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Jazzy's Cajun Cafe (Tampa)

For the last few weeks, a small shack on North Boulevard just north of the river has displayed a banner promising a new cajun restaurant. Today, balloons went up and chairs came out so I decided to stop in for lunch. The shack, which formerly housed a seafood shop, is very small. A sign posted on the door requests that only one person enter at a time to order. In truth my wife and I both fit inside (but when the postman showed up we did feel inclined to exit). We ordered seafood gumbo, a muffuletta, and a debris (roast beef) po' boy. I thought the seafood gumbo was outstanding. It was packed with flavor much of it coming from the generous quantity of seafood. One nice thing about the sandwiches is that you can order them in half size. This allowed me to try both the muffuletta and the debris po' boy. I wouldn't have gone for the debris except for the fact that the fryer was down. I am glad it was or I may have never discovered how wonderful Jazzy's version of this sandwich is. The juicy and well seasoned meat was made even better by a very nice gravy; all of this on a simple but perfect roll. The muffuletta was also good, but I am coming to the realization that I may not be a huge fan of this sandwich. Whenever I eat a muffuletta, all I can think about is that I would rather be eating an Italian sandwich. I know that is not fair but what can you do? Jazzy's is still in a soft-opening; nonetheless, I fully recommend stopping by. For me, living around the corner, it is going to be a great addition to my neighborhood dining. I can't wait to see what kinds of things come out of the fryer. Hopefully, that will get straightened out soon.

P.S. In case you are wondering, I don't think there is any connection to Jazzy's BBQ.

Jazzy's Cajun Cafe

2111 N. Boulevard

Tampa, FL 33602

T-Th: 10-8

F-Sat.: 10-9

Sun. 10-7

Closed Mondays

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    1. what has two thumbs and is going to try Jazzy's ASAP?

      (THIS guy!)

      1. Went today, Jambalaya was excellent, and a good value quantity wise. Debris po boy lacked flavor. Owner was very nice. Place will make it or not solely on food quality. I'll go back in a month.

        2 Replies
        1. re: herbert1

          Going solely on the basis of one meal, I am confident the owner can nail down quality and consistency. You are right about the portions, Herbert. The seafood gumbo was so large and full of seafood, I was concerned there was not much profit in it. I am surprised that your debris po'boy was lacking something. Mine wasn't. My wife was getting pretty grabby with my po'boy which is usually a sign that something special is going on. I will go back soon and let you know whether your sandwich was the anomaly or mine.

          1. re: CFishman

            I also thought about the profit issue. Looks like the overhead is going to be about as low as you can get in a stand alone restaurant. I agree, tables outside are needed. Told the owner about this website, so he might show up here.

        2. Went there Tuesday. Loved the debris poboy. The guy was great and you can tell he loves what hes doing. my wife really enjoyed the pork/bean salad. I also got the seafood gumbo and etouffee. Not a huge fan of his etouffee (it was the tangy style that i am not a fan of), but his seafood gumbo had good flavor and some nice light heat. this will be a great go-to cheap lunch spot. needs tables though.

          1. are the mods getting overzealous or what? missing posts here.

            I tried to eat at Jazzy's Saturday, but there was already someone in the place, and the sign says one at a time. I waited a while, but the conversation inside just kept going and no one came out with any food, so I just left. Seems like there should be a way to put in an order without occupying the place until you've gotten your food---- that would hamper sales quite a bit. Have to try another time, hopefully when they can handle more than one order at a time. Hmph.

            11 Replies
            1. re: andy huse

              The owner posted. It was a nice post

              1. re: rhnault

                It was a nice post, but in this case I think the moderators got it right. I don't think we want businesses soliciting advice from us. Andy, you are quick to pull the trigger on that bad service resentment. I have never let a little waiting come between me and a po'boy. I hope you make it back there. I will be eager to hear what you think.

                1. re: CFishman

                  i can understand businesses wanting feedback from their customers...in that case, they can just read, they don't need to ask. i remember someone once confronted rhnault and demanded to know exactly why she wasn't thrilled with her visit to their establishment...it was kind of uncomfortable, i thought.

                  seriously, this place can only handle one person at a time, and they don't ask the people to wait outside once they placed their order, especially if they see people waiting outside? standing there? in the florida heat? ummmmm as good as this place sounds, i'm going to need to take a pass.

                  1. re: Manderley

                    These are rookie mistakes. They will straighten it out (or not). Coming from Chicago, I ordered half of my meals from behind bullet proof glass. If I go to a shack to eat, the only thing I am expecting is food. I should also say that I have worked in a lot of restaurants, so my sensitivities are always for the servers, cooks, and owners.

                    1. re: CFishman

                      I love you CFishman! So funny and so true. The description of Jazzy's reminds me of the old Country Corner in St. Pete, when the owner Poppa Joe was alive. You were allowed to come in and wait in line inside, but you couldn't place your order until they made everyone's order in line ahead of you. All the while listening to Joe bicker in a hilarious way with his wife, while perusing the kitsch on the walls and every available space. It was fun but you had to be prepared to wait. And boy was it worth waiting for.

                      1. re: joan

                        And if there's not bullet proof glass, you might wish there was:

                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vo1LPf...

                        Thanks, Joan. That means a lot to me coming from you.

                        1. re: CFishman

                          Wow! Note to self: do not try this. Repeat, do not try this.

                        2. re: joan

                          The Country Market and Deli is now at 2128 9th Ave. N in St. Pete Papa J's wife and son run the place. It's not quite as small, room for a few people at the counter but not much.

                          -----
                          Country Market
                          32670 Blue Star Hwy, Midway, FL 32343

                          Papa J's Cafe
                          1458 Highway 41 N, Inverness, FL 34450

                          1. re: Tom Scherberger

                            Thanks, Tom. I'll give it a try and report back.

                    2. re: CFishman

                      sheesh. I didn't say anything about bad service. I never got that far. i was too hungry and busy to wait around to see how long it would take. perhaps the window will help. or at least asking people to wait outside once they placed their order. it sounds good and we need some decent NOLA food around.

                  2. re: andy huse

                    I am treating Jazzy's very similar to the taco bus and other walk up style eateries. I do think that if you stick your head in the door, they should make an effort to take your order quickly. Im sticking with it becoming a regular stop just based off that debris poboy. Hopefully, he will iron out the kinks with customers waiting in line soon enough. I do gotta wonder what made him choose this place for his start-up though.