Whenever I desire casual comfort, a relaxing atmosphere, good service and delicious, simple cuisine, there are two local restaurants that come to mind and one of them just happens to be Joey K’s. I know I’ve said it before, but when I first moved here I was a complete stranger and finding this neighborhood restaurant was a great solace for me. With a friendly staff and home-cooked food, I was eased into the wonderful community I now call home and I often go back to Joey K’s when I want to feel those warm-fuzzies all over again.
A few days ago, John and I went back to the restaurant on the corner of Magazine and 7th for lunch. Since the last time I visited, the walls were even more heavily decorated in local artist Simon Hardeveld’s work than I thought possible (been meaning to purchase “Shalom Y’all” sign for my friend Shalom for ages). We sat down, placed our order and pondered the origin of Joey K’s many customers while we waited.
Our appetizer arrived and the aroma made it difficult not to dive in right away. The Eggplant Napoleon is a tall stack of battered and fried eggplant rounds smothered in a crawfish cream sauce and sprinkled with fried shrimp. With the level of fat and oil involved, the dish could possibly induce a coronary right there in the restaurant, but it is one of Joey K’s signature dishes and it is a creamy, crispy, gooey pile of yum that is impossible to refuse. I get it every time I come here and, I promise you, I am not the only one.
After we inhaled the Napoleon and wiped up the excessive sauce with a slice of fresh French bread, our entrees appeared. John chose an oyster po-boy, fully dressed, with crunchy, plump, cornmeal battered oysters served with a side of sliced pickles. I picked the Roast Beef Po-Boy, also fully dressed, and wondered why Brett Anderson hadn’t hit this spot up in his search for the best. The sandwich had thick chunks of moist roast beef smothered in a rich, flavorful, dark gravy that slopped out of the other end when I took my first bite…perfect behavior for a choice po-boy.
Although I was tempted to order my usual favorite, the Blackberry Cobbler, I opted for Miss Cathy’s Brownie Pie a la mode. The warm, thick brownie was studded with walnuts and topped with a luscious chocolate frosting. We went home stuffed and satisfied from another wonderfully gratifying meal at Joey K’s. It’s places like these that reinforce the reason why I chose New Orleans as my home.