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Andrew Jaeger's House of Seafood: Going Downhill?

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I visitted Andrew Jaeger's a few times toward the end of 2006 and had
consistently excellent meals. Especially enjoyed their Wednesday night
special, which would usually include a NY Stip Steak, Lobster and/or Crab,
a bisque soup, and a salad. All at an incredible price of just $20.
In every case, the food was excellent. And the value unbeatable.

(Posted a gushing review at http://www.chowhound.com/topics/33914... )

I visitted again last week, and was a bit saddened that the experience wasn't
up to par. First, they've jetissoned the Wednesday lobster/crab special, and now
have a $17 gumbo + salad + catfish. Hmm... fine I suppose, but not lobster.

The menu was also different and quite a bit more limitted than before.

I ordered the gumbo appetizer, and it arrived at the table almost immediately. And cold!
Then tried the NY Strip entry for the entree, and this showed up as two tiny
pounded-thin pieces of meat, served on rice, with a forgettable sauce. And for $27.
The flavor of the meat was okay, but it wasn't exactly what I was expecting when
I ordered "NY Strip". Looked more like discarded pieces of flank steak.

And I'd formerly had good waitresses there (usually Southern). The waitress last week
was a barely competent Eastern European woman who got mixed up with the drink order, then forgot to ask how we wanted our meat cooked. Perhaps I'm being a bit harsh, but
I'd had such positive experiences there in the past, the difference is glaring.

So, I'm curious: did I simply experience an off night, or have others observed a decline?
The restaurant was always suspiciously empty (and shouldn't have been). But now I worry
they're cutting corners to save money and may be on the way out.

Any thoughts?

J.

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  1. Maybe some of the original staff have returned to New Orleans?

    1. Anyone else been there lately? When I was there in the fall, our server was closing escrow on a house out here. She said it would be years before there would be anything to return to in NOLA and she was putting down roots here.

      1. I wonder if they made a trip back to staff the place back there for Mardi Gras and had temps in here?

        4 Replies
        1. re: NoeMan

          San Francisco is the sole outpost for Jaeger. But maybe they did go home to party. Would love to hear from anyone who's been recently. And for jflesh, you were there on a Wednesday again?

          According to the website, there's now a local's special, 3 courses for $15, changes every night.
          http://condorsf.com/

          1. re: Melanie Wong

            Yep, was there on a Wednesday again. Mysteriously I've only visitted on Wednesdays, though only for the first visit was this intentional. Was told about
            the change by our server when I asked about the possibility of the "old" special.

            The special offering last Wednesday was gumbo + "salad with Italian dressing [the server's words] + catfish (prep undisclosed). Opted for a standard menu item instead, along with an order of the gumbo. But it appears to me that the policy on specials has changed _as_well_as_ the standard menu (now rotating options as well?). Kinda bummed. The lobster and steak for $20 was a great deal.

            Am hoping these theories about bacchanalian staff indulgences are true, and that
            I simply got the B-team last week... and all will be back to normal once hangovers subside.

            J.

            1. re: jflesh

              The special was likely seasonal. This is the most expensive time of year for lobster.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                Good point. And they had switched to crab in late December...

                Too bad they cut corners on the steak though. This is probably the
                primary reason I was compelled to gripe: a $27 "NY Strip" should be
                more than a couple of gnarled 3 oz slices of flank steak.

                Really hope my next visit recalls the earlier experiences
                (where a steak was a juicy steak... and while a lobster or crab side would
                be great, you've got a point that this might not be possible year 'round)

                J.

        2. Thanks for the additional investigation guys. Would appear that not much
          has changed on the administrative side, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed
          that my last visit just happened during an off-period.

          Though hopefully we'll get some comments from recent visitors to
          corroborate this...