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Seriously....Brennans is soooo over-rated!

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Brennan's Brunch was terribly disappointing for myself and my guests. I would NOT recommend this place to anyone looking for a great place to have Sunday Brunch. The morning started off bad when we realized that the silverware was disgusting with hardened food on 3-out of-4 place settings at our table. The waiter was nice and noticeably embarrassed. The brunch price was $34/person (no alcohol) but most items required an up-charge. (i.e. add $7 for the banana foster, $9 for gumbo, etc.) Unless you wanted a baked apple with cream or strawberries and cream for your first course, you had to pay an up charge for all the other items. I ordered an egg dish with shrimp that was swimming in oil. It was NOT good and I wish that I was exaggerating but It was really BAD. So far it has been one of my worst dining experiences in New Orleans. By the end of brunch, each of us spent $65 per person and we just stared at each other. We couldn't believe that after such a great weekend, we had been hoodwinked into an expensive, over-rated tourist trap. My friends ended their visit on a really bad note and I wished that I had just cooked brunch for them.....

I must admit that I've had trouble finding a great brunch in New Orleans. I've been to the Sheraton Hotel for their Jazz Brunch, The Court of Two Sisters, and Cafe Adelaide. Unfortunately, none of them have impressed me; and none were as disappointing as Brennans. Is there a nice brunch with Jazz music and really good food? It doesn't have to be fancy..... just not a place getting by on their name and the good old days.

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  1. Dante's uptown does a great brunch, though no jazz. Surrey's is delicious for brunch, though again no music. It would be awesome if Stella, August or Cuvee added a brunch. Could only imagine the wonders those kitches could work up for breakfast.

    1. I've had the same experience. Before the storm it was slightly better but I still won't return.

      1. You haven't been to Commander's? I thought Arnaud's did a fine job, too. And I'd like to try Ralph's on the Park. And I haven't been there for brunch, but I've always loved Cafe Degas.

        1. Commander's does a lovely brunch, and if you're looking for jazz with your brunch, try Palace Cafe. I agree wholeheartedly with Brennan's as possibly the most overrated spot in town...

          1. Might want to give Ralph's on the Park a "look-see." We've had two wonderful meals there and will look forward to returning.

            Hunt

            2 Replies
            1. re: Bill Hunt

              Commander's, Ralph's and Palace Cafe do a fine brunch. Jazz at Commander's and Palace. Go to Commander's, excellent. We'll be there next Sunday for their brunch.

              1. re: dcata25

                Marigny Brasserie does a great brunch with some fun music.

            2. I'm not surprised at all. There are a handful of people who like Brennan's, but by and large most people would advise staying away.

              Even when the food is good, the price is outrageous. How good can $34 eggs be? And far too often folks complain about having a terrible experience, much like you did. It's funny, but you included Court of Two Sisters on your list, which is another place to avoid.

              I agree with the others that Commanders is a good choice.

              1. Did the Old Coffee Pot finally reopen? I always liked their breakfasts, which were large enough to qualify as brunch, and were in a courtyard, though without, as I recall , any music.

                5 Replies
                1. re: silverlakebodhisattva

                  It was open in early March. Did not look like it had changed, but maybe my memory is flagging. Food was great, as usual, but the service was odd, to say the least.

                  Hunt

                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                    Although its been years (about 15), and I'm sure my taste in food has matured somewhat, I fondly recall my breakfast at Brennan's from the milk punch, to the baked apple to the eggs hussarde and ending with a table-side bananas foster. The meal and service were excellent such that it has left a lasting impression on me all these years. In a few weeks I am returning to NOLA with my wife and while we had hoped to give Brennan's a return try our schedule does not permit it. I'm sorry to hear that others have such a low opinion of a restaurant that epitomized my French Quarter experience.

                    1. re: bgut1

                      It appears to be hit, or miss. I do not argue with any of the detractors, and fully expected to be one. However, OUR experience was very good - just short of excellent. I'm not sure what it would have taken to elevate the experience to that next level, but maybe the stemware, little touches with the food, broader wine list for that time of day? Still, I had to "eat my words," in front of my loving wife. Luckily, the bottle of Meursault (IIRC - will check notes prior to full review) went well with "crow."

                      Back when we lived in NOLA, we had some real ups and downs (more "downs") there. Every guest wanted to dine there, so we accommodated them. Some good meals, some nearly bad meals. Nothing to really make us want to do it again. Still, our last visit was right up there. I think that our young server did a bit of that, but then that is part of the role of a server - make the diner feel special and make them want to come back.

                      We are having a discussion, regarding a fav. restaurant in PHX. We love it, but some respected memebers of the CH SW board have had bad experiences. Go figure! I guess that in the restaurant business, stuff happens. Sometimes, it can be compensated for, and sometimes it cannot.

                      In the end, I was pleasently surprised, and we both loved the dining experience. Will the next diner feel the same way? Who knows, until they bother to do a review. Same thing for Brigtsen's. I've ALWAYS loved it, but others have not been so lucky. Who's right? Who's wrong? One cannot say, other than the reviews of that/those particular dining experiences. If mine was great, and your's was bad, what is the total of the equation? Nothing, as it was my experience and your experience, and since we were not dining together, they were each unique. We'd all love for every restaurant to be a constant. If it's good the first trip, it should be good *every* trip. It doesn't happen that way, unfortunately.

                      All we can ask for is that the reviewers give un-biased and objective reviews, and then the other subscribers can "fill in the blanks."

                      Hunt, recently a fan of Brennan's Saturday Brunch, but still not expecting to say that.

                      1. re: Bill Hunt

                        Well said Hunt. BTW. what made you go back after all those visits?

                        1. re: bgut1

                          We were strapped for time, staying at the Ritz for a series of meetings and I knew that someplace close would work best. While walking to the Coffee Pot, I happened to be stopped by a gaggle of tourists in front of Brennan's. I recalled our last dining experiences many years ago, plus also some of the up-down reviews, and decided to "take on for the team." I'm doing the same for the CH wine board, with some, um-m, less than normal wines for me. Boy, was I ever surprised, and in a very good way. Is it like that everyday? I doubt it. Is it like that for every diner? Obviously not. Still, our episode was a winner. It was not great, but very good. It was expensive, but I knew that it would be. In the end, it was worth the $, though not at the level of many other restaurants in NOLA. Though different meals, and under different circumstances, it was a better "deal" than my last visit to Antoine's, and really WANTED that to be great. Maybe going in with lowered expectations was a plus. Antoine's was a let down, but my expectations (remembering many great meals from decades ago) were high. Shoot, maybe it was just the phase of the Moon...

                          Glad that we went and wife was pleasently surprised, as well.

                          Hunt

                          PS some of these same words might appear in the final reviews, that I am working on, so expect a bit of deja vu.

                2. I regret having to be so negative, but Brennan's and Antoine's are the two biggest tourist traps in New Orleans. Have been for years. Your Brennan's experience is one more variation on a very old theme. If Lea & Perrins ever stop making worcestershire sauce, Antoine's will have to close. Brennan's first opened in the 1950s, and has managed to coast on a reputation that was made more than 30 years ago. It's a shadow of its former self.