Ina Mae Tavern & Packaged Goods

Old Timey Cocktails, Po'boys and a Whole Lot of New Orleans Soul in Wicker Park

Ina Mae Tavern Will See You Now

By Pearl Plotkin ·
9b3834053a1db8db1cca562a98db103514 PhotosIna Mae Tavern & Packaged Goods

New Orleans. Wicker Park.

Same thing, really.

Once you've stepped inside of Ina Mae Tavern & Packaged Goods, that is. It's a New Orleans-inspired bar and restaurant in the former Beachwood Inn space, it's now open for dinner and you're going to want to get in there immediately.

Chef Brian Jupiter's goal: to bring the flavors and recipes of his southern upbringing to our fair city. Your goal: to eat po'boys and conquer seafood towers inside a local dive bar-/corner store-looking space with an A-frame ceiling and a second floor balcony.

If you're just stopping by for a drink, you might consider one of their old-timey cocktails like the Cowbellions and Thieves with rye, salted peanuts and cherry cola. Then again, you could always just grab a strawberry or Georgia Cream Sno-Ball at their to-go window on your way to somewhere hot.

But back to the things you'll be eating. Start off with some hushpuppies topped with pimento honey butter, or the New Orleans Gumbo Ya-Ya, inspired by the chef's grandmother. From there, feel free to move onto things like crawfish, oysters and shrimp, served by the half-pound either boiled or fried.

"That's all great, but are there beignets?" You might ask.

"Yes." We might reply. 

And then we basically just catch up on life from there.

Pearl Plotkin is often mistaken for an 89-year-old bubbie. Her favorite things include writing, doodling, live music and finding faces in inanimate objects. Not necessarily in that order.

Elsewhere on the Daddy

More Food in Chicago