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May 6, 2007 06:55 PM

worst shabbat dinner of my life

Last week I wrote to this board asking for suggestings of a place where I could order a shabbat dinner delivered because my mother who keeps strictly kosher was coming to visit and I could not cook for her in my kitchen. I received 2 reponses (see
First I tried to order from Seuda as suggested, but they told me that they were short-staffed and couldn't take my order. I clarified: are you sure you don't want my business? In the end, after waiting on hold for over 20 min. I hung up and went to suggestion #2.

We ordered a shabbat dinner from Essex on Coney downtown. Big mistake. I just finished writing a letter of complaint to them. Here are some excerpts:

"...First, someone had crossed the order of potato kugel off of the order form and substituted mashed potatoes. This change was made without my consent, and I would not have agreed to it. Second, we ordered a quart of chicken soup with 3 matzoh balls. What we received was 2 matzoh balls on top of some mush. Third, the soup tasted artificial, like it was made from a mix, with no attempt to doctor it up with any real food. Fourth, the steamed vegetables, as well as the brisket, were flavorless. There was no seasoning used as far as we could tell. We had to throw the vegetables away they were so inedible, particularly the zucchini which had an off, bitter taste. Finally, we received 3 pieces of “cake” which also went straight into the trash after one bite. The cake was so stale that it was hard and the cream inside tasted of chemicals or plastic.
To top the whole thing off, we may have been overcharged for this terrible meal. The bottom right corner of our receipts were already torn off when they arrived, as if a total had been calculated, but then changed."

On top of all that, the order was supposed to have arrived at 10:30am, but showed up 2 hrs. late after my mother called to find out what the status was when they were 15 min late. It was clear that they had forgotten the order entirely since the food was hot when it arrived, like they had just put it together.

Suggestions for her next visit would be greatly appreciated! We ordered from a great place on her last visit, but for the life of me, I can't remember the name or find any records of it. I feel terrible that I had to serve this food to my mother who was visiting for her birthday!

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  1. I'm really sorry about your experience. I've had and ordered from essex dozens of times and never had that issue. Next time you can also try Chap a Nosh Plus not sure where the'll deliver to though. But they also have a habit of substituting or crossing out stuff w/o calling first.

    1. Next time you order, you might want to order from Meisner's take out. Their food is delicious. They're located on Ave. M and E.17 Street in Brooklyn.

      1 Reply
      1. re: magsm

        magsm: What foods in particular would you recommend from Meisner's?

      2. That's awful!

        I'm so sorry this happened to you. It's particularly sad, because you were going to great trouble to accomodate your mother. It is difficult enough to negotiate the waters between different levels of observance within a family, without out this type of added stress.