I bet if you have seen a restaurant called Dodie’s in a Greenville Avenue strip shopping center next door to a pet supply store, you might not have entered for fear of the unknown.
But if you are looking for authentic Cajun cooking, it’s time to conquer that fear. Dodie’s is the real thing, not one of those reproductions of Louisiana cooking with all of the tomato sauces and Tabasco.
My Cher, dis is da real stuff.
Dodie’s is owned and operated by Charles, Billy, and Chris (nicknamed “Dodie”) McGuinness. They hail from the Irish Channel in New Orleans, so Louisiana cooking is in their blood.
Dodie’s is directly across the street from Whole Foods Market. The building was a laundromat several years ago. But walk through the doors, and you could be at any neighborhood seafood bar and grill on Magazine Street in New Orleans.
Dodie’s is comprised of one large room and a long bar. A television above the bar usually is tuned to sports events or local cable comedy shows. The walls are covered with murals of various New Orleans scenes, such as a giant crawfish, a Mardi Gras parade, or an odd view of the Vieux Carre. Shelves encircling the room are lined with all kinds of beer cans. The tables are small and covered with plastic tablecloths, and Dodie’s provides a wooden deck with picnic tables outside.
The menu offers a limited, but excellent selection. Look for a daily special on the blackboard as you enter. The special can include, depending upon the season, boiled crawfish or heaping servings of boiled shrimp.
Usually, you can find shrimp on the menu, such as Two Dozen Peel and Eat Shrimp ($7.95), Shrimp Remoulade ($5.95) and Shrimp Cocktail ($5.95).
I can always tell a good Louisiana restaurant by its gumbo. If the cook can’t make a gumbo like my mother’s, chances are the rest of the menu won’t be authentic. Dodie’s passes this test: The gumbo is good and reasonably priced ($2.95 per cup, $4.95 per bowl).
The muffaletta, a New Orleans-style submarine sandwich, is wonderful. For those unfamiliar with the muffaletta, it’s a large, round bun piled high with seasoned meats and an olive dressing that can’t be duplicated by the uninitiated. Dodie’s muffaletta ($7.95) is similar to that found in New Orleans’ French Market, and it’s worth the adventure.
The fried seafood, a staple of a good New Orleans restaurant, is prepared to perfection and seasoned just right. And at $13.95, the seafood platter (oysters, soft-shell crab, shrimp, catfish, crab balls, and stuffed shrimp) is a good value. Of course, let’s not forget the red beans and rice ($6.95). Talk about good!
Dixie beer – in the Voodoo, regular and light varieties – is served, as are numerous other beers. House wines also are available.
Would I take my Mother to Dodie’s? Mai yeah, Cher. Being from Thibodaux, Louisiana, she and the McGuinesses could exchange recipes.
Dodie’s, 2129 Greenville Ave., is open 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and Sunday from 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
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