There is a funky little place on Magazine Street that is perfect for a casual meal and people watching. Joey K’s Restaurant even made it into Diners, Drive ins and Dives. They have daily specials of comfort food and they live up to the review that gives them a high ratio of deliciousness to surroundings.
The last time I was there I had the red beans that were well flavored and plentiful. This time I had the fried shrimp plate and they were lightly breaded and slightly spicy. The tartar sauce was homemade and perfectly tangy. The salad that came with it was all iceberg lettuce. The staff are quick on the refills of drinks.
Jacques-Imo’s has some of my favorite food in the city but I rarely go because the wait time is so long. On a Thursday night, the wait time for a party of four was an hour and half. Trust me that Friday and Saturday are worse. I really don’t understand the refusal of many New Orleans restaurants to take reservations.
The bartender does pour strong drinks, so the crowd waiting on the sidewalk can get a little raucous but people watching does help to pass the time. Jack himself wanders around outside with a large go cup of his drink and chats up the pretty girls and gets his picture taken with many of the visitors.
We started with the shrimp and fried green tomatoes. The coating was excellent and the tomatoes were perfectly tart. The shrimp still had its head and tail on and presented a conundrum for my guests. I did the dirty work of deheading and have to admit I licked my fingers. I had the smothered chicken. Good flavor and lots of gravy but the biscuit was very dense. The group I was with had the salmon, grouper and crabcakes. Everything was cooked to perfection and in such large portions that we all took something home.
I definitely would come here more often if I could make reservations. Instead, I will come only when I’ve got guests who want a good New Orleans experience and who don’t mind standing on the street for a table to become available.
Oceana Grill on Conti Street in the French Quarter is a nice little place for a quick meal. Close to a number of hotels, the waitstaff is quick to offer help to hapless tourists trying to make decisions between Creole and Cajun and help our city earn our reputation as a friendly place to visit and live.
I was there for breakfast during the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival. I had the biscuits and gravy. It came in a large bowl with a spoon to help collect all the gravy and the sausage was nice and spicy. The omelette ordered by one of my dining companions was huge–this thing filled the plate and came with a big biscuit, too. The BLT ordered by another came on buttered bread and was perfect food for her post hangover stomach.
Located just over the line into Jefferson Parish, next to the Louisiana Seafood Company is Crabby Jacks. Serving some of the best po-boys in town, the place is best visited a little before or a little after lunch time. Most of the seating is communal and, if you are lucky, like we were today, your tablemates might share some of their sweet potato chips with you. The walls are covered with Dr. Bob’s “Be Nice or Leave” art and that sets the tone for the place.
I had the slow roasted duck po-boy–very flavorful duck made for a delicious mess. Nine napkins! My companions enjoyed the fried shrimp po-boy that was so piled high of perfectly cooked shrimp that the other half is another meal.