Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Jocking for Jacques-Imo's

While I lived in New Orleans, one of my favorite go-to restaurants was Jacques-Imo's Cafe, a restaurant heavily frequented by Tulane students and alumni, among other eager New Orleans residents. If you want to dine at Jacques-Imo's, you have to arrive early and free your schedule of all evening plans, as you are guaranteed to wait in line to be seated at this popular eatery, even with reservations.

Each meal at
Jacques-Imo's begins with a moist cornbread muffin garnished with feathery chopped parsley and a light plate of complimentary spinach salad. The salad is drizzled with biting balsamic vinegar and topped with a flavorful "crouton of the sea," a battered, breaded, and deep-fried oyster with luscious green entrails.

Next, after the salad, comes
Jacques-Imo's appetizers. I've enjoyed the crab cakes at Jacques-Imo's. Their crab cakes are served on a delicate bed of greens and dressed with a silken, coral-colored remoulade sauce. The crab cakes are made with blue crab (which is prevalent on the East Coast) and seasoned with fiery Bayou spices. The crab meat in the cakes does not come in large chunks, but wispy, stringy threads, and the meat is bound together with heavy seasoned breading that has classic Southern undertones of Thanksgiving stuffing.

I highly recommend the oysters brochette appetizer, which is made of oysters wrapped in a thick-cut pieces of fat-laden bacon. The bacon-wrapped oyster is coated in cornmeal, deep-fried until golden-brown and served either on oyster shells or a hot serving plate doused with a luxuriously thick and flavorful oyster gravy and simply garnished with chopped scallions and parsley. The fresh herbs bring out the meaty and welcoming flavors of the bacon and the velvety texture of the oysters. As a warning, this is not an appetizer for the cholesterol-adverse.

As for entrées, I can unequivocally say that the best entrée in all of
Jacques-Imo's, is the signature carpetbagger steak, which comes topped with a hamburger-sized slice of grilled red onion. The menu claims that the onion is caramelized, but in my several visits to Jacques-Imo's, I noticed a bit of a crunch to the sweet red onion slice. The tender, melt-in-your-mouth steak is really the masterful centerpiece of the entrée. The steak is a supple filet cut, and is enriched with the decadent blue cheese and oyster tasso dressing. Each buttery bite of the steak finishes on a high note with the tangy blue cheese gravy, and you might catch a surprising chunk of briny oyster in each forkful.

Jacques-Imo's also serves a variety of fish entrées, including mirliton with oyster tasso hollandaise, but I suggest you order the carpetbagger steak over any fish selection.

Also, included with your meal at
Jacques-Imo's, is your choice of classic Southern side dishes, including slow-cooked collard greens, long-grain white rice, soupy butter beans, buttered and spiced corn, and cubed beets.

You won't have room for dessert if your order the oysters brochette and carpetbagger steak. Your pants will be unzipped before you have finished half of the entrée. But I promise, at the end of your meal at
Jacques-Imo's, your bursting stomach will already be thanking you profusely.


  1. Oh my, reading this post just after finishing an intense ping-pong game made my stomach really growl!!! All the dishes are mouth watering. Thanks for this post, PE!

  2. You reminded me how much I love it there. The food is's defiantly worth the extra calories!

  3. Wow, my goodness, what a food fest!

  4. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


  5. I'm also a big fan of their seared tuna steak with the oyster brie sauce, although the many times that I've been there the service leaves a lot to be desired. They always make up for it with freebies, but don't expect fast or attentive service.

  6. Holy crap, that's a lot of food! Those oysters look divine...

  7. Forget about calories and cholesterol ... I would SO eat here!

  8. Playing ping pong can definitely work up an appetite Jhaw, sj, I hope you won after a great battle!

    Oh yes, I would much rather pack on the pounds if it meant eating great Southern food, LA Chic!

    It was a food fest-ival indeed, KirkK!

    Thanks for visiting and your kind words Sarah, I checked out your blog, and loved that you inspired me to exercise!

    Oh man Liza Jane, I wish I had their tuna and oyster brie sauce, because that sounds killer! As for the service, I wholeheartedly agree, but the pace of life is more relaxed down there in New Orleans, and unfortunately, lackadaisical restaurant service is the norm.

    I love eating lots of food Clare, especially oysters!

    Taste Tester, you look great, so your body could afford to eat there every day!

  9. Man, am I hungry now! So seductively delicious looking.
    I can't believe you can eat that much though!
    I love the way you use 'fat-laden bacon' in a good way. Love it.

  10. Just hearing about those oysters made my mouth water!!I think your pictures raised my BMI!

  11. I think I'm going to put those oyster brochette down as something to serve at my last supper before I die because they sure look good but I probably would die from eating all that fried stuff, oyster and bacon. Doesn't it sound like something someone created as a last meal for someone else?

  12. Haha, any sentence with "fat-laden bacon" in it is a good (and delicious) sentence Melinda!

    Since those pictures were from New Orleans, imagine that your BMI went back down because you would have to travel a long distance for that food, Deborah Dowd!

    Don't wait that long before trying oysters brochette Chef Ben, if you wait that long, you will not have lived properly!

  13. In all seriousness, I don't think my mouth has ever actually watered before I read this and looked at your photos. Great review.


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