One of my favorite memories as a kid is my dad cooking a burger or some brisket on his grill. All of my cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles would come to our house and eat with us.
It was a time to have a basic barbecue with good memories and laughs.
That’s exactly what it feels like at Jac’s Craft Smokehouse in Downtown West Monroe.(https://www.restaurantji.com/la/west-monroe/jacs-craft-smokehouse-/) Jac’s, owned by Tracy and Kristi Carter, started out as a seasoning and sauce company in 2005, according to their website.
It slowly developed from salsas and seasonings to hot sauces, seasoning dips and barbecue sauces all created by the Carters, according to Kristi Carter. In 2017, Jac’s became a part-time food truck and eventually a full-time food truck in May 2020.
From their regular customers at the food truck and their desire to own their own restaurant, the Carters opened Jac’s on Oct. 29, 2020. And business has been booming ever since.
“It’s wild sometimes. All the tables will be full and people will stand around waiting on a table,” said Rachael Nance, the marketing manager of Jac’s.
And trust me, their food is worth the wait. One of their most popular items on the menu is the brisket melt. The name says it all—as soon as the brisket hits your mouth, it begins to melt. The brisket melt consists of smoky chopped brisket, brown sugar caramelized onions and melted pepper jack cheese served on toasted rye bread brushed with garlic butter.
If you’re looking for something with more barbecue, look no further than the smokehouse burger. It has two 1/3 lb. ground beef patties, topped with caramelized onions, and drenched with barbecue sauce freshly made from Jac’s.
Don’t forget their sides: Jac’s make sure they are not plain. Their potato salad is unique. It’s loaded with chives, cheese and bacon to make your mouth beg for more. They make their own homemade potato chips with barbeque seasoning.
And while this is not a side, under Jac’s Classics, you can get the mac attack which contains creamy mac and cheese topped with your choice of pulled pork or chopped brisket.
Plus, they have plenty of commodities for students. According to Nance, ULM students will receive 10% off their purchase when they show their student ID.
Jac’s also has a full-service coffee bar and sells specialty coffee beans. Their Wi-Fi is free, and they have a bar to sit at with plugs for laptops to charge.
“Students can sit there and take a class or whatever, especially in this distance learning environment,” Nance said. “You can come here, set up with your laptop, buy some food or coffee, and just hang out.”
The Carters do not want to just be known as another barbeque place. They have plenty of items on their menus for any person who doesn’t like barbeque. Some of their customers non-barbecue favorites are the Club Sandwich and Bayou Cuban.
“There’s no other craft smokehouse here in town. Everything just tastes good. Nothing will disappoint you,” Kristi said.