NEW ORLEANS – We happened upon Daisy Dukes completely by accident.
What a find!
One evening, during our recent trip to New Orleans, we were on our way to the Palace Café on Canal Street. We had been told the Palace is world renowned for its bread pudding and after strolling through a section of the French Quarter we were in need of something sweet – like bread pudding.
But alas, we arrived at the Palace’s front door at 10:02 p.m. Closing time was 10.
Sorry they said.
My husband, Jim, turned a corner and proceeded to mosey down a side street named Chartres where he spotted a sign above the door of a quaint looking establishment.
Daisy Dukes – the sign said.
We weren’t quite sure what Daisy Dukes was, but we peeked in to see it was a long, narrow, inviting eatery and it offered Cajun food.
We were warmly greeted by a friendly Daisy Dukes wait staff and the diners we saw in action looked like they were really enjoying what had been set before them.
Our first late night visit, where some of us ordered a breakfast plate and others bowls of gumbo or jambalaya, convinced us we’d be back. As it turned out, Daisy Dukes was our favorite place to eat while in New Orleans. We went back once a day three days in a row.
The food is that good.
On our second visit, the server brought glasses of ice water to our table. She set the tray down so it was half on and half over the edge. Oops!
The tray toppled off sending water and ice splashing like a tidal wave. Our server was very apologetic and her co-workers rushed to her aid to help clean up the mess. The first thing they did was seat us at a different table.
If you are planning a trip to New Orleans, Daisy Dukes is a must. It’s open 24 hours a day and serves breakfast around the clock. Its jambalaya, gumbo, crawfish, shrimp, red beans and rice were all out of this world.
We know because we tried them all.
One night Jim ordered the biggest basket of crawfish we had ever seen. It kept him quietly occupied for a very long time and that’s not easy to do. “They were fantastic,” he says.
Ryan Richardson worked at Daisy Dukes for two years before recently becoming the new owner of the restaurant named after the TV show, Dukes of Hazard.
“The prior owner liked the name,” Ryan said. “He wanted to trademark the name and then he said, ‘I think I’ll open up a restaurant and call it Daisy Dukes.’ ”
Like us, most people are pleasantly surprised when they discover Daisy Dukes. “If you’re not looking for it you are going to miss it,” Ryan said.
His 33 employees are like “one big giant family,” he added. Two of them are family — brother and sister, Gabrielle and Angie who were so pleasant and delightful.
If we ever get back to New Orleans you can bet Daisy Dukes will be the first place we’ll hit when it comes to food. The jambalaya was my personal favorite.
By the way we did have bread pudding at the Palace Café another night and it definitely lived up to its reputation. Check back here Friday and we’ll talk about that. I’ll even have the recipe for you.