Tag Archives: seafood

A Taste of the Coast at TJ’s Seafood Shack

11 Jul

Since I’m from Louisiana and always on the search for great seafood, I was excited to discover TJ’s Seafood Shack in Oviedo, Florida, about 30 minutes North of Orlando. They specialize in the freshest and finest seafood this side of The Gulf – anything from catfish and cod to lobster rolls and shrimp po-boys. The owners, Tim and Mary; a brother and sister pair, are very passionate about providing their customers with the very best and it shows in every dish they serve. Speaking of, here are some of the mouth-watering items we were privileged to try.

We dove right in with an appetizer sampler consisting of moist hushpuppies, crisp onion petals dredged in homemade breading, irresistible sea salt sprinkled sweet potato fries, and freshly fried pickle coins. These are all served with TJ’s homemade sauces – dill, creole, and cilantro. For a little piece of Heaven, make sure to dip the fried pickles into the dill sauce, you can thank me later.

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Next we were served their smoked mahi mahi fish dip which is masterfully crafted from a few simple ingredients – perfectly (and I mean perfectly) smoked mahi, jalapenos, cream cheese and some secret seasonings. You are going to want to slather this on everything! It is mind-blowingly good! It’s smoky and creamy, leaving you wanting an endless supply.

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Just as I was thinking it couldn’t get any better, they brought out their Louisiana-style Yumbo Gumbo! It was full of shredded chicken, Andouille sausage and more of their secret spices. They served it with just the right rice to gumbo ratio, which is sometimes difficult to find. It also had just the right amount of heat which would make my grandma proud! I made sure not a drop was left behind!

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I was beyond elated about our next dish – fried catfish! Catfish has such a great distinct flavor and TJ’s knocks it outta the park! They dredge theirs in cornmeal breading, fry until golden brown and serve them in bite size pieces. This is some of the best catfish I’ve had outside of Louisiana. Incredibly crunchy French fries and homemade tartar sauce come along side and definitely should not be overlooked!

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One of my favorite sandwiches is a shrimp po-boy, so I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into TJ’s! It arrived toasty warm; overflowing with deliciously fried jumbo shrimp drizzled in their yummy creole sauce. The bread was crusty on the outside and fluffy on the inside creating pillows, if you will, for the delightfully fresh crustaceans. The creole sauce added a new level of happiness, melding with the shrimp beautifully. Definitely one of best po-boy’s I’ve ever had!

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Then arrived the dish I had been looking forward to for quite some time, their famous tilapia fish tacos covered in their equally as famous cilantro sauce! The tilapia can be ordered either blackened or fried, we opted for the former. They arrived and I immediately wanted to crawl inside their soft tortilla shells! The tilapia was flakey, wonderfully seasoned and nicely complemented by the cilantro sauce. Each taco was juicy and flavorful – it can get messy, but it’s totally worth it!

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And last but certainly not least we tried their sautéed Maryland style crab cakes. Every bite was full of tender crab meat and the tasty remoulade sauce made for a perfect flavor combination.

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I’ve also heard great things about their 100% Angus beef cheeseburger but since we were stuffed to the gills we decided to save that for our next visit, which I hope is very soon since I’m dreaming about their mahi dip right now.

Their dishes were all outstanding but it’s the level of hospitality that comes along with them that puts TJ’s above all the rest. And they are actually already adding to the success of their shack. They recently acquired a food truck that serves some of the same great seafood, like their famous fish tacos and also new additions like their shrimp and grits that you can only get from the truck! Visit their website http://www.tjsseafoodshack.com for their locations and a schedule of events!

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This was my first visit to TJ’s Seafood Shack and I am absolutely hooked! The food and the atmosphere make it impossible not to return!! I’ll see y’all there! Oh, and save me some catfish!

TJ’s Seafood Shack
197 East Mitchell Hammock Road
Oviedo, FL 32765

Big flavors at Jacques-Imo’s Cafe in The Big Easy

23 Jun

I absolutely love New Orleans, Louisiana. So, when my birthday came around last year, I decided it was time for a trip to The Big Easy! We had an incredible time, due largely in part to the food! I knew before arriving we were going to be having dinner at Jacques-Imo’s Café at least once while we were there. It is located just a few minutes outside of The French Quarter in a suburb called Carrollton. This one-of-a-kind restaurant is located inside of a renovated two story shotgun house, which are staples in southern Louisiana. A shotgun house can be described by this one statement: You can shoot through the front and out the back door without hitting any walls. This not only adds immense character, it also provides a very welcoming environment. Jacques-Imo’s has become so popular, art galleries have sprung up in the area looking to take advantage of the crowds and the business they bring. Most stay open later in the evening so hungry restaurant goers can peruse the art work while waiting for their table. It took about an hour for us to be seated which gave us more than enough time to stroll through the galleries.

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I first saw Adam Gertler on the Food Network’s Best Thing I Ever Ate describing the Shrimp and Alligator Sausage Cheesecake offered at Jacques-Imo’s Café and I knew I had to try it! I was a little skeptical at first, not knowing what to expect. However, before even finishing the first bite, I was in love! It was unbelievable, having a quiche-like consistency. The creamy texture balanced perfectly with the buttery crust. The pieces of shrimp and alligator sausage were distributed evenly throughout the entire slice giving it a great rich taste. The sauce was spicy and velvety, a fantastic match for this remarkable creation. It is unlike anything else I’ve ever had!

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I was well prepared for the appetizer portion of our meal; however, I was still a little undecided about my entree. Everything on this menu sounded amazing, which made my final decision very difficult. It ultimately came down to our server’s recommendation: the fried chicken. She said it was one of their most popular dishes, and I can see why! It was juicy, flavorful and seasoned to perfection. This is some of the best fried chicken New Orleans has to offer! They give you a breast, thigh, and wing with two sides and a house salad! So much fabulous food! It smelled so heavenly that guests walking or sitting near us continued asking if it tasted as good as it smelled. I answered “Yes!” without hesitation every time. For my sides, I ordered red beans and rice and seasoned corn. Both very good!

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The dessert menu was rather small, having only two options. We chose the crème brulee. It was warm, creamy and torched to perfection, certainly large enough for two people.
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This has definitely become one of my favorite restaurants in all of New Orleans. The atmosphere and the food are going to be very hard to beat!

Jacques-Imo’s Cafe
8324 Oak St
New Orleans, LA 70118

http://www.jacques-imos.com

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