had been given an $80 gift certificate to the restaurant and it was about to expire on Sunday, so we didn't want to waste it. My husband said his food was mediocre. Mine was downright awful.

First course was about five tiny mushy thawed shrimp on lettuce with remoulade sauce. The sauce was fine. Second course was so-called crab and corn bisque. The only trace of crab in mine was a bit of shell, and instead of cream, the soup was thickened with cornstarch. The serving was about 1/2 cup. After that came the famed boiled beef brisket with horsradish sauce. I know it's traditional but to me it is simply stringy bland overcooked beef. My husband ate mine.

He chose the crawfish bisque for his entree and thought it wasn't bad, but I had the "shrimp bordelaise" served over pasta. The shrimp tasted old and funky. I took one bite and had a hard time swallowing, and then there was that unpleasant taste that lingered. Even the sauce tasted funky. My husband tasted a shrimp and agreed that they weren't good. To the restaurant's credit, the waiter inquired about our meals and we told him about the shrimp, and he offered to bring something else, but by that time I had lost my appetite. A little later he brought a new plate of shrimp bordelaise and I tasted one shrimp and it was slightly better, but I really didn't want it. The owner came over and apologized and said that the first dish "had too much thyme in it." Sure.

The bread pudding at least cleansed my palate a bit, and they took my entree off the bill, so our gift certificate covered the meal and two drinks, and left us only with the tip to pay. Too bad we didn't just let the gift certificate expire.

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  1. Interesting observation. My wife and I are coming to New Orleans this weekend, and Tujaques was on our list for dinner either Friday or Saturday. I hope your experience was the exception rather than the rule. Maybe your post will generate some more observations/opinions. Should we delete Tujaques from our list??

    6 Replies
    1. re: David
      h
      Hungry Celeste

      It's definitely not one of my favorites, though I do think the bar has a cool, antique vibe. I go there with my mother for nostalgia lunches and b/c she loves boiled beef. I wouldn't choose it myself--boring menu and (mostly) boring food.

      1. re: David

        I would definitely take it off the list. If you want classic New Orleans food, Galatoire's would be a much better choice. The dreadful shrimp could have been an exception, but the rest of the mediocre food is, I'm pretty sure, the norm now.

        1. re: David

          I'd also recommend NOT going to Tujague's. I think it's one of those tourist traps that only attracts people because of its location and it's (formerly good) reputation. It wouldn't be in my list of Top 200 restaurants in the area and it won't make a good impression. Places in/near the quarter that you might want to try: Galatoire's, Bayona, Marisol, Muriel's, G.W. Fins, Bella Luna, Palace Cafe, etc.

          If you want to take a cab, street car, or drive: Gabrielle, Dick & Jenny's, Brigtsen's.. and a hundred or so others...

          1. re: David

            Yes, delete it. There are 100 better choices.

            1. re: David
              t
              Tha Groovin' Gourmet

              With only 2 nights in town, there are plenty of better choices.

              If you've not been, I would certainly give Brigstsen's some serious consideration. The pinnacle of modern Louisiana cuisine IMNSHO.

              1. re: David

                Can't really say, as it was so very long ago, that we last dined there. It WAS a good restaurant once. Maybe the laurel branches are getting worn out?

                Then, the food was good, and the service very good. The venue was worth a few "bonus points," but times do change.

                I'd look to the locals for an update. This review does not bode well.

                Most of all, enjoy,

                Hunt

              2. Come on everyone, lets be fair. Tujaques is one of our oldest and traditional. It would be a shame to let one bad experience spoil the great things it has done in the past. Lets give them a chance, bring things like this to their attention, they will correct it. I recall many years ago, the complaint about Tujaques were the waiters. The old liners could not be fired, so as they retired new waiters were brought in and problem was solved. Does the Gichet family still operate it?

                2 Replies
                1. re: Wendel

                  Why on earth would they not correct the waiter problem?

                  1. re: Bob Ferell

                    Story goes that the waiters had been with the place from back in the days of the great depression. They worked only for tips and no salary and even gave some of the tips to the owner in order to keep the place going. After the hard times were over they were promised to have a job at Tujacqes for life. The Owner put it in his will. Thus, his son and grandsons who ran the operation honored his wishes and put up with the rude waiters.

                2. My son and I ate at Tujaques for lunch a couple of months ago and while it wasn't the best meal we had while we were in NO, (that would have been the dinner we had at Clancey's) it was by no means awful. In fact we enjoyed it quite a bit. What I liked was the old time feel and service. The service was very good and reminded me of going out to eat with my grandparents when I was a young child decades ago.

                  1. Well past the time of this post, but this popped up when I was looking for something on Tujaques to send someone. Why in the world would anyone who knows anything about Tujaques walk in and NOT order the boiled beef? At least one of you? That is the only reason to go to Tujaques. It is a fabulous New Orleans restaurant, but please- there specialty is the boiled beef and it is outstanding. Go to the bar and have a boiled beef sandwhich. Feh? Please!!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Gimmetheold

                      And you can get the shrimp remoulade at the bar as well. And that bar is truly a place to linger for a little while.

                    2. Either my post was deleted, or did not go up.

                      I'm sorry to hear the report. We had (many decades ago) quite a few good to very good meal there. Have not gone back, since we moved - 1980. Still, from those days, it held a warm spot in our hearts.

                      Seemed that whenever we dined there, the main was chicken. I would rather have had seafood, but that is life with such a restaurant. Still, the chicken was always good.

                      Sorry that it has fallen down. Have not seen them mentioned much, so there may be a reason.

                      Hunt

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Bill Hunt

                        UH, Bill--------Do you realize the negative post you're answering was posted in 2004?

                        1. re: Plano Rose

                          Had not checked the date - duh!

                          I wish that this board had the date of initiation listed on the Board page, like the Adobe forums do. There are other great things about the CH layout (and I recommend these to Adobe all of the time), but when old posts pop up from the grave, I often miss that.

                          Thanks,

                          Hunt