At this point in our trip, I figured if you’re going to eat unhealthily, you may as well go all out. And so our group headed to Jacques Imo’s for dinner. Jacques Imo’s is part dive, part chic, part Creole, and part imagination. The dishes are like Willy Wonka for the New Orleanian soul. Naturally, we started with the alligator sausage cheesecake.
Despite the name, this “cheesecake” tastes more like a quiche and the alligator tasted well, kind of like chicken. (Or frog. You know, that chicken-y, vaguely seafood-y taste.) Flecked with shrimp and bound together with copious amounts of butter and cheese, one slice was more than enough.
I ordered the frighteningly-named Godzilla meets fried tomatoes as my entree. What the hell is that? You might ask. It’s a deep-fried soft shell crab, served on top of a pile of fried green tomatoes and eggplant. Oh, and it’s served with a knife sticking straight out of the crab. This dish wins at presentation and despite it being incredibly rich (are you noticing a trend here?), it was pretty tasty. I love soft-shell crab, served like a crime scene or not.
I woke up the next day needing something a bit lighter for lunch, so we headed towards the trendy Magazine Street for a bite.
We stopped at Sucre, a beautiful, sleek ice cream, macarons, and chocolate shop serving some of the prettiest desserts I’ve ever seen. I kept things simple with a creamy coconut-basil sorbet, perfect for countering the southern humidity.
Afterwards, we walked to the Mayan Import Company and bought a few Cohiba cigars, perfect for evening porch-lounging and whiskey-swilling.
Before we headed back, we stopped at Joey K’s for dinner.
I needed something vaguely healthy, so I ordered a shrimp remoulade salad and gumbo. The shrimp was deep-fried but hey, lettuce! The gumbo was my only real disappointment; it was too salty and lacked depth of flavor. Still, not much beats balmy outdoor seating on a warm southern night.
We continued our outdoor theme when we arrived to the flat we were staying at. We lit our Cohibas, mixed a few Jack and Cokes, and waxed poetic well into the night.
The next day, we woke up late and lazily strolled around the neighborhood, paying a visit to the beautiful Audobon Park before returning to pack our luggage in preparation for our return flights the next day. We grabbed dinner at the Camellia Grill: fried chicken and French fries with a side of coleslaw and chocolate pecan pie to wash it all down. Our trip was almost over, and it’d be futile to try to start eating healthy now. Another porch-lit evening followed and on the last day, we grabbed our bags and headed to the airport, knowing that New Orleans had changed us — and I don’t mean just our waistlines. We said our goodbyes, with one of us headed towards Alberta and the rest back to the West Coast. Next stop: Canada. Any country that invented poutine is a fine country indeed.