Da-De-O's is a popular Whyte Avenue diner, serving New Orleans/southern-style food in a fun and kitschy atmosphere. As they're licensed as a bar, they have a strict 'no minors' policy and will ask you for your ID regardless of how old you may look (or be).
I've heard a lot about Da-De-O's, from their retro decor to their simple down-home food, but surprisingly, I had never been. (Please divert your judgemental eyes.) It's better late than never?
After a leisurely stroll through the Old Strathcona Farmer's Market, my sister and I stopped by Da-De-O's for a quick lunch. For prime lunch hour on a Saturday, it was unexpectedly chill and laidback.
The restaurant itself is quite narrow, with booth, table, and bar seating available. With checkered floors, jukeboxes, and jazz paraphernalia about, the decor has character and personality, much like the servers who work there.
After perusing the menu and placing our order, our server dropped off a plate of complimentary biscuits (one each) with a tub of jalapeno jelly. The biscuits were cute and compact, "fun-sized" if you will, with a soft interior and a lightly-browned crust. The jalapeno jelly was an interesting pairing, as it was predominantly sweet with a subtle finish of jalapeno flavour.
I stole a couple rings off my sister's plate and was really impressed. The calamari was tender and not chewy at all. The breading was delicate and crisp, and surprisingly not greasy. Probably one of their better appetizers to get.
Po' boys are synonymous with Cajun-Creole cuisine, and they take up a large portion of Da-De-O's menu with 13 different varieties. Usually regarded as humble fare, po-boys are basically submarine sandwiches served on a French loaf. At Da-De-O's, the po-boys ($15.00 each) come served with coleslaw, and your choice of potato hash, jambalaya rice, or their famous sweet potato fries (substitute for a $1.00 more). On Mondays and Tuesdays, the po-boys are only $12.00 each!
After narrowing down the choices, I decided to go for the blackened catfish po-boy, which came dressed with herb mayo, lettuce, tomato, and tequila salsa. Since it was my first time at Da-De-O's, I didn't really know what to expect. After my first bite, I was a bit let down... by the fact that I hadn't come here sooner! (☞ﾟ∀ﾟ)☞
Although French bread typically has a crisp crust, the loaf was actually very soft and fluffy. The catfish was generously seasoned with the blackening spice, while the herb mayo was also liberally slathered on. I didn't taste much in the way of the tequila salsa (which makes me wonder if they forgot to add it in), but overall, I really enjoyed the taste of my first po-boy! On the side, I also decided to substitute for their famous sweet potato fries, which are thickly cut and then coated in a batter. A different take on your traditional sweet potato fry, but still really delicious. My only gripe was that they were a little aggressive on the Cajun seasoning which made it a bit too salty.
Despite all that food and almost reaching food coma status, our server sold us on their weekend dessert special which were these strawberry beignets ($7.00). He didn't have to twist our arms very much because I've always wanted to try beignets! Besides The Marc downtown, I can't think of any other restaurant that makes them in Edmonton. Apparently Da-De-O's pulls these out only once or twice a year (overheard from our server), so we were very lucky!
The beignets came freshly fried, three to an order, and then topped with a strawberry sauce and copious amounts of icing sugar. A couple beside us had actually ordered a plate each, not knowing how big the serving was going to be, and they probably learned to regret that decision afterwards. Definitely a dessert designed for sharing.
After trying them, I would consider beignets as a doughnut/fritter hybrid. They reminded me of elephant ears (or beaver tails, whatever you call them), but a thicker and fluffier version. The beignet itself wasn't sweet, rather it relied on the strawberry sauce and icing sugar for its dessert status. Only question is, where can I get more???
Well done, Da-De-O's, well done.