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Tujagues?

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seatowner Feb 24, 2009 10:19 AM

My travel partners sent me a link to Tujagues website with the title "Why have we not been to this place?!!" I know there must be a reason...so chowhounds, talk me in or out of Tujagues. I am especially interested in the bar. Do they serve lunch? I only saw a dinner menu online. They do have some decent accolades, but I put my trust in y'all.

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    BrooksNYC RE: seatowner Feb 24, 2009 11:28 AM

    The bar is austere and very old, and I've had good Sazeracs there. It's a wonderful place to take shelter from a mid-afternoon thunderstorm. I can't vouch for the food, but the dining room is separate from the bar.

    1. m
      Mark Alberts RE: seatowner Feb 24, 2009 11:46 AM

      Three of us had a late meal there one night after Jazzfest a couple of years ago. As I recall it was prix-fixe with four or five courses -- some you got to choose, others were set. I remember it being tasty and not a bad deal for the price, and we had fun. We enjoyed a chuckle when they delivered our desserts to the next table, the diners at which dug right in even though they were only two courses into their meal -- they just assumed it was the next course. Old-school without being fussy about it -- if it appeals to you at all, I say give it a try.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Mark Alberts
        BayouTeche RE: Mark Alberts Feb 24, 2009 12:04 PM

        As Mark said, it's a prix-fixe menu. Food is average at best, but the place does have a charm about it and it is quite a bargain. That said, I'd instead suggest parking yourself at the bar one afternoon, have a few cocktails, and order their brisket poboy (excellent boiled brisket on cap bread with spicy horseradish sauce). Enjoy!

      2. Panama Hat RE: seatowner Feb 24, 2009 02:17 PM

        Some of the best fried chicken in town but you have to order and eat it in the bar, not the restaurant.

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          mattyboy RE: seatowner Feb 24, 2009 03:31 PM

          Stumbled upon this restaurant last summer in NOLA. The food is good and a bargain to boot. If memory serves me I had oyster/artichoke soup , boiled brisket with horseradish remoulade , broiled drum with crawfish cream , and a banana bread pudding with a praline sauce I still dream about! Service was excellent and professional. It seems to me it is a restaurant that hasnt changed with the times and that is a good thing.

          1. s
            Steve RE: seatowner Feb 25, 2009 12:44 PM

            Tujague's is an unusual restaurant. Odd vibe. Cheap prices for a multi-course meal, waiters dressed in cheap tuxes, ancient, down trodden decor, rushed early-bird service. Old, old place. No menu. Everyone in the restaurant gets the same meal (with a couple of exceptions).

            You can eat very well here. But i would have to say the sum is less than the parts.

            There are two notable variations to the set menu, but they are not offered, you have to ask.

            They will automatically serve you an excellent, albeit tiny cup of turkey gumbo. They will also bring you some shrimp with an excellent remoulade. The next course is their historic boiled beef, I think the only item they serve from their original days (this is one of the oldest restaurants in the US). Instead of the boiled beef, you can order an antipasto salad which is darn good. For the main course, you are given a choice of fish or steak, but instead you should ask for the chicken bonne femme. This is an outrageously good dish of chicken on the bone served under a mountain of parsley and garlic. The dessert is a bread pudding which is only ok.

            They will not tell you about the substitutions. You have to ask. If you do the substitutions, then Tujague's can be an impressive meal. Without the substitutions, the boiled beef is a tiny piece of tasteless beef and the main course is below average.

            Still, the small portions of gumbo and shrimp and rushed service (after all, the food just comes out since everyone gets the same thing) give this place an odd quality. Some might call it charming. When I was there, I noticed plenty of locals celebrating birthdays, FWIW.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Steve
              BayouTeche RE: Steve Feb 26, 2009 06:55 AM

              That about nails it Steve.

              1. re: BayouTeche
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                Hungry Celeste RE: BayouTeche Feb 26, 2009 07:38 AM

                You can get the chicken bonne femme in the bar, too.

            2. k
              kibbles RE: seatowner Feb 26, 2009 12:38 PM

              its known more for its bar, i think. an old "standing bar" where business men of the old day would come in and stand around at the bar. their bartenders are sorta curmudgeonly, which i guess is now almost a shtick.

              the beef brisket poboy at the bar is pretty good.

              1 Reply
              1. re: kibbles
                j
                jamy RE: kibbles Feb 27, 2009 09:20 PM

                Opinion runs hot and cold on Tujagues. It's like a museum, persisting in serving the same table d'hote menu dating to when its primary clientele was market workers across the street at the French Market. (They took their main meal of the day early, since they started work before sunrise.) A lot of visitors think old is going to mean fancy and feel like they've been taken, because fancy is not the strong suit. Think of it as a 19th century blue plate special. Some of whether you like it is going to depend on personal taste. (For example, does boiled brisket with horseradish tomato sauce sound interesting to you?)

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