Last night, I had the unfortunate experience of dining at The French Market Cafe. I should start by saying anyone who works in a restaurant in the French Quarter should be highly offended by this restaurant’s name. I’ve been to New Orleans more times than I can count and I have never had such an atrocious dining experience in the Big Easy.

I was particularly eager to try this restaurant since I’ve tried unsuccessfully to get in three times before. There were four in my party and each one of us had a dreadful time. So, what went wrong? Let the list begin!

1. My friend ordered the fried shrimp platter. The shrimp were minuscule and icy. Icy! We could have traveled 2 miles to Captain D’s and had better shrimp and probably better service.

2. My friend’s husband ordered the steamed shrimp platter. First, they brought out a fried shrimp platter instead of steamed, but it didn’t make its way to the table as the server dropped it, narrowly missing my husband and myself. They returned with the correct order, but, once again, the shrimp were served icy.

3. My husband ordered the BBQ shrimp poboy. Kevin asked our server if it came with fries or any other side(s). Our server explained their 12-inch poboy is hollowed out then stuffed full of shrimp. He said, “There’s no way you could finish it and have room for anything else.” The poboy was 6-inches at best and looked as if it was prepared by children. The bread was torn haphazardly then sprinkled with a few morsels of cold shrimp. Honestly, I’ve had better shrimp at a Chinese buffet.

4. I ordered the 1/2 roast beef poboy and creole gumbo. My sandwich was lukewarm at best and they did not bring my gumbo until I inquired about it.

5. My friend ordered a dozen beignets and requested they be brought out with the rest of our food. The beignets never appeared.

Our server came back to check on us only once – that’s when I asked the whereabouts of my gumbo. My husband inquired if his poboy was supposed to be the same as the server had previously described. The server made no efforts to remedy any of our concerns other than bringing me a bowl of gumbo that I suspect had just been nuked. He did not return after that, not even to refill our drinks.

Since this is a diner-style restaurant, you pay your check at the register. Upon checkout, no one bothered to ask how our meal was which I found very unusual. The MIA beignets were on our ticket so we requested they be removed. They would not take them off our ticket until investigating the  whereabouts of our beignets. What results did their investigation yield? They hadn’t even started preparing them! Bottom line: these people simply do not care about their patrons.

Bad food, I can forgive. Bad service, I cannot. This portion of our evening was nothing short of disastrous. We left hungry and extremely disappointed. The folks at The French Market Cafe can rest assured I will not give them a second chance. I urge you – do not go there, that is unless you want to pay a premium for small, icy shrimp, a flippant attitude, and abismal service. Consider yourself forewarned!

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