It had been a while since Boo and I have been to Dooky's, but after having a disappointing lunch elsewhere the day before (I don't do negative reviews), and still with the taste for some “creole soul food” in my mouth I wasn't taking any chances, so I told Boo we were leaving Algiers and heading to where the “Grand Dam of Creole Cuisine”, Leah Chase was at the helm in the kitchen.
You always have to greet people when you go to Dooky's and yesterday was no different, so it always takes a minute to get settled in, and then we had to decide... buffet or menu. I was tempted to go for an oyster po-boy which I had been craving for a while, but one perusal of the buffet setup quickly changed my mind. There was salad with very interesting and unique fixings, her sides included smokey, kind of garlicky, tender and creamy red beans and perfect rice, perfectly cooked greens, flavorful but not greasy at all and tender but not mushy. Then there was this delicious merlitone and shrimp dressing and a fluffy and light macaroni and cheese, and I'm sure I missed one or two.
Then then there were links of hot sausage (from Vaucresson) that is so meaty and distinct that you know it is either fresh from the famous local sausage maker or somebody's in the kitchen making it from scratch. You know she had the fried chicken but she also had tender and oh so flavorful ribs and also smoke sausage for those who can't take the heat. (On Fridays you get gumbo and those whole fried fresh catfish.)
So we both decided to go with the buffet which also came with a cup of really delicious corn chowder and of course that signature oven crisped and buttered french bread, Boo said it was Binders. The meal was one Mmmmm after another, I for one trying to taste a little bit of everything. It was wonderful, but I knew I had to save myself, because I knew that once we were done with our soup and the buffet our very pleasant and engaging waitress was going to bring out the peach cobbler, perfect is the only word that comes to mind.
And on top of all that we met and conversed with a very interesting couple from Colorado as one is likely to do in such a world famous and historical establishment. Undoubtedly the flagship of African American owned restaurants in New Orleans, Dooky Chase also embraces your eyes with an unsurpassed collection of local and international art and decor so classic and beautiful that I can't help but remember how special we felt dining in a much smaller but just as beautiful Dooky's after our proms... a few years ago.