This is our assessment of Crawfish “Palace”, a horrible place to eat!
•Tea is not offered on the menu of beverages. Possibly, this is why your writers opted to drink large quantities of taste bud numbing “adult beverages”? For Southern fare, tea is a given in most any restaurant. We drink unsweetened tea and of course there are a few places who only offer sweetened tea in TRUE Southern fashion but NEVER NEVER NO tea! This should have been clarified by your writers, no tea.
•The non-adult beverages consisted of soft drinks in cans or water in bottles (for which I was charged EXTRA for), no glasses, no straws, no ice. Just a lukewarm can or bottle of drink. Don’t know how the beer was but I am sure your writers can opine on it.
•The tables were void of the usual fare of salt and pepper. If you wanted some salt and/or pepper, you had to beg for it basically.
•I like a little lemon juice on my fish as do many people on seafood. Nope, this restaurant does not have any of that, no slices of lemon (no tea, of course!), not even packages of lemon. I was told nope, no condiment like this.
•Fish “platters” are customarily served with fries, cole slaw and hush puppies where I come from. This place’s catfish platter consisted of five puny pieces of catfish (or alleged to be catfish could have been carp or gar for the taste it bore), some soggy but fairly tasty fries. The waitress just looked at me like I was stupid when I asked about cole slaw or hushpuppies saying nope don’t come with any of that. For $7 (not $12 that I was charged at Crawfish Palace) here in Minden at Minden Seafood I can get three LARGE pieces of fried catfish (fresh and tasty consistently) with fries, cole slaw AND a couple of hushpuppies. Who ever heard of fish and fries alone but again this mindset is apparently consistent with the no tea substance.
•I asked for Tabasco sauce, again standard fare at most Louisiana restaurants particularly those that serve seafood as does the Crawfish Palace. Sure enough no McIlhenny’s Tabasco sauce only Louisiana Hot Sauce, which of course I was NEVER provided despite repeatedly asking for. I suspect that they did not really have any Louisiana Hot Sauce either.
• The “other” business that the owners are involved in is right next door, Louisiana Granite. Frankly, running a granite cutting and finishing facility as well as a restaurant seem to be much unrelated, possibly even counterintuitive in nature. I don’t know, I think it is worthy to mention something about the expertise and qualifications of the owners, cook or somebody in the article. The granite topped tables in the restaurant are nice but I am sure there is a connection there don’t you? Since I had them do some granite work for me, I can clearly say that they do better granite work after tonight’s egregious experience.
•The parking is weird, something too that should have been mentioned in the article or so one would think. You can park amongst the granite chunks I guess or in the drive but it all is pretty sparse and most consists of muddy ruts after a rain and just dips and ruts when dry.
•A sink in the dining area is something that I found quite unusual. It supposedly is used to wash off crawfish or other smells and debris off but, in an open dining area? Odd at best !
•While we did not eat the crawfish, we did observe others eating them. For the price, 3 pounds including corn and potatoes at $12 is a little high, four bucks a pound for both crawfish and vegetables? Whew, that is pricy considering the price is about $3.25 a pound for well spiced crawfish at the Crawfish Hole in Dixie Inn comparatively. One can get a much better spiced variety at the Crawfish Hole and other places as well as a LARGER tail meat (larger than what we observed other patrons eating in Crawfish Palace). The Shreveport Times writers observations were on the mark as to the spice levels given the blandness of the boiled (aka re-boiled) shrimp we experienced.
•Insofar as customer service goes, I found Crawfish Palace sorely lacking. The waitress asked me how my catfish were and I told her that they were spoiled and not eatable. She offered alternate fare but my appetite had waned substantially after the first bite of this gosh awful catfish. I mistakenly believe that they would do the right thing and not charge for this non-eatable meal after I mentioned it to the waitress. Unfortunately, we were charged full price even after I again told the fellow who took my credit card about it. Very disturbing and something I had not experienced.
All in all, the dining experience was likely the WORST that I have experienced
upon my retirement and return to Louisiana last year. I grew up in North Louisiana and I can tell you without a doubt that Crawfish Palace will not be a survivor in an environment such as we enjoy in Louisiana. Good food and good times are the norm. The food was atrocious and to say that it was otherwise is bordering criminal. To fail to mention very salient points relative to the operation of this restaurant as enumerated above is likely criminal! . I am exceedingly sorrowful at having spent my retirement income of such a poor fare as I received tonight at Crawfish Palace aka Fish Dump.