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Okra's Cajun Creole, Old Town Manassas


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Mr. S and I made our first visit to Old Town Manassas today, and chose Okra's for lunch.

We split an order of Choctaw Oysters (6 for $11.95). I thought they were fine, although I agreed with Mr. S that the corn and andouille sausage tended to drown out the flavor of the oysters themselves. I think it is a matter of personal preference that we like our oysters less adorned.

Mr. S had a shrimp po' boy with French fries. The large sandwich was stuffed with small fried shrimp, lined with lettuce and tomato. I wasn't able to taste it, but I'm told the shrimp were tasty and well-cooked (neither over nor under cooked) and lightly sauced (remoulade?). In fact, a little more sauce would have really hit the spot, he reports. At $7.95 for an 8-inch sandwich brimming with shrimp, I thought it a reasonable deal. A 4-inch sandwich will set you back $4.95. The accompanying fries ($1.95) were large waffle-cut slabs, crispy on the outside and creamy ("potato-y") inside. Mr. S is particular about fries, and he seemed to really enjoy these.

I had a "tee" (small) portion of jambalaya ($9.95) with maque choux on the side ($2.95). A small was plenty for me, and I ended up bringing home leftovers. I really enjoyed the jambalaya, but I don't have a point of reference. I was worried that it might be too spicy for me as a Scoville wimp, but the spicing was just right. As for the maque choux, I would have liked a little more ham flavor, and I prefer a version with cream, but overall it was a nice side. Again, my criticism is more personal preference than execution. My unsweetened ice tea tasted like brewed tea, which was a plus.

The decor is bright and colorful (it was remodeled in 2005), the music soft and upbeat. I imagine it could be pretty loud when it's running at full capacity, but it was pretty quiet at lunch today. I was very happy that they provided a separate list of gluten-free menu items. I might not have tried this restaurant if I hadn't seen that on their website. And I might have overlooked this little restaurant altogether if this forum had not be inaccessible yesterday when I was planning our excursion. We look forward to returning to Okra's.

Edited to add: The service was friendly and attentive.

Edited by ScotteeM
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