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“Birthday Dinner Gone Wrong”
Review of Elaine's

Elaine's
Ranked #76 of 142 Restaurants in Cape May
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $29 - $42
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Bar scene, Large groups
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Breakfast, Reservations
Description: One visit and you'll know why Elaine's Famous Dinner Theater has been voted one of the top five dinner theaters in the country by the Food Network! The dinner theater package includes a full-course meal with delicious appetizers, and your choice of several sumptuous entrees, along with a wonderful live show put on by the area's most talented actors. Reservations recommendedWe can happily accommodate large parties!
Reviewed November 16, 2012

Let me start with the positives. The decorations were neat. Now onto my experience...
First, my girlfriend and I drove two hours to Elaine's Haunted Mansion for an 8pm dinner reservation. Since the show was supposed to begin at 8pm, we rushed. When we arrived, we were told the show would start 20 minutes late and to either wait at the bar, check out the gift shop, or wait outside on the veranda. The bar was overcrowded, so we had to stand in the gift shop with other people who were waiting for the 8pm show, and then we sat outside for about 10 minutes.
When we were called to be seated, the woman at the front desk asked another employee, "Where is the escort to take them to their seats?" The employee answered, "She is still getting into costume...you seat them." The front desk woman then laughed and said, "Well I guess I will be seating you this evening." This did not come across as professional and definitely did NOT help me be happy after waiting 20 minutes to be seated.
As soon as we were seated, a male waiter immediately approached us and said, "I need to take your orders right now because we are pressed for time since we are starting the show late." This is when I started to become angry. My girlfriend and I had to rush our decision on what entrees we wanted because the establishment's show was running late? At this point, any hopes of having a good experience dwindled away.
As we waited for cream of broccoli soup to be delivered, I noticed there were puddles of dishwasher water on our plates. After drying off our plates, my girlfriend reached for a butter to put on her role. The butter was open and half used! Next, I realized our silverware was sitting underneath our dinner menus. As germ conscious individuals, we hate when menus are sat on top of silverware. Dishwasher water puddles + open and used butter + menus on top of silverware = uncomfortable eating situation.
Now, let me talk about the food. For drinks, we both ordered ice tea. For entrees, my girlfriend ordered chicken parm with linguine, and I ordered the Tex-Mex pork loin. For dessert, we both ordered chocolate cake. The positives? The cream of broccoli soup was good, and the pork loin was cooked perfectly. The negatives? The ice tea tasted awful, the chicken parm seemed like it was microwaved, the linguine was water-logged and mushy, and the pork loin was bland with salty rice. To top the meal off, the chocolate cake tasted like cardboard and seemed stale...and I never dislike chocolate cake! Even the coffee served at the end of the meal was bad. I hate complaining, but the bad meal after a bad first impression upon arrival made me very unhappy.
Finally, let me talk about the "show." The show consisted of one man reading three stories from a book. As he reads the stories, two actors come out and add some quick acting scenes. From the description on the website, I expected much more. The website gives the impression that people would be popping out, or some sort of surprises would take place, but none of that happened. Where were the moving paintings, where was the ghost that passes us by, and where was the creature that escaped from the laboratory? All we got were ghost stories! The website should explain what the entertainment will actually be instead of describing false, hypothetical situations.
After paying for dinner, we immediately left. I hate to sound bitter, but I had high hopes for this place. My girlfriend loves everything that is spooky and Halloween related, and I had taken her to the Haunted Mansion for her birthday dinner. Sadly, we both left upset.

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5  Thank wallacead
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lauren E, Public Relations Manager at Elaine's, responded to this reviewResponded November 20, 2012

We are very sorry to hear that you were disappointed with your dinner at the Haunted Mansion. We would love to speak with you personally about your experience. If you please provide a phone number that we can reach you at we will contact you promptly.

Sincerely,
Elaine's

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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155 - 159 of 248 reviews

Reviewed November 9, 2012

We had a great weekend at Elain's the weekend Sandy came to town. The staff was great through the pending storm. They cancelled nothing, were optomistic about everything, and provided great service through the whole event. Being the weekend before Halloween, they had a party, dinner theater and ghost tours. Everything was very decorated for Halloween. We love this place!

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1  Thank Gary P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lauren E, Public Relations Manager at Elaine's, responded to this reviewResponded November 13, 2012

Gary,
Thank you for letting us know about your stay! We hope that you come again soon! Scrooge, our Holiday Show, starts November 23rd.
Sincerely,
Elaine's

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Reviewed October 27, 2012

We have been there a few times before for dinner and their Christmas show, Scrooge. Always had a good time and enjoyed the food. This time we stayed 2 nights for our anniversary. Again, enjoyed the show and loved the food. Breakfast was equally great. We stayed in room 3. There was plenty of room, tne bed was very comfortable, and the 2nd floor veranda provided a comfortable sitting area for relaxation and enjoying the incredible weather. I have no doubt we will return.

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1  Thank Bill M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lauren E, Public Relations Manager at Elaine's, responded to this reviewResponded November 7, 2012

Bill,
We are glad that you had a great stay here at Elaine's. We are thankful for your feedback. Please come again soon for Scrooge (starting November 23)!
Sincerely,
Elaine's

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Reviewed October 16, 2012

We attended Elaine's dinner theater last year and the show was so amateurish, an elementary school play would be more entertaining. However, the food and service were good, so we gave it another shot. This year when we visited Elaine's we found the show to be just as bad. We have attended several different dinner theaters, and Elaine's shows are definately the most unprofessional we have ever seen. I'm not sure what all of the good reviews are about. Yes, the food and service were good, but I expect a half decent show from a dinner theater.

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2  Thank peachgirl_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lauren E, Front Office Manager at Elaine's, responded to this reviewResponded October 17, 2012

We are sorry that you feel that our show was not up to your expectations. We are shocked to hear this as most all of our customers love the show and return for more. Our show is a musical comedy so it may not have been what you were looking for. Thank you for you input.

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Reviewed October 10, 2012

Went on a bus trip with 35 people.The food was excellent, but small portions.The outside appearance is lovey, as is when you first enter. Once you get into the dining room it is very bland. The show was a little weak at first but the second half was very good. Pina Coladas were perfect for $8.00. There was a lot of interaction with the actors and the customers. Try it!

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1  Thank Sherri P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lauren E, Public Relations Manager at Elaine's, responded to this reviewResponded October 17, 2012

Thank you so much for your input. We are glad that you enjoyed the interaction between the actors and the crowd. We hope that you come again soon!
Sincerely,
Elaine's

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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