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.