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Aug 23, 2010 11:52 AM

Jacques-Imo's: how long a wait?

Sorry for such a basic question, but if my wife and I want to eat at Jacques-Imo's around 8:00 or 8:30 on a weekend night, how early do we need to get there? In other words, how long will we have to wait? If it matters, this will be in mid-December. Thanks!

Jacques-Imo's Cafe
8324 Oak St, New Orleans, LA 70118

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  1. We got there around 6:30 on a Tuesday or Wednesday night in May, and we had a 2 1/2-hour wait. Have to tell you, the food was definitely NOT worth the wait. Much, MUCH better places to dine in NO, and I think many others would agree. The shtick is not even worth it. All I can say is be prepared for a long wait, and mediocre food after having waited so long. Their drinks also did not pack a punch. Every other place we've dined in NO, from high-end to low-end, beat the socks off Jacques-Imo's!

    Jacques-Imo's Cafe
    8324 Oak St, New Orleans, LA 70118

    2 Replies
    1. re: Christine

      eh, i dont understand all the haters (like on the comments in the BO link). nobody has ever said its *amazing food*; its just known for its festive atmosphere and decent soul food. ive been there a few times over the years, and each time something special happened, something that could only happen in new orleans -- from a brass band marching thru the restaurant to the owner doing a table dive, both of which imparted a bit of the new orleans magic on my guests. if they can do that, and serve up some good cornbread, fried chicken, stuffed chops and alligator cheesecake -- more power to 'em.

      i certainly wouldnt call it a tourist trap (such as The Alpine and other places w/ food-out-front in the quarter)...just overly filled w/ students. such is the price of success..

      if there were no wait everyone would rave about how much fun they had at this charming little neighborhood joint...and then it would get popular. and busy. with long delays. wait a minute...!

      1. re: kibbles

        I have been a long time supporter of Jacques-imos for years and went about a month ago. I agree the atmosphere was great and the drinks are good and the corn bread is good. THE FOOD WAS TERRIBLE! I could not eat it. My date asked me If I wanted to switch dishes and I felt like I could not ask him to eat my dish.
        Perhaps I ventured to far off the beaten path of good dishes on their menu, but then I realized there only a few entrees that I would ever suggest to someone, and if you have been there you know there is like 30 entrees on the menu...I don't understand why you would offer that many if they are going to come out inedible.

        So maybe that's why people are hating on them right now...because you wait hours and then you can't even get mediocre food. Chef Jacques has let it go and he needs to reel it back in cause I used to love the place, but I can't see me going back there to wait two hours spend 120.00 on a meal and then stare at my plate after one bite!

      1. re: CharlieH

        i do agree w/ one of the commenters on that post -- too many entrees. he should stick to the stuff they do well and scrap the silly items like the quail.

      2. It can be a bit of a crap shoot at Jacques-Imo's regarding the wait. I have literally walked right in at 7 on a Friday night. I have also waited for an hour on a Monday. I would recommend getting there about two hours early. Scope out the wait and put your name on the list. If it's insanely crowded, go next door to the maple leaf and drink some beers before dinner. Also, by December, a new wine bar called Oak should be up and running. I don't know where it will be located in comparison to Jacques, but it can only be a few blocks away on Oak. You could head there for a slightly nicer atmosphere, wine and small plates created by Aaron Burgau, owner and chef at Patois.

        3 Replies
        1. re: latasche

          Oak opened a week or two ago at 8118 Oak St....two blocks from J-I.

          1. re: BayouTeche

            Thanks for the update, Bayou. It's definitely on my list of new places to check out.

          2. re: latasche

            Oak is already open 8118 Oak street

          3. Just my 2 cents, Jacques Imos for fried chicken only. The food is generally mediocre, albeit plentiful. You can dine far better for about the same price elsewhere .

            7 Replies
            1. re: JazzyB

              3 factors in a restaurant tho -- food, ambiance, service (4th could be Value i suppose). while there is better food out there, certainly, many people including myself enjoy JI for its atmosphere and one-of-a-kindness. its not everybody's cup of tea, but it is for many. when we take out of town guests there they always have a hoot. like i said, weve had magic moments there that cant be found elsewhere..i think thats how they got to be doing gangbusters business.

              the fried chicken is the best item, tho. the meat & seafood stuffed chops are pretty good too. and the alligator cheesecake. and the deep fried roastbeef poboy..

              1. re: kibbles

                I always respect your opinion so I wanted to know. I have 10 friends coming in for a 40th birthday party next month and they are a bunch of New York/Marylanders. I am taking them to Jacques Imos Friday night and was trying to find someplace for Saturday night. I wanted something that would contrast Jacques Imos. My top choices right now are Dickie Brennans, Mr. B's and K Pauls. Anything else you can suggest. Think about a bunch of 40 year-old Giant fans who probably got a bout two hours sleep the night before.

                1. re: shanefink

                  big group, probly a little rowdy.. some other options that are very different than JI:

                  Cochon -- in all its pig glory, with items your friends will never see up north.

                  Mr. John's -- on st charles ave, you could take the street car. IMO this is the best steak in the city. even the filet is USDA Prime, sizzling in hot butter. the ala cart sides are huge and fun to share. old bar and giant martinis. get the sauteed mushrooms for the steaks and creamed spinach or spinach au gratin. this is my group's annual pre-MG tradition during the nite parades and theyve never let us down.

                  Domenica -- stroll thru the Roosevelt's great lobby like you own the place, stop in the Sazerac and show em how real drinking is done w/ a sazerac. rustic italian fare for dinner in a very metro dining room. stop by Saz again for a dessert gin fizz.

                  Mr. B's has ever changing, reasonable prix fixe menus, have had some good items and our service has always been great. as you know the BBQ Shrimp is the star of the menu, which you can also get during lunch. i like the space.

                  Emeril's is fun for groups, and out of towners love going to emerils. the staff knows this and plays it up well.

                  nearby is Tommy's, the CBD counterpart to Irene's (likely impossible to book). Tommy's has lots of space and some classic dishes such as trout meuniere, however friends have told me it hasnt been so hot. havent been in a while so i cant say tho.

                  ...lots of options, many ive forgotten too.

                  1. re: kibbles

                    You remind me to try Mr John's for steak--I've never done it and it is just that I forget about it and end up in my usual haunts. I cut my teeth on the old chop houses here and in New york so I would welcome a top-flight job.

                    1. re: hazelhurst

                      check it out. i always take my father there, he loves steaks and its now his favorite. theyre remodeled it ever so slightly which addresses one of my few complaints. the website isnt so great, but the filet simply cannot be beat. as a point of reference, Morton's is my second fav, but we prefer staying local. Port of Call is third (it's crazy, but we love their filet, they get good meat).

                      1. re: kibbles

                        I'll give 'em a test with the NY Strip. Lots of heart-clogging goodies on the side, too.

                    2. re: kibbles

                      Thanks, Kibbles. I love Domenica and Tommy's is good, but don't think the Yankees will be impressed. They get great Italian at home. I'm leaning toward Mr. B's. Emeril's is a little too loud for my hearing loss. I haven't been that impressed with Cochon and I've heard the service can be bad for larger parties. What else is good at Mr. B's beside the gumbo and the BBQ shrimp?

                      930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

                      Emeril's Restaurant
                      800 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA 70130

                      123 Baronne Street, New Orleans, LA 70112

              2. doublecheck that it's open ... i think they close at some point in the summer for a vacation