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thinking about Brennan's?

JazzyB Jul 20, 2012 07:55 AM

Think again

  1. h
    hazelhurst Jul 20, 2012 08:47 AM

    Ouch! Bill Hunt, whose taste seems in line with my own, has said good things about them but he would tell you that intelligence is somewhat dated. A friend goes with a mob every year the week before Xmas and he says they have been just fine. I've not been there in years myself.

    16 Replies
    1. re: hazelhurst
      JazzyB Jul 20, 2012 11:12 AM

      It's been years for me as well. The last time was the last time for me to be disappointed . I find the Brennan venues mediocre. No more dining with the Brennan wishing I'd gone elsewhere. II do enjoy lunch at Commander's, but that is due to the experience more so than the food. Can't comment on Cafe B since I haven't been.

      1. re: JazzyB
        sanglier Jul 20, 2012 12:09 PM

        Never the same after Katrina: goodbye screaming wine deals; Clark and Blake got forced out; and that arrogant sous chef to Mike Roussell got elevated to head chef upon Chef Mike's passing. Nowhere near worth the prices charged in this glorified clip joint.

      2. re: hazelhurst
        Gizmo56 Jul 21, 2012 01:45 AM

        I will be having a Saturday breakfast at Brennan's in exactly two weeks.

        Bill Hunt is not the only one who has made approving remarks about Brennan's on this board, as a search will turn up. The proof is "in the pudding," as the saying goes, and I hope I won't be disappointed, but I found some of the comments on the other site to have a simplistic and "piling on" tone.

        There is a growing propensity among some foodies to see restaurants that preserve traditions of even one decade as "dated" or "tourist traps." Perhaps Brennan's is that way, but I hope to also discover something better during our breakfast.

        I know my breakfast will be expensive compared with other NO options, but if it is well-executed and if we are well served, I expect it will be memorable and worthwhile. Please try and talk me out of keeping my reservation if I am dead wrong in my expectations.

        1. re: Gizmo56
          JazzyB Jul 21, 2012 08:28 AM

          Folks pile on when they agree. The question should be, why were there no positive comments? Here's hopimg you have a good experience. If not, what was lost...a few bucks?

          1. re: JazzyB
            n.o.lover Jul 21, 2012 01:39 PM

            Oh, a mediocre meal in New Orleans is such a waste of calories. Too many great choices! :-)

            1. re: JazzyB
              Gizmo56 Jul 22, 2012 07:44 PM

              JazzyB, I've canceled our breakfast at Brennan's (since it has no defenders on this thread). We'll start our day at Atchafalaya instead, and do some shopping on Magazine Street after the brunch.

              1. re: Gizmo56
                Plano Rose Jul 25, 2012 12:05 PM

                Gizmo, you did the right thing. We did breakfast there in April due to a Christmas gift certificate. Our other lunches (can't hold three meals these days) were at August, Muriel's. and Verti Mart. The other three meals were great. Not Brennan's.

                1. re: Plano Rose
                  Gizmo56 Jul 25, 2012 12:56 PM

                  Thanks Plano Rose. Even the thought of three meals makes me uncomfortable, so we are planning either late breakfasts or early lunches each day. I plan to post a trip report when we return home. I still plan to give Brennan's a try in order to form my opinion, but it will have to wait for another (longer) visit.

            2. re: Gizmo56
              n.o.lover Jul 21, 2012 01:38 PM

              We used to go every visit, couldn't imagine leaving N.O. without having breakfast at Brennan's. Yes, it was expensive, the price of dinner at breakfast, but always lovely. Our last time was two or three years ago, and we were sorely disappointed. It really was like eating on a cruise ship, the entire dining room was served every course at the same time. Bananas Foster was just like justagirl described - made across the room (actually for several tables at the same time) and delivered to everyone from there, instead of table side. The service used to be superb, the food was expensive but reliably good as expected of old line restaurants. They now surcharge for Turtle Soup and Bananas Foster, so it is far more expensive than it used to be. No doubt you can do better elsewhere.

              1. re: n.o.lover
                Gizmo56 Jul 21, 2012 01:50 PM

                I appreciate your input, n.o. lover. I would love to hear from others who have had a breakfast there recently. Your "cruise ship"metaphor is truly painful, and if the Brennan's breakfast is still operating at that level, I will certainly re-think our plans for that day.

                1. re: Gizmo56
                  SteveGuid Aug 4, 2012 06:59 AM

                  Damn, I'm stuck going next Sunday with a large group and my wife says I'm not allowed to suggest alternatives (It's her friends) Oh well, what can you do?

                2. re: n.o.lover
                  JoanArkham Jul 21, 2012 03:57 PM

                  If not Brennan's for bananas Foster, is there a good alternative?

                  1. re: JoanArkham
                    Gizmo56 Jul 22, 2012 07:41 PM

                    The version at Arnaud's is made using Angelo Brocato's ice cream, for what it's worth.

                    1. re: JoanArkham
                      Plano Rose Jul 25, 2012 12:08 PM

                      Commander's does great banana's Foster, and you get good food, ambience, and service.

                  2. re: Gizmo56
                    Bill Hunt Jul 24, 2012 08:38 PM

                    Yes, there IS the "dated" aspect, and I see that often regarding Galatoie's. Still, that is why I keep coming back. They do their "thing," and do it well - better than any other restaurant in NOLA. If one wants cryo-innovation and foams, or whatever, Galatoire's is NOT the place to go.

                    Brennan's, does their brunch offerings very, very well. Dinner? Cannot comment.

                    CP's is good, but has slipped greatly, at least for us. The last three dinners were OK, but NOT up to par, or up to their capabilities.

                    Since I no longer live in NOLA, and can only dine at maybe a half-dozen restaurants, three times per year, it's tough to compare all meals. If I get lucky, I might do a brunch, or a breakfast, or maybe a dinner, spread over several years. Not like a local, who gets to do all, several times.


                  3. re: hazelhurst
                    Bill Hunt Jul 24, 2012 08:31 PM

                    Interesting post, and link.

                    Brennan's was once "on my list," but that was back in the 1950's. In the late 60's through 70's, they fell off that list, except for when friends and relatives showed up, and demanded it. We were usually disappointed, but such is life.

                    Fast forward many years, and we DID go back for a Saturday Brunch. Wow! Things had changed. We have done them for Saturday and Sunday Brunch, over the last six, or so, years, and they have greatly impressed me, plus my wife (a NOLA native), her mom (also a NOLA native), and her mom's nurse (from Romania, but into food). Once, I tried to point us to another Saturday Brunch, and none of the group would buy into that. They insisted on Brennan's. They did not disappoint any of us.

                    Now, we might well have hit them on all of their "good days," or maybe something HAD changed?

                    I do not think that I have done dinner there, since maybe 1970, or perhaps even before. I cannot comment on dinner, but over the last several years (post-K), their brunches HAVE been great. They are not "cheap," but for me (and for my guests), they have been a great brunch value.

                    Maybe it is just me?


                  4. scubadoo97 Aug 4, 2012 07:35 AM

                    I have to say that the last time I was treated to breakfast at Brennan's it was not too far off from the many of the descriptions mentioned on this thread. I can see going for nostalgic reasons but there are just too many better places to spend your money and get better food in NO.

                    I still have a problem with $30 for a couple of eggs. I just don't see why people do this???

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