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Dick and Jenny's: Good; Brennan's: Bad

dcandohio | May 19, 2008 01:13 PM

I just returned from a quick visit to my hometown. We made it to Dick and Jenny's just before the place opened and got a table right away. The food was wonderful. I had the crawfish and andouille (SP?) cheescake, which had a much lighter texture than the name "cheescake" would imply. The chipotle sauce was very spicy - but not overpowering. SO had the gazpacho, which was perfectly green and fresh as a spring day. Entrees were the blackened red fish on grits and the fried flounder. Both featured fresh pieces of fish done perfectly, with bright accents and a riot of flavors. My blackened redfish plate had smoked mushrooms that were just the right foil for the slightly bitter greens. This is a place that cares about food and cares about people. The only downside is that the place is just really run-down. I don't mean that it's in a crumbly old house - that's part of the charm. But the curtains were dirty and the sills on the windows were cruddy. I'd like to see a higher level of maintenance, but I'd go back there in a second!

We had a reservation for Brennan's for dinner because so many other places were booked due to Tulane's graduation. We spaced out on that and waited too long for reservations anyplace else. The food was OK - actually, some things were very good. But the stratospheric price point (on the a la carte menu most entrees are in the $40 range), annoying up-charges all over the table d'hote menu and lackluster service left us underwhelmed. We had decent service when we were the only table in our room being served, but once the place got busy, we were almost completely ignored. I expect more out of Brennan's - it's not as if the place lacks experience with crowds.

I used to love Brennan's as a great destination for that "Old New Orleans" feel and for warm, caring service. Now, however, I don't think I'd care to return.

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