Jubans in Baton Rouge
So we’ve just had this strangeness with my new reinstated-credit card and my driver’s license, and AdventureMan is HUNGRY, and some very kind and helpful Baton Rouge friends have told us we have to try Juban’s for dinner, which sounds like exactly the place we would love our last night in Baton Rouge. Oddly, it is located in a non-descript strip mall, and the parking lot is so full we have to circle a couple times to find a spot.
When we find Juban’s, we are enchanged. It breathes elegance and atmosphere.
You evidently can dine outside, but no-one was dining outside.
There were a couple groups and a couple in front of us walking in; there were four large groups in various rooms (you can see this is where you schedule engagement parties, good-bye parties, getting-together with old friends parties, etc. This place is geared towards special times.) The groups were whisked away somewhere, and the couple in front of us was seated, and we were seated, almost immediately. We breathed a sigh of relief; we had no reservations, but we had a lovely table.
All around us were people gathered to have a good time. My favorite tables had children at them, and several generations, and the little girls all had dresses on and bows in their hairs, and the men were in coats and ties, and the groomed women wore nice dresses and pearls. At other tables, people were having business dinners, all dressed in coats and ties or nice business attire, the lighting was dim-but-good-enough-to-read-a-menu-by . . . . if we had a menu. We had no menus, and we didn’t seem to have a waiter.
We had plenty of time to observe.
After a good ten minutes, a waiter appeared and brought us two glasses of very very good wine . . . but no menus. He seemed annoyed when I asked for the menu; he was probably annoyed at the hostess, or something, I don’t know, but while he told us we had “the best waiter in the house” waiting on us, he never made us feel welcome in any way. He was entirely correct, in a very rushed, perfunctory kind of way.
We ordered. Food arrived fairly quickly. Our waiter never stopped by to ask how it was, or if we wanted more wine, or anything. It seemed to be an exceptionally busy evening; I didn’t see any of the waiters smiling or chatting cozily with any of the clients, so I wonder if it is part of the training that the waiters be rushed and perfunctory?
AdventureMan was the winner, with his Seafood Pasta. The sauce was intense, and truly wonderful, a sauce I would love to be able to make.
I did order coffee, while AdventureMan finished up his exquisite Seafood Pasta. Normally, on a night like this, in a lovely restaurant, we might also have dessert, but we were so nonplussed at our non-welcome that we decided to pay the bill and leave.
I would go back, one time. I would give them the benefit of the doubt; it might have been just a very very unexpectedly busy evening and they found themselves short-staffed. I would give them another try, but I just have the feeling that maybe stuffy, rushed service is the norm rather than the exception. Pity, that, because the venue itself is wonderful.
And it was just another little strangeness . . . .
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