We followed up the Hermes parade with a big dinner at Jacque-Imo’s. This is one of my favorite restaurants on Earth because the food is incredibly bold and damn good but the environment is really festive and down-to-Earth. In this way, Jacque-Imo’s is like a microcosm of the entire City of New Orleans with its high standards presented in a low-brow, hard-partying fashion. This was my third trip to Jacque-Imo’s in New Orleans. (I went to the New York branch once and the entire experience was so hideously bad, I doubt I’ll ever return. Call me picky, but I don’t like my chicken rare.)
Our group had our own little room in what looked like it was once an alley between two buildings. We shared a ton of appetizers, and I will admit to being shocked that I loved the rich chicken livers as much as I did. I had had the alligator-andouille cheesecake in the past and had been underwhelmed, but there was magic in that gator this time, and the creamy-spicy combo was dead on. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to grab a piece of deep fried roast beef po boy, but I guess that’s reason enough to return. My entrée was the fried chicken plate (and you know I went with the dark meat). While the late Chef Austin Leslie was a renowned Fried Chicken Guru at Jacque-Imo’s, he obviously taught his skills to the staff because this was easily the best fried chicken I’ve ever tasted, falling somewhere between light and crispy. Oddly enough, the slices of pickle on top were the perfect compliment. I paired it with some tangy smothered cabbage and country greens. They brought out a ton of desserts for our table, and I don’t remember what we had, but I remember liking all of it. (Shock of shocks.)
Fried chicken– nothing short of amazing. Photo by J-R.
Teddy gets ready to dig into his enormous fried fish.
One thing I did notice was that everyone, and I mean everyone, was eating wayyyyyyy faster than I was. I don’t know why this is because I typically have a bad habit of inhaling my food like a starving Ethiopian gorging himself at the Old Country Buffet. Perhaps I was downshifting my internal rhythm to match the slower pace of New Orleans? Maybe New Orleanians do everything slowly except for eating? Or it could be that I finally learned to savor my food….nah, I doubt it. Anyway, this seemed to be a running theme wherever I ate during my trip, as everyone was always waiting for me to finish and pull away from the feeding trough.
We left Jacques-Imo’s and went back to our gracious host Lindsay’s home. We stocked up on some beer. Once again, I must my express my affinity for states that allow you to buy copious amounts of alcohol in a gas station. (Get with the times, Pennsylvania!) We also spent a good amount of time blowing-up inflatable toys and action figures. We have a friend who owns a novelty company in Rhode Island, so he sent us a bevy of inflatable things, including musical instruments, Superman, The Incredible Hulk, and a blow-up doll that we named Ofeelya. These inflatable objects provided hours upon hours of joy. I honestly don’t know why we loved them so, but this was a bachelor party, and I tried not to make too much sense of it.
Ofeelya enjoyed it as she was blown by three of us. Photo by J-R.