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Jacques Imo's tonight!

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I just arrived in New Orleans and began asking locals where I should eat. Several told me about Jacques Imo's on Oak Street in Uptown. Seeing that I was new to the city and staying in the French Quarter, I thought it would be worth the trip up there to get a change in scenery. I was under the impression that I could walk there from the Quarter, so that is what I did since the trolley no longer operates (post Katrina). Little did I know that after about a SEVEN mile walk up St. Charles street, I finally made it to Jacques Imo's --a funky little place in a hip but down-to-earth neighborhood. Since I was dining alone, I sat down at the bar at approximately 6pm and was instantly welcomed by the bartenders. Affer telling them how thirsty I was after my marathon walk, I glanced around and saw a fine mojito being sipped by another bar patron and decided to order one myself. I was not disappointed as it was very good as the mint had been freshly pummeled with just the right amount of tart lime to counterbalance the simple syrup. I knew this was going to be a good dining experience from the get-go, and since I like alternative 80's music (the good kind), I was happy with what was playing over the speakers, thought it was not too loud to interfere with conversations. I ordered my meal at the bar, a beautifully prepared, moist mahi-mahi served with a pistachio, asparagus and shrimp sauce (main courses are priced between $17-$25), which included a salad and two sides, so I chose the red -skinned mashed potatoes and the corn macquechoux. I could detect a small amount of worcestershire sauce in the plum-tasting viniagrette served on my baby spinach salad, which added a pleasant tang (and diversion from the typical balsamic vin.) to the dish. The accompanying single fried oyster and corn muffin were excellent, examples of simple things done right. But before my entree even arrived, I had begun chatting with a local couple (Paul and Dawn) who invited me to join them at their table, so I did just that. The owner, Jacques stopped by and asked how we were doing. I proceeded to tell him that I was visiting from Philly and had just walked all this way to visit his restaurant. He gave me a great big smile and told the waiter that a round of drinks and dessert was on him. Way to go, Jacques! Dessert, by the way, turned out to be a fine, not-too-sweet chocolate mousse with fresh berries and something else that I can't remember right now. Now that is southern hospitality. I would definitely return and tell my foodie friends to check it out. I have heard (and saw) that the place gets crowded fast, and that they only take reservations for parties of 5 or more, so get there early as it is first come, first serve. Oh yean, and the Maple Leaf next door is a great little bar for live music too.

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  1. You WALKED? Wow. Glad the food lived up to expectations! I could make a whole meal of those butter-soaked corn muffins.

    And you got free drinks from Jack. He's a trip.

    1. My hat is off to you for that walk! If I can demonstrate half your stamina I'll be doing very well ;) My new walking shoes are broken in & ready to go ...

      The corn muffins sound fabulous. So many restaurants, so little time ...

      1. That's not a walk, that's a marathon. I really enjoy everything at Jacques Imo's, epecially their seafood dishes. I could easily make a meal out of the sides. They used to let you wait at the Maple Leaf and come get you when your table is ready. Do they still do that?

        1 Reply
        1. re: happy12

          Yes, they do. I even ordered an app over there once.

        2. Jack is classic.

          Please tell me you took a cab back. ;)

          1. How in the hell were you not dripping wet when you got there? That is wild. And what a review. I guess I will finally bite the bullet and try it.

            1. What a great story! We're going to give them a try when we're in town next month.
              I'll tell them I'm there just because of your story, and let them know how far customer appreciation really goes.

              I just love an establishment that really likes and takes care of its clientele.

              1. Say, bruh, to walk THAT far, in July in N'Awlins, wow. For Brigsten's, and Chef Frank's duck, I'd do it, but Jaques-Imo's? Glad it lived up to your expectations, though.

                7 Replies
                1. re: funkjester

                  That's what I was thinking!

                  1. re: Hungry Celeste

                    Huh, bruh?

                    1. re: funkjester

                      Meaning that I probably would pass on J-I's even if it was free, so I d*mn sure wouldn't walk 7 miles in July for that food.

                      1. re: Hungry Celeste

                        Oh, no, I agree, I was just being a wise-a**...lol

                  2. re: funkjester

                    do yu mean the awesome roast duck with tart cherry sauce. very good stuff.

                    even better than most every chinese roasted duck preparation.

                    that is a walk, the longest walk i made during jazz fest was from the wharehouse district to the jazz fest grounds.

                    1. re: funkjester

                      Hi, I went to Brigsten's too. It was fantastic as well. The only regret I have is that I didn't make it to Dick and Jenny's, but I'll be back, and that's the first place I'm gonna go.
                      And, being that I'm no wuss, that walk wasn't THAT bad. Even for nawlins. ;)

                      And yeah, the party I had dinner with ended up driving me back to my hotel after they gave me a tour of the Irish Channel and the Garden District. Again, amazing hospitality even from strangers...

                      1. re: kristintran

                        I followed your posts after I saw Roseland (impressed with your taste), but I never could quite get the appeal of Jacques Imos. Yeah its got the flavor of what you expect New Orleans to be but I always thought the food was too heavy and really overrated. Plus the lines. Plus the "holier than thou" bitchy service. The place was just too annoying! For my money the best restaurrant in the city was Eleven Seventy Nine at 1179 Annunciation. Joanne Clevenger's Upperline a close second. Or gimme a couple dozen oysters at Casamentos. And I did love Ugelsich's. But Jacques Imos? A total pretender.
                        See you at Roseland!
                        Moe

                    2. I would expect nothing less from the mojitos there. I once had a ten minute conversation with Jack about how he loves a well made one.
                      Probably a good thing you walked there to work up the appetite for that delicious food.
                      They used to do take-out, don't know if they still do, but its a great option if gets really crowded

                      1. Next time you go there you should get the fried chicken and the aligator cheese cake. chef Jacque has three to four fryers all with different oil and at different temps that allow for the perfect frying of anything.

                        1. You're a rookie! I'd walk 2,000 miles to eat at my pal Jacques place.
                          Not only is it the best meal in New Orleans it could well be the best meal in the world.
                          But, alas, the great Uglesich's is now closed. You missed that one. The soft shell crab and BBQ oysters would have made you slap your grandma.