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Aug 14, 2012 09:47 PM

Atchafalaya Disappointment

Awful experience all around at my most recent, and last visit. All around poor handling of a busy Sunday brunch. Amateur young waiter, host who had no idea how to estimate a wait time (which ended up being twice what was quoted). 100 degrees outside while waiting, and no shade. Long wait for food and all around poor management. This is not a cheap diner, so much more care should be taken with waiting guests. Like offering water, putting up an umbrella, comping some cornbread (which should be comped at every table anyway--shouldn't have to pay $2 for three muffins the size of quarters. Food was definately not worth the wait, the noise or the indifference. It's nice to be busy, but it won't last if people don't come back!

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  1. Sorry for a ruined meal but it is good to get some balance in reviews. Most people who have a bad time just stomp off and don't give input to balance the scales. No restaurant is Eden every meal every day.

    Not that it should matter to your overall experience, but did you have a reservation?

    1. thats a bummer. i agree shade outside would be nice.

      one quibble tho -- the hostess is not giving you a "quote", as it's not an auto body shop or a roofing job. it's an estimate; one that varies entirely on the whim of the diners who arrived before you.

      as for comps... if i have reservations and the wait was excessive id perhaps expect something comp'ed, but not if i was a walk-on. August did this for us once, after we waited 15 or 20 minutes w/ a reservation. that period seemed about fair -- because we expect a certain leeway in the other direction...say if we're running late, i expect them to hold it 10-15 minutes (i do call).

      1. My wife and I had a beautiful Saturday brunch at Atchafalya less than two weeks ago. We had a reservation (and for the first hour or so there were a few empty tables anyway), so no waiting, the food was great, the pacing of the meal was just right, and the prices were very reasonable and the portions ample. Our server was young, but absolutely professional.

        I'm sorry that your experience was so different.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Gizmo56

          I noticed that you went on a Saturday and the original poster went on a Sunday. I have never had a bad experience at Atchafalaya, but I have definitely had better experiences when I went on a Saturday. In fact, I try to avoid it on Sundays now. [They still have MYO Bloody Marys on Saturdays, if memory serves correct.]

          1. re: midcity

            Yes, the Bloody Mary Bar was open on Saturday, and I enjoyed it, along with everything that came out of their kitchen.

        2. Certainly sorry to hear you had a bad experience but there should be some balance. Sunday brunch at Atchafalaya IS busy. Our reservations for noon was honored. Without one we heard quotes of up to 90 minutes It is hot in NOLA in July/August and I can understand not wanting to wait in the sun but not sure that Atchafalaya is responsible for ensuring your wait outside is covered and comped. We were amazed at how busy they were in July so I am not so sure that your disappointment with your experience will translate to a drop in attendance. PS- We ordered the muffins and paid for them- and they were pretty damn good.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Hockey19

            When you wait twice your quote time, the meal could be made by Tom Colliccio and you won’t enjoy it. It’s so hard to make a disgruntled guest happy. The best you can hope for is to make them not hate you.