J’Anita’s at The Rendon Inn: New location, same great food!

The first job I had in New Orleans was at Kelley & Abide Co. located on Euphrosine Street, a clothing distributor that had been in business since 1910.  Though I thought it odd at first, working in such an industrial setting, the staff treated me like a new member of the family (mainly Abides) and it took no time for me to feel like I belonged.

One difficulty while working there was finding affordable places to go for lunch that didn’t consist of the usual, fast-food choices. I mean, how much Popeye’s and Wendy’s can one really stand? Plus, if we ventured too far from the office, our lunch hour would be compromised translating to a smaller paycheck. I sure wish J’Anita’s was at The Rendon Inn back then.
A couple of days ago, John and I decided to dine at J’Anita’s in their new location for my 68th cheat. I am still hovering around a loss of 77 pounds…will this stalemate ever end? Maybe now that all the holiday goodies are gone? We shall see.

The restaurant is located in a strange little triangle on the corner of Rendon and Eve that is a bit confusing to find. Even knowing the area, finding my way there had me scratching my head in confusion. Through a bit of backtracking and driving that certainly annoyed others, we finally made it to J’Anita’s just a little after noon.

As I was to discover, The Rendon Inn was formerly a bar and that really hasn’t changed all that much. A huge rectangular bar dominates most of the room with high, wood tables hugging the perimeter.  There is also a nice, large patio outside that we considered, but thought the day was just a tad too cold. Instead, we settled down inside with some $3 mimosas and ordered.

Our appetizer, hilariously dubbed “Crunchy Hog Balls,” arrived fairly quickly. They were six bite-sized balls made from bits of pulled pork mixed with house-smoked pepper jack cheese, rolled in panko and fried. Though I really enjoyed the balls, I didn’t really like the sauce which, I have been informed, is a white, Alabama BBQ sauce. Maybe next time I’ll ask for some Creole mustard on the side.

John got the St. Chuck Duck with their soup of the day, Tomato Basil. His sandwich was so delicious; duck sautéed in Cabernet and served on grilled sourdough bread with Granny Smith apples, smothered in cheddar and bleu cheeses and dressed with a rich, currant relish. I know exactly what I’m ordering next time.

My sandwich was pretty darn good too, the Swamp Reuben. Toasted sourdough bread piled high with beef brisket and pulled pork dressed with coleslaw and their own, homemade BBQ sauce. I had no difficulty devouring it, along with some perfect potato salad on the side made with red potatoes, onions and “no pickley stuff” to muck it all up.

Though I must come back and try one of J’Anita’s desserts some time, I had a whole Bavarian cream King Cake from Maple Street Patisserie waiting for us at home. I brewed my favorite coffee, CDM, as soon as we walked in the door and we relaxed with a huge slice of heaven and sighed, sated from another excellent cheat.

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  1. We have discussed making it a no-smoking venue. Only 25% of the population smokes anymore anyway and it's only a matter of time before the legislature imposes such a law. We only lease the kitchen, so any such decision would be up to the bar owner.

  2. Well, when I went, no one was smoking and it didn't smell smoky at all. If you wanted to avoid that, there is an outdoor patio.

    Also, maybe it's because I'm a former smoker, but I actually like the smell of cigarette smoke. Different strokes…

  3. No mention of the fact that people are smoking in the bar and the place stinks often? That's too bad–liked J'anita's on Magazine St., but before I could make it here, friends told me how smokey it was when they went there during happy hour–and how they took their food out. Sad.

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