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Nov 24, 2007 01:19 PM

Commander's Runs Out of Turkey on Thanksgiving!

Pretty shocking, but true...we had an 8pm reservation and were told (after we were seated and greeted) that they had run out of turkey at 7:30--so all visions of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner had to be cancelled. So we had fish and duck, spinach salad--all of which seemed like they had been sitting around for a while. Only the filet mignon was really good. Service was lightening fast--I guess the staff wanted to go home after a long day.

It was a mistake to reserve there in the first place--should have known better. But this was a very expensive mistake and we sure did miss our Thanksgiving turkey and trimmings!

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  1. That's horrid!! Did they offer you any kind of gift certificate or anything? What a nightmare!!

    1 Reply
    1. re: eat2thebeat

      No, surprisingly,nothing was offered or comped...and i agree with Hunt that normally we do stay home for Thanksgiving but this year we visited family in NO (a family that did not have a working oven) so we decided to go out...
      Our meals at Lilette and Cochon last week were great, though.

    2. I think everything should have been comped, minus drinks of course. That is truly unacceptable.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Tonto

        I agree, though personally, I'd not be likely to order a "traditional Thanksgiving meal" out. But, that is just me. I cannot recall of any restaurant (exception might be Bate's Turkey Farm in Tuscaloosa, AL), that does a better turkey, than my wife, with a dozen versions. OK, there was the great flaming, deep-fried turkey disaster of '00, but that was my doing. Her Zinfandel turkey was 100%. Her chipolte rubbed turkey was excellent. Her applesauce infused turkey (two variations), have been great. Yes, there was one other "flaming turkey," in my apartment oven, when I was greeted by the fire department, but that was back in '68 and all has been forgiven... did a "Christmas Story" thing and had Chinese that night.

        Still, for turkey, etc., I'll stay home. If we dine out, it is for the restaurant's other specialties.


      2. Jess, just curious as to who greeted you. Were any of the Brennans anywhere in sight?

        2 Replies
        1. re: Isabella

          We were greeted by a young woman hostess...I wouldn't know the Brennans since I was just a visitor to NO. I wonder if the Brennans were there.

          1. re: jess6612

            I'd write 'em a short note, stating that you were so disappointed to NOT get turkey on Thanksgiving Day, adding the part about 1)being a visitor to NOLA and 2)staying w/family who don't have working oven yet. Give management a chance to make it up to you...let us know if they respond.

        2. write them
          they are very good at handle all comments sent in to management.


          6 Replies
          1. re: jamielynn

            Thank you very much for the suggestion to write them--I will do that and let you know if I hear any thing.

            1. re: jess6612

              It seems to me that management had to know the minute it happened NO TURKEY OMG you should have expressed your disappointment immediately. Now you are pointing it out here instead of there. They pride themselves in having a BOD which means a member of the Brennan family is on duty on the floor and supposed to field and correct anything that is upsetting the diner. I think you should contact them and give them a chance to redeem themselves. Their standards are higher than what you experienced. I stand by my original post they should have comped the meal right then and there. Where was the BOD (BRENNAN ON DUTY)

              1. re: Tonto

                You know, it is a difficult call for a restaurant, heading into a holidy. I do not know what their hours of operation were for the rest of the holiday, but trying to get the right amount of ingredients, if one is to be closed for a period, can be a tough one. Now, with Thanksgiving, one often has certain dishes, and they are likely to not sell a day later, or two, or three. At home, we can do turkey sandwiches, usually open-face, with the wild rice, yams, cranberries, etc., but a restaurant is likely to not be able to sell this fare, a day later.

                This may, or may not, have come into play at CP. I do not know what they were thinking. I do not know what their hours of operations were, the next few days.

                In general, I agree with the OP. To run out of holiday fare, so early, shows a breakdown in the chain, someplace. I'd opt to give the management the opportunity to make good on the incident.

                A few years ago, we dined at a local restaurant prior to Christmas. They were open, and gladly took our reservations. When we began choosing from the menu, the first five choices were not available. The wines were limited, and the first three choices were "out." They were going to be closed for three days, after this night. While we were not happy campers, we got over it and finally said, "just bring us what you have, and serve up the wine that goes with it." We were tired of playing 20 questions, and only wanted to dine. It happens. Which restaurant wants a few hundred pounds of food to be tossed out? Who knows what the clientel is likely to order? I'm surprised, but only to a degree. It is a crap-shoot. If I were one of the Brennan family, involved in CP, I'd definitely comp a meal in good faith.

                Still, if I'm dining out on Thanksgiving, or Christmas, or whatever, I am more likely to order from the restaurant's main menu, rather than go for something that most would consider "traditional." That, however, is me, and not the OP.


                1. re: Bill Hunt

                  While its understandable that a restaurant doesn't want excess food to go to waste, when reservations are being taken in advance for a Holiday dinner, its unfathomable that they should run out of what should undoubtedly be a popular item.

                  Usually, Thanksgiving dinners at restaurants are reserved pretty well in advance (not usually a lot of walk-in's) and CP here clearly failed to properly estimate how many people would be ordering turkey. That they ran out at 730 just shows that they didn't even attempt to make a cautious guesstimate and buy a little extra.

                  As to Tonto's comment about expressing disappointment on the spot, I can understand not wanting to make a fuss before what is supposed to be a special dinner. It kinda ruins the mood, and you have to be hoping that the restaurant will spare you the uneasiness and comp you something.

                  1. re: Kingrover

                    Well you are right one doesn't want to make waves on a special occasion, but you can excuse yourself from the table and talk to a manager in private. Just a thought.
                    As for the turkey it is dirt cheap, how could you run out? Feed the leftovers to the staff who have given up their holiday.

                    1. re: Tonto

                      Hell, the leftovers can go into the turkey-andouille gumbo!