Jo-el’s – Dishing up Family Friendly Food, One Bite at a Time by Tara Ambrose

Located in the bottom level of the Richland State Bank Building on North 7th Street in West Monroe, Louisiana, Jo-el’s is an utter “hole in one” when it comes to an eatery that offers a little something for everyone in your midst.

Owners Kelli & Douglas Angell and Robyn Walker took over Jo-el’s in June of 2015 after being devoted employees for many years. “We were here for over 4 years and Robyn really loved it,” Kelli says.  Kelli goes on, “we (Robyn and I) really saw a lot of potential” so it was no surprise when they jumped at the opportunity to make Jo-el’s their own.

“One of the things that my husband and I would do on the weekends would be to have a date night,” Kelli laments, “… and on one of those evenings we went in search of a GREAT burger, and there really just weren’t any places that we could think of back then –I’m just a burger person”, she says with a warm smile and a giggle.

With a vision geared toward the “burger crowd” the girls hit the ground running with mouthwatering specialty burgers such as “The Bob Marley Burger”, which is comprised of a hand-patted beef patty, dressed with lettuce, tomato, mango salsa and an island fire sauce to perfectly paired to compliment the jalapeno bun it all rests within, but the burger filled bliss doesn’t end there.  In addition to this concoction, Robyn and Kelli wow diners with “The Complete Meltdown Burger”, “The More Than a Mouthful Burger” (and trust me, it most certainly is) and “The Bacon, Egg and Cheese Burger” just to name a few.

The "more than a mouthful" burger with Sweet Potato fries
The “more than a mouthful” burger with Sweet Potato fries

As my cohort in culinary crime Gary the Gastronaut looks on at the delectable dishes that Kelli and Robyn have prepared for our utter enjoyment, I noticed a rather interesting item on the menu called “The Judester”.  Comprised of two open faced homemade burgers, smothered with gravy, and adorned with copious amounts of shredded cheddar cheese and grilled onions – the only thing that came to Gary’s mind as I read about this intense item was “…do we get a nap with this????”  As we stood there laughing, Kelli and Robyn made certain to interject, “… there’s just something about our gravy… you just want to take a nap after you’ve enjoyed it,” and I can most certainly understand why!

Moving right along with our interview, the next item up on the plate was the “Chicken Bacon Ranch Flatbread”.  Yep, you heard right, we have a shop that serves the most savory flatbreads that one can imagine right here in West Monroe!  Kelli and Robyn have worked to create a little something for everyone with these handheld beauties such as a “Steak & Cheddar Flatbread”, “Zesty Taco Flatbread” or the “Chicken Tender Flatbread” made with perfectly fried crispy chicken strips, melted cheddar cheese, and a buffalo ranch sauce all held together by the walls of a warm naan flatbread.

Bacon Chicken Ranch Flatbread
Bacon Chicken Ranch Flatbread

Now for those patrons who prefer a greener option, Jo-el’s offers scrumptious salads such as the “Strawberry”, “Blueberry”, “Taco”, “Caesar”, “Mandarin”, fully loaded “Chef”, the “Crispy Tender” and even a house-made chicken salad that is simply to-dine-for.

As our visit came to a close, I quickly retrieved a menu and within the folds of each page, Jo-el’s menu didn’t cease to amaze me offering their patrons with additional items such as paninis, po-boys and even a hot lunch special served daily within the cozy confines of Jo-el’s colorfully comfortable dining room.

Bidding Kelli and Robyn adieu for today, but certainly not for long, Gary and I packed up our parcels and thanked our most gracious hosts for an amazing afternoon of food delight.

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2500 North 7th Street (Richland State Bank Building)

West Monroe, LA 71291

Phone:  (318) 387-5343

Fax:  387-5349

Hours of Operation: 

Monday through Friday:  11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Sunday: 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.


Written by Tara Ambrose of Tara’s Taste of the Town

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