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Tujague's or Audubon Clubhouse Cafe?

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zamorajm Mar 30, 2011 11:15 AM

We are planning a rehearsal dinner for 65 people. Both places are running for around the same price. We are having a hard time deciding. The wedding will take place at the chapel on Loyola's campus so it would be nice to just walk to Audubon Clubhouse after the rehearsal but it is also the grooms birthday so maybe it would be nice to leave Tujague's close to the quarter for a few more rounds after dinner. Suggestions?

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Tujague's
823 Decatur Street, New Orleans, LA 70116

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  1. h
    hazelhurst RE: zamorajm Mar 30, 2011 11:23 AM

    For me it would depend on the menu...what is each one offering? A college friend just attended a reception at Audubon a few weeks ago and he said it was very good. Didn;t get details on what he had, though.

    2 Replies
    1. re: hazelhurst
      z
      zamorajm RE: hazelhurst Mar 30, 2011 11:34 AM

      Tujague's had first responded responded...

      Dear Zamorajm:

      Appreciate your interest in Tujague's for your upcoming dinner for 60. We are New Orleans second oldest serving a set table d' hote menu since 1856. We have a private room available, there is no charge for the room. Please visit our web site for more information on us. If you look under banquets, interactive floor plan, first floor, it's the main dining room. .
      Below are our most popular rehearsal dinner options, understand we can change and do whatever you want. After looking over, will be happy to answer any questions or discuss details.
      Our regular menu is as follows:

      We offer the following menu:
      Shrimp Remoulade
      Soup du Jour
      Brisket of Beef with Horseradish Sauce
      Choice of 3 Entrées
      Dessert
      Coffee

      Cost is $39.00 per person plus tax and gratuity. If Filet Mignon is offered as an additional entrée choice, add $8.00 per Filet ordered.

      Bar Options:
      1 Hour Open Bar add $10.50 per person plus tax and gratuity
      House Wine served with Dinner add $10.25 per person plus tax and gratuity
      Both Open Bar and House Wine served with Dinner add $19.00 per person plus tax and gratuity
      Wine and beer before and during dinner add $17.00/person

      We look forward to the opportunity to serve your guests a taste of New Orleans.

      Steven Latter
      Tujague's Restaurant
      823 Decatur Street
      New Orleans, La 70116
      504-525-8676

      Note:
      The Audubon Clubhouse Cafe also has similar Louisiana style food. The groom has only eaten at the Clubhouse said commented it was very good. We haven't tried Tujague's but it looks wonderful.

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      Tujague's
      823 Decatur Street, New Orleans, LA 70116

      1. re: zamorajm
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        hazelhurst RE: zamorajm Mar 30, 2011 11:41 AM

        Tujague's has its loyal following...I am one of them but I don't get there as often as I'd like to because I end up defaulting to other places. Chicken Bonne Femme there has always been good. The brisket is one of the classics although it is nothing you couldn't get at a good german joint in, say, Cleveland. It has that wonderful bar and the location is great--but then there's the parking issue...

        I think if I were returning after a long absence and had to get bang-for-the-buck, I'd try to do both...dinner at Audubon and then run down to the Quarter. Why not? Streetcar is right there.

        Gotta say that the $39 per person, even with the add-ons, looks pretty good. It's been almost impossible for any outfit I am with to get a prix fixe anywhere decent for under $65 (plus drinks).

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        Tujague's
        823 Decatur Street, New Orleans, LA 70116

    2. c
      collardman RE: zamorajm Mar 30, 2011 11:38 AM

      Wow, that is comparing oranges and cumquats. For the logistics I'd much rather get 65 people to Audubon than to the FQ.

      But I also agree on the food choice. I know what Tujague's has (and I like it for what it is) but have no idea who caters at Audubon.

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      Tujague's
      823 Decatur Street, New Orleans, LA 70116

      1 Reply
      1. re: collardman
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        zamorajm RE: collardman Mar 30, 2011 12:06 PM

        I know oranges to cumquats but they are around the same budget.

      2. uptownlibrarian RE: zamorajm Mar 30, 2011 11:45 AM

        I've been to a couple rehearsal dinners at Tujague's, and one similar event at the Audubon Clubhouse. The food was much better at Tujague's, but it still wasn't any great shakes. And I'm a huge fan of Tujague's so it kind of hurts to say that.

        Is handicap accessibility an issue? The stairway to the upstairs at Tujague's is steep and narrow, and I don't remember there being an elevator.

        2 Replies
        1. re: uptownlibrarian
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          hazelhurst RE: uptownlibrarian Mar 30, 2011 11:49 AM

          I know what you mean about how "it hurts to say that" I am in the same boat. But my friend was impressed with Audubon...it was a reception, though...maybe that makes a difference. And he's been in Dallas since he left Tulane thirty years ago...maybe THAT makes a difference, too!

          1. re: uptownlibrarian
            z
            zamorajm RE: uptownlibrarian Mar 30, 2011 11:52 AM

            If at Tujague's it would be on the first floor in the main room. You can see it on the website under banquets. So far Tujague's food is beating the Clubhouse...

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            Tujague's
            823 Decatur Street, New Orleans, LA 70116

          2. p
            Paisley16 RE: zamorajm Mar 30, 2011 11:51 AM

            For what it's worth, we just had our wedding reception at the Audubon Tea Room and everyone is still raving about the food. I know both the Tea Room and the Clubhouse use Audubon Catering.

            My fiance had a bachelor dinner of sorts at Tujague's and did not care for the food (although he did say the brisket was good!). I haven't been to Tujagues, but I doubt we'll get there anytime soon after his experience.

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            Tujague's
            823 Decatur Street, New Orleans, LA 70116

            6 Replies
            1. re: Paisley16
              z
              zamorajm RE: Paisley16 Mar 30, 2011 12:04 PM

              That's helpful to know you had a wonderful food experience at the Audubon Tea Room and that they are catered by the same people.

              1. re: Paisley16
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                Overweight RE: Paisley16 Mar 31, 2011 01:36 PM

                I echo Paisley's suggestions. I also just attended a Tea Room wedding and everyone (all locals) were really impressed with the food.

                Tujaques is another story. I recently went there for a Mardi Gras event and was served the menu detailed above. Nearly every man at our table (again, all locals who love the old line creole type food) agreed it was one of the worst dinners they'd ever had. What looked to be frozen shrimp served over shredded lettuce with overpowering remoulade, a chicken entree that was a mess and the brisket was pretty weak too, very bland. The fact that the brisket is their signature dish speaks volumes. Anyway, Tujaque's is a great place to go drink, and the location is great for Quarter activities, but definitely don't go for the food.

                1. re: Overweight
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                  hazelhurst RE: Overweight Mar 31, 2011 01:57 PM

                  Well, the brisket is-what-it-is..I always liked MAylie's better but they are long gone.Remoulade? Well, I like a powerful remoulade but usually over there I get the chicken bonne femme which, on every recent visit, has been the standard prep of a basic dish..

                  On reflection I am thinking the setting at AUdubon would be nicer, though. If you could hang in the bar at Tujaque's everything would be fine.

                  1. re: hazelhurst
                    uptownlibrarian RE: hazelhurst Mar 31, 2011 02:05 PM

                    Yep, I only ever get bonne femme in the bar, most recently the other weekend for my birthday. The quality has never wavered. Audubon is probably the better choice at the same price point.

                    1. re: hazelhurst
                      o
                      Overweight RE: hazelhurst Mar 31, 2011 02:19 PM

                      I wish the bonn femme had been on the menu we were served. The chicken dish we were given was a total disaster. A quarter of roasted chicken with a side of pasta with cream sauce and the whole thing was topped with potato chips which were scattered with diced raw garlic and parsley. Pretty perplexing combination. Fortunately most of us had been drinking for a few hours and that helped numb the tastebuds (before the raw garlic did it).

                      1. re: Overweight
                        h
                        hazelhurst RE: Overweight Mar 31, 2011 02:25 PM

                        That does sound dreadful...I attribute it to the craze to "Stand out." Me? I'm happy with the simple classics. [Nothing herein shall be construed to be a knock on casseroles with those little potato string things than come in a can.]

                2. Bill Hunt RE: zamorajm Apr 2, 2011 08:40 PM

                  Interesting thread.

                  I have always enjoyed Tujaque's, but do find that it does not get a lot of love here. For me, it HAS been many years, so who knows?

                  I stopped into the Audubon Teahouse and picked up their literature. In the process, I met with several of the managers, and asked a lot of questions, for upcoming events, not that dissimilar to yours. They had all the right answers, but I have not eaten there yet. That is the test, just as it would be with Tujaque's now, and not many years ago. Still, I was impressed with those answers.

                  Enjoy, and hope that the locals will be able to fill in all the blanks for you.

                  Hunt

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Bill Hunt
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                    CharlieH RE: Bill Hunt Apr 3, 2011 08:06 AM

                    The Audubon Tea House and the Audubon Clubhouse are completely different venues and shouldn't be confused.

                    1. re: CharlieH
                      Bill Hunt RE: CharlieH Apr 7, 2011 07:49 PM

                      Thank you for that clarification. Obviously, I was confused.

                      Appreciated,

                      Hunt

                  2. s
                    savory south RE: zamorajm Apr 8, 2011 08:59 AM

                    They are so dissimilar, it's hard to compare. Plus there is the price of logistics.

                    At the clubhouse, depending on the weather, they can set tables out on the lawn and even set up a bar there. It's really quite unique and especially good if there are any kids involved for the rehearsal dinner. The food all gets catered through Audubon Institute and these guys are pros.
                    So any last minute changes or complications, not a problem. The catering kitchen for the Institute is accross the street. The prices are competitive because they are doing other events that same week and they are very efficient in production. Alos they really base alot of their menu on fresh and in-season. The clubhouse is probably a bit of a loss-leader for AI but having an event is better than not having anything there on a Friday night. The clubhouse is lovely, with nice amenities and stunning landscape. It's like having the park for your party. Don't worry about bugs either.

                    Tujaque's food is just rote with the exception of the chicken bonne femme (but you have to truly like garlic in a big way). IMHO the food will be nothing special, all of it is regular menu items and sitting on trays in the cooler. Whether it goes for your group or the family who came in from Des Moines, it doesn't matter. It's going to get sold that day or the next. That's one reason it's so cheap.I'm assuming they are having you set up in the 2nd floor room??. In theory it can do 75/100 but it is a tight fit and they are including the 2 tiny rooms where the bar is usually set up. The good part is when you need air you can go onto the balcony. Make sure you have full use of the balcony in the contract, Don't let them book you into the rooms on the lower level - they are somewhat small. Tujaque's is old and the stairs are narrow and the bathrooms....well. I love the bar @ Tujaques but find the restaurant forgettable.

                    You need to think about the cost and time of getting from Loyola to the dinner. For Audubon,
                    you can walk it and for those family members who are not in the wedding, they can get there
                    in advance and enjoy the park while they wait. and have a drink Even if Aunt Alicia needs to get a cab (United) from the church around the park to Magazine St, the cost is minimal.

                    To get to the FQ, you either need a fleet of taxis, or rental of party vans/limo. Using private cars will be a PIA for finding legal parking or the driver has to go to one of the lots and walk over.
                    Then all again for when you leave. If you're going to be drinking then you really should have paid drivers (cab or limo service). Nothing can ruin a wedding better than a DUI.

                    You know you could organize a trip to the Uptown bars on Magazine St for those that need to do that after the rehearsal dinner. Or as Hazelhurst recommended go into the Quarter. From the Clubhouse either would be easy. If you do a separate posting on this, you'll get lots of suggestions.

                    Just out of curiosity - did you contact the Columns Hotel for the dinner?

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                    Columns Hotel
                    3811 Saint Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70115

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