I recently choose cafe Rue Orleans for a get together with friends. As my wife and I had moved back to the area after living in Houston for years. We wanted to have a nice dinner to catch up.
I made a reservation a couple of weeks in advance. During my first phone call I was told "We don't take reservations!" and was hung up on. Since I was a regular customer when living in NWA I knew that they did take reservations and called back a day later. This time I was met with the answer " We don't take reservations unless it is a part of 6 or more." I let them know that I understood and I had a party of 6 and the reservation was made.
Lets face it, this place is not in a fancy area and doesn't have great parking, but in the past the food and service has been able to make up for those character flaws. I personally had sat down with the owner and we have discussed BBQ, and her reasons for coming to NWA. She was a great host, and has a great personality.
The reservation day had arrived Finally. We where all excited to sit down and have a great meal! The Shrimp appetizer we ordered was great! It was spicy, but not to spicy for the region. Unfortunately, when the salad arrived it looked semi limp and was WAY over dressed. I personally ate two bites and pushed it aside in anticipation for of my meal. I happened to look to my right and watched as my friend pulled multiple hairs out of his salad and ate it. I asked him to send it back, but he said he wasn't worried about it.
Our main dishes all arrived and my alligator dish seemed kind of bland overall. The larger pieces of alligator where underdone, while the smaller where overcooked and chewy. The Jambalaya consisted of overcooked rice, that really tasted like glue with no seasonings whatsoever. I tried my wife's crawfish etouffee and can honestly say i wasn't too disappointed. the flavors where not anywhere near what I've personally had in the past at cafe rue Orleans . Nor anywhere near as good as you can get in New Orleans.
After we paid and left we all decided to go have a drink as a local bar before figuring out what to do with he rest of the evening. After a few hours one of friends let us all know that he had also had hair in his salad AND he even has a piece of hair that was fried and served with his meal!!!! Shortly after he let us all know that he was not feeling well and for the rest of the evening he spent a lot of time in the
restroom. Soon after his wife let us know the same time. She also ate off of his plate and spent a lot time in the restroom that evening.
We all decided that we would not be going back to the establishment again. Personally I tried calling the restaurant and asking for the Manager. I was met with a young lady who told me "The owner isn't here. and we don't have a manger" "What can i help you with?" I told her my story and was promptly hung up on.
In short two friends found hair in their food. Two other friends got sick after eating there. A few years ago, this place was worth the price tag, but definitely not anymore. The terrible atmosphere and sub-par service, left all six people in my party wishing we had gone elsewhere. We won't be going back.
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