July 11, 2006

The Great ... no, the Awesome Jones Cafe

After everything I'd heard about the Great Jones Cafe, the last thing I was expecting when Meg and I walked through the doors last weekend was a Southern-style roadside shack. (I use the word shack lightly; shack-chic might be a bit better as a descriptor.)

Both of us ordered from the day's specials: an andouille sausage po boy with sweet 'tato fries for Meg and a plate of cornmeal breaded catfish with collards for me. And as you can see from the picture (right), we were treated to reasonable prices.

We should have gotten the 95-cent order of jalepeno corn bread. Everyone around us was raving about it. Next time.

The food was pretty awesome; Meg's po boy came on a ciabatta-type chewy bread and came dressed with with sauteed onions and peppers, and some pickle chips. The sausage was more than a little spicy, about a 2 on my spicy scale, and the heat rounded out the otherwise sweet and mild dish. And the super-thin sweet potato fries were wonderful, if a bit soggy.

My catfish was interesting; not really at all what I was expecting , but hey, I'm a yankee. When I read cornmeal breaded, I imagined something with a serious crunch (as if there were lightly crushed cornflakes in the batter). The cornmeal breading was that: mealy with a little bit of corn. Not too much crunch. Anyway, the ample serving of catfish was tender and mild. That mildness was more than made up for by the kick-you-in-the-teeth collard greens. They were predictably pungent and garlicky.

To finish, we ordered a slice of the peanut butter pie. Both of us expected a gelatinous peanut butter pudding pie but were incredibly pleased at the light, creamy pie that came instead. It was light brown in color with thin ribbons of chocolate on top and some kind of tender crust. The peanut butter seemed to have been whipped with cream and cinnamon, because the texture was a dry-ish light fluff.

We left full and happy.

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