We know that we are guilty of it and you probably are too. You drive by a restaurant at least twice a week, but you never go in. Your friends tell you to go, but you never get there. You finally get there and it’s too crowded, so you go somewhere else. We must confess that AJ’s is probably that place as far as Date Night is concerned.
AJ’s is hard to find. It’s hidden in the Kroger shopping center at East Lake in Marietta, right behind a brick column. It’s to the right of the Kroger. As we will see, it’s well-worth finding. It’s small too.
There’s small waiting area and a bar when you walk in. Here’s the rest of the dining room.
There’s not a lot of space. They get crowded on the weekends.
There’s a lot of good Cajun things on the menu, and I am faced with an immediate dilemma: which beer to get. Do I want the Abita Turbo Dog (a nice brown) or the Abita Andygator (their doppelbock). Decisions, decisions. Our server comes up with a much better idea, the Cajun black and tan.
Brilliant! It’s an Irish favorite with a Cajun twist. The Turbo Dog is on the top and the Andygator is below. Just like they do in Ireland, Louisiana. You should try this just for the novelty of it.
We jump right into the menu and skip the appetizers, but you can get a sampler platter of the apps, and that’s what Eve does.
Isn’t this a pretty plate? It lets you try a little of everything, and share with your date if you are nice. The gumbo has a kick as it should. Eve gets seafood, but you can get chicken and sausage as well. Her jambalaya is not as spicy, but it’s full of cajun flavor. The shrimp comes hot or cold. Eve goes with cold, which is better because the shrimp stay a little firmer.
Sometimes, you just have to have fried oysters. AJ’s is a good place to get them.
They are plump and juicy. If you want, you can get a “half and half”, with oysters and shrimp. There are so many choices here. I trade with Eve for some of those nice steamed shrimp. You can get fries, but why would you want them when you can have another Cajun favorite, red beans and rice. We are hitting the entire spectrum tonight. The beans and rice are excellent and not too spicy. The gumbo is definitely wins the “most spicy” award tonight.
Date Night is watching our waist lines after all of those meals in Florence last week, so we don’t even look to see if they have dessert!
The bottom line on AJ’s: Finally! We don’t know how long AJ’s has been here, but we are glad we went. What took us so long? The servers are nice, there are lots of regulars, and this is some fine “slap yo’ mama” kind of Cajun cooking. Since it’s only two miles from our house, we will definitely work this into our regular rotation.