The café opened in 2001, at the corner of York and Commercial Streets, where it still thrives under the spreading branches of an ancient, much-loved cherry tree. The business has always been a team effort between Ike and his wife Adrienne, their staff, their suppliers, and the people who support the café by eating here.
Back then, two things set the café apart: the New Orleans style of cooking and our strong focus on organic food raised locally. At the time, few places had made a strong commitment to sustainable local food-sourcing. It took (and still takes) extra work and time to connect with local farmers, but this is one of the bed-rock principles of our cooking. We use local, sustainably farmed, humanely raised, and organic ingredients exclusively and year round. Even when things aren’t in season, we stockpile goods to last us through the winter months. We’re happy to have been among those restaurants spearheading the movement — now seen everywhere — toward farm-to-table eating.
In addition, everything’s made from scratch. Bread, sauces, spices, jams — even our pancake syrup! There are options here for every diet and food allergy: vegan, vegetarian, celiac, carnivore, omnivore, and ordinary picky eaters (adult and child). We love taking traditional comfort foods and jazzing them up with great ingredients and interesting flavors. The food is made to order, and our kitchen’s much too small for the number of seats we have, so before they even order, we are silently thanking our customers for their patience! People tell us it is worth the wait.
Using local ingredients helps to lower our carbon footprint: not only is the food fresher, but transportation costs are minimized. All our waste food is composted, including what’s left on plates, which goes to feed livestock on a local farm. Our waste oil is picked up and fuels biodiesel tractors and other vehicles. Our cleaning supplies are biodegradable: even our mops are made from recycled plastic bottles! We provide to-go containers with a high percentage of post-consumer recycled content.
Through all these methods, we’re doing our part to keep money circulating in our local economy, reduce the use of water and electricity, support small farmers and ranchers, who in turn come in for meals and support us back. This is community-building at its most basic and efficient level.
It has always been our mission to bring our community and guests a delicious, creative cuisine made with top-notch ingredients and a whole lot of love. We believe that good food, produced sustainably and prepared with love, will not only nourish our customers, it can change the world!
People from all walks of life eat at Ike’s: locals and tourists, lawyers from the nearby courthouse, farmers, D.J.s, fire fighters, baristas, painters, teachers, moms and dads with kids and grandkids, everyone. Sometimes the folks who regularly eat with us end up changing the foods they eat at home. To see more and more good ingredients showing up in home pantries is Mission Accomplished for us. The food we eat has always been a top priority in our family. We’re delighted when we can share and pass on these good habits to you and yours.
Laissez les bon temps rouler!
Let the good times roll!