Sunday, May 26, 2013

DaDeO New Orleans Diner & Bar


When YY came to Edmonton for interviews, we met up for dinner at DaDeO on Whyte Ave. I arrived first and found myself in front of a dark and dingy store with blaring music. Apprehensively, I stepped into a retro checker-floored room packed with people, and several others were waiting at the door. As I glanced at the aged mementos decorating the walls, a staff member came over to check my ID before leading me to a table.


I started with an electric lemonade — a vibrantly blue mixture of vodka, blue curacao, lemonade and soda.


After we placed our orders, we received a complimentary starter of biscuits and green jelly. The biscuits were like scones, except the texture was not quite as dense. I thought the green stuff was mint at first, but it tasted sweet with a pleasantly fragrant flavour. I asked the waiter and he said it was jalapeno jelly. I never would've guessed because it wasn't spicy at all. I think it would pair nicely with chicken or BBQ meats, but it didn't really go with the biscuits. Anyway this starter was a nice departure from traditional bread.


Then we ordered our own starters. YY and her friends decided on oysters rockefeller ($14), baked with spinach, red onion and cheese. The condiments added a lot of flavour, but also took the spotlight away from the oysters.


I preferred the bloody mary oysters ($14) as they were still raw with a piquant seasoning of vodka, tomato, lime, Tabasco, and Worcestershire sauce. Although the condiments here were also quite strong in flavour, they worked well to complement the briny oysters.


I wasn't very hungry, so I just got a bowl of bayou gumbo ($7). The bowl didn't seem very deep, but it held more than enough. The gumbo was thick and creamy with smoked sausage, shrimp, chicken, veggies and rice. It was very filling and I could barely finish it.


Other people ordered full-sized entrees. The seafood jambalaya ($20) looked quite good; it reminded me of Spanish paella.


The southern fried chicken ($20) was a seasoned half chicken served with coleslaw, gravy, and a side of sweet potato fries (+$1).


We all agreed on bananas foster ($14) for dessert. It was prepared table-side and could serve 2-4 people. When the waiter started dumping yellow chunks into the pot, I was convinced they were banana chunks until I noticed the bowl of banana slices sitting on the cart. The yellow stuff started melting and I realized it was butter! A whole lot of butter!


The mixture of melted butter, brown sugar and banana was flambeed, then doled out into individual bowls and topped with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream.


The result was a delicious combination of hot, rich and deeply aromatic caramel, sweet and gooey banana, and cold creamy ice cream. As one of YY's friends said: "I would drink the whole thing if I didn't know what was in it."


Perhaps I'm just not a fan of Cajun/Creole cuisine, but I thought the prices were a bit steep for what we got. Although portion sizes were decent, I wouldn't pay $20 for fried chicken and fries.

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