Almost 4,000 km away from the crawfish and bayous, Cajun cuisine has found a home in an unlikely place.
DaDeO Diner & Bar [pronounced daddy-o] on Edmonton’s Whyte Avenue eats, breathes and sleeps New Orleans. How do I know this?
Waiter: “Can I get you something to drink?”
Me: “I’ll have the Hurricane.”
Waiter: “Would you like to make it a double?”
Me: “Hell yes!”
I don’t think New Orleans would have it any other way.
With a great (liquid) start to the meal, I settled into my seat at the retro counter and perused the menu full of choices like Po’Boys, jambalayas, gumbos, ribs and oysters. I could feel the soul emanating from the kitchen. My eyes landed on the blackened catfish Po’Boy and I was sold.
While I waited for my main and sipped my Hurricane, I took in DaDeO’s vibe. Now, I’m not one to use the word “vibe”, so let me explain. DaDeO’s has an electric buzz about it — there’s not an empty seat, the four or so waiters never stop moving, the phone keeps ringing with take-out orders and questions about the wait, and yet, the place functions like a well-oiled machine. The waiters run behind the counter pouring drinks, tossing glasses to each other in anticipation and then take a minute to wish a regular a happy birthday with a tequila shot. No biggie; it was just another day at DaDeO’s.
As I fiddled with the built-in jukebox on the counter that I wish worked, a plate of biscuits and jalapeno jelly arrived. It’s hard to do them right, but DaDeO’s does. If you’ve never had jalapeno jelly before, its bright green colour might throw you off, but take a bite and you’ll dance in its sweet then spicy flavour.
Ah, and then my Po’Boy arrived with fresh bread. The kick to the blackening spice was smoothed by the creamy taste of the catfish. What more can you ask for? I had been craving catfish since my trip to Nashville a month prior and this topped what I had in the South.
So, I ordered another drink and soaked in the fact that I now know of a place where I can get my catfish fix — and not have to worry about any real hurricanes.
10548 Whyte Ave., Edmonton, (780) 433-0930.