Monday, March 1, 2010

J. Gumbo's Cajun Joint - Gahanna

Wheeeew Eeeee!!!

Okay, I know that was pathetic. But I just had to get it out of my system. Sorry. You know you would have done the same exact thing. Just admit it, already.

Yesterday Bob was driving home from church and I was checking in on Facebook. There was an entry from J. Gumbo’s Cajun Joint about “Bloody Mary Sunday”! Well, yeah it caught my eye! It’s been open for a bit now and we haven’t had a chance to stop. So I mentioned this to him, he turned the car around and cut through the neighborhood to come up the back street. We pulled in and the sign said they weren’t open yet. So with empty stomachs growling, we started to leave. But then the door opened up and we were greeted by a great smile that had a nice guy attached to it (that would be Charlie) and he said to just come on in! We didn’t need to be asked twice!

Charlie explained how things worked at J. Gumbo’s. He let us sample several items and told us which one he especially liked and which ones were spicy and which ones not so much. He also told us what items went together really great in combo bowls. All of the “Big Bowl Entrées” were served over a bed of white rice with a slice of house bread. They had appetizers (dips and nachos) and Po Boys and Sandwiches. There were even vegetarian options for those so inclined. There were red beans and rice, jambalaya, gumbo, etouffée, white chili; oh I could just keep going! Some things you are just gonna have to find out for yourselves.

Now there was a problem. A big problem; not insurmountable, but a problem nonetheless. There comes a point when you have to make a decision. They frown upon you standing at the counter with a spoon, tasting the afternoon away. At least the line forming behind us did! (I jest…the line formed after we’d already taken our seats. Remember? We got in early!)

I chose a combo of Drunken Chicken and Bumblebee Stew over white rice. The slice of bread I mentioned earlier? Change that to a hunk of bread…and good bread! Bob went with Jambalaya and Voodoo Chicken. These were some serious portions, too! You’d all better be hungry when you get to J. Gumbo’s!

Now let me tell you about my meal. Oh my, was it good. Bob was a little surprised I had gotten the Drunken Chicken because; well let’s just say it out loud, I-AM-A-WUSS! The menu shows the Drunken Chicken with 3 bottles of hot sauce. The description was “Tender chicken with garlic, olive oil, stewed tomatoes and Cajun spices slow-cooked with beer.” And it certainly did pack some heat. But when paired with the Bumblebee Stew, “A blend of yellow corn, stewed tomatoes, onions and black beans in a creamy sweet and spicy butter sauce,” it attained a level of heavenness…is that a word? (It is now!)The chunks of chicken were so tender they just fell apart. And there was that hunk-o-bread to sop up all of the juices. It really was so good I just can’t even do it justice!

Bob’s combo was seriously good, too. I will take his word on that. I opted not to try the Voodoo Chicken. The description was “Slow-cooked chicken in a spicy Cajun tomato sauce with garlic and crushed red pepper, sprinkled with our Voodoo spice.” He really liked it but did encourage me to stick with the Drunken Chicken  I did dip into his Jambalaya. And boy I am glad I did! ‘Cause I know that’s what I’m getting next time! The description was, “Traditional Creole-style jambalaya with tender chicken, sausage and the “trinity” (bell pepper, onion and celery).” The sausage was smokey and absolutely delicious!

Right now during their opening, all of their menu items are $6! Insane! Crazy! Wonderful!!!

The owner, Brandon came over to greet us as we were finishing our lunch. He told us that their full service bar opened last Friday and they’ll be having live blues & jazz soon. There is also a dining section at the side where he has local artists display their artwork. He’s all about community and that certainly puts a smile on our face.

J. Gumbo’s Cajun Joint is located in the building that used to house Panera on Granville Street. We totally enjoyed our lunch and meeting Brandon & Charlie. Great food, great friends, what more can you ask for?

Visit soon! And tell them you saw them on Dishing-It-Up-Columbus! Tell them Bob & Jean sent you. It won’t get you anything free…except maybe a big smile. But you’ll get that anyway!


J. Gumbo’s Cajun Joint – Gahanna
64 Granville Street
Gahanna, OH 43230

p.s. I just received a great email from Brandon (who hasn't even seen this review yet!) and here are a few more details of interest from him:

"Please keep in mind that we will be introducing desserts in the next few weeks, and a light salad menu will follow that. Also, as mentioned on Sunday, we currently offer Free Wi-Fi anytime, a new local artist each month with a gallery style feature, a full bar (including a long list of premium and Louisiana Brews), specialty made from scratch bloody mary's on Sundays, and very soon we will have live Jazz and Blues on Saturday evenings."

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