Meals from My Memory: Jaques-Imo’s (2004)

March 23, 2015

I like to go out to eat. I always have. I look for interesting locations, unique takes on a dish, or even a superstar chef.

There was a time when I was married to another chef and we both watched Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations.” One episode featured a trip to New Orleans and a trip to Jaques-Imo’s restaurant.

My Dad happened to be in New Orleans for work shortly afterwards, and since I was living in Austin, Texas at the time, I dragged the hubby to The Big Easy for a quick road trip and visit. My Dad is always up for a good meal, so I mentioned Jaques-Imo’s and he made a reservation for the three of us.

The truck with a table was in front of the place.  When you walked in the first things you saw were the bar, red walls, and a lot of art. It was glorious, busy and noisy, but with a happy vibe. The hostess took us on a roundabout tour of the establishment, so we could see the multiple dining areas with eclectic lighting, vivid colors and happy customers. We even did a pass through the kitchen to take in the delicious sights and smells.

I’m not sure exactly what we ordered, but this is my best recollection. 

First I had the house salad , a small spinach salad with a (I am guessing) plum vinaigrette and topped with a fried oyster. It was the perfect salad. For my entree I had the paneed duck with sweet potato shrimp sauce, and probably the mashed sweet potato and shoestring fries. It was sweet and savory, crunchy and creamy. I’ve managed to recreate the sauce in my own kitchen, but the duck has proven harder to match.

My Dad loves salmon, so he ordered the salmon special.  It consisted of layers of creamy spinach, black beans, grilled salmon, sauce, and something crisp (like the shoestring fries, or maybe onions?).  He declared it to be one of the best meals he’d ever had. 

I don’t recall what the ex ordered. Maybe that was a sign.

We did have dessert, and it was delicious of that I am sure. 

I was just glad to be seeing my Dad for the first time in a year.

With my recent stroke and my father’s memory losses, I feel like I need to write about some of these great places I have been. This one is a treasured memory. Time spent on the drive to and fro, relaxing and chatting with my Dad, him giving us a tour or New Orleans proper and the Garden District. I had only been there twice before; once as a child, and the other 3 years before on the way home to Austin from Pittsburgh.

I hope I never forget the colors, the smells, the folks and the music. A memorable place.

This is one place I recommend. Jaques-Imos.

Update: The menu has been found!