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Brennan's - HUGE dissapointment

I went because it was the first time I've visited NOLA in years, and this place held warm fuzzies in my memories as being such a great place...should have left it to memory.

Where to begin?

Seated in the front, second-story room and the floor (I assume from the air-conditioning) was vibrating enough to put ripples in my coffee. Very distracting and annoying toward the end.

Three other groups were then seated as we waited for our mimosas.

It took forever to get our soup appetizers and my oyster stew was bland, gloppy and all around unappetizing. Tasted like canned condensed cream of whatever. Hardly touched it and the waiter never even blinked as he picked up the nearly full bowls.

As we waited FOREVER for our entrees, it occurred to me what they were doing - they were serving us "en masse". We were waiting for everyone in the room (not our table - the ROOM) to finish each course before ALL of us were severed the next. WTF?

I ordered Eggs Hussarde and was going to split with my dining companion who ordered Eggs Sardou (we informed the waiter we were going to do this, as he said they couldn't split orders...you'd think he'd at least bring out an extra plate, but I digress). I ordered mine sans poached egg and was absolutely shocked when I was served one regular Hussarde and one SANS EVERYTHING BUT THE HAM AND BREAD. That's right. No Merchand sauce/no hollandaise. Serves me right for special ordering no egg, I guess, but the waiter served it to me like that. Good grief.

On top of that, as I said everything came to the doorway of our room with little metal covers and sat for quite a while until everything arrived. That meant those unlucky ones whose entrees arrived first, received cold, soggy breaded entrees (when I tried to pry one of them off my plate to share with my companion, half the rusk stuck to the plate). To add insult to injury, I SWARE the hollandaise was a mix. If not, I shudder to think of the "chef's" training.

Again, all diners were made to wait for everyone in the room finished. As most of my table hardly touched their meals (again, no concern from the waiter, even after we voiced our disappointment) this made for a very long wait.

Instead of the intimate table-side show of their now famous bananas foster was, you got it, en masse. The waiter actually parked in the middle of the room and loudly called us all to attention. He then gave a "history" of the dish/restaurant and didn't even know the dates or details. I felt like I was on a very bad tour group. He even did a "one, two three" for the flambé. Again, we were all served en masse.

I wasn't paying, so I can only say how sorry I was that this horrendous experience cost the gracious host $245 for four people. Outragous!

I suspect they are catering to the old crowd and tourists, but I must say this was the singularly most disappointing meal I've had in a very, very long time.

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  1. Your report seems to be the consensus lately. Wonder why?

    1. We ended up there for Sun brunch. Can't say the food was bad but certainly over priced. My in laws were satisfied and that was more important. Glad I wasn't paying for that one.

      1. Yikes. We are going to be in NO in a couple of weeks and have brunch resers as Mom loves all that kind of eggy food. Are we making a mistake and if so, where else should we go? It'll be a Monday, not a Sunday...

        1 Reply
        1. re: MellieMac

          For brunch, I recommend Ralph's in the Park. It is a Brennan property, but is excellent. They have live music on Sundays. Make a reservation so you won't have to sit at the bar as we did. (we didn't mind sitting at the bar, but would have been more relaxing to be at a table)

        2. I don't know who you might mean by "the old crowd" but it can't be New Orleans natives. I don't know anyone who's been there in ages.

          Do you really think that locals would sit still like orphans out of Oliver Twist waiting for their food, listening to a lecture on the history of a restaurant that they probably knew better than that waiter? They had made that history before the place went downhill.

          The last time we went in the late 80s, we ordered some classic New Orleans brunch drinks like Ramos Gin Fizzes and Milk Punches and the waiter looked at us like we had landed from Mars. It's been a tourist place for years.

          1. WOW. Is the member of the Brennan family in charge of this restaurant still alive? I think this may be the worst restaurant experience I've ever heard of.