Seafood & SOUL – Jack’s Restaurant | 1516 New Bern Ave., Raleigh, NC
Located at 1516 New Bern Ave., Raleigh, North Carolina, Jack’s offers a building with an exterior reminiscent of a classic diner.
The restaurant offers minimal seating at a few tables, and stools placed at a counter facing the window that looks out towards the parking lot. The atmosphere is perfect for a meal on the go. Once your order is placed, wait to be called, grab your order, and go. You’ll appreciate this advice since the place gets pretty crowded around lunchtime. The menu offers a vast selection of seafood, even scallops, and oysters (available Thursday to Sunday ONLY). The customer service was exceptional for my party of two. We arrived just in time for the fresh batch of macaroni and cheese!
The lunch/dinner menu was reasonably priced. We had:
A Calabash Shrimp (6 oz.) dinner including candied yams, rice & gravy, and macaroni & cheese, for just $9.99. The Calabash shrimp was a large portion of well-seasoned seafood, cooked to perfection. The flavorful batter and absence of a soggy and greasy breading was very good. The macaroni and cheese was baked, creamy, and the noodles were cooked perfectly al dente. The yams were fresh cut and bathed in the perfect combination of cinnamon, brown sugar, and nutmeg. The image of the crispy glaze really made my mouth water. The rice was cooked just right, but the gravy was flavorless. My companion gave this meal a 4.9 out of 5, simply based on the gravy (which is a personal preference).
A Fried Catfish dinner with a side of potato salad and okra, for just $9. The catfish was freshly caught, perfectly breaded, and lightly seasoned. Despite the hearty portion, I could have definitely eaten more. The potato salad was a perfect blend of potatoes and mayo goodness with a hint of sugar. The okra was coated in a basic batter and cooked perfectly. The meal included misshapen globs of fried dough that resembled hushpuppies. The “hushpuppies” were handmade, non-uniform, and dense.
Overall, this restaurant definitely deserves a repeat visit. Be sure to grab yourself a meal with a touch of soul at “Jack’s Seafood & Soul Food.”