As some may recall a few weeks ago I reviewed my first Winterlicious restaurant of 2014 (click here) with some disappointment and the one that will be reviewed today will hopefully be its redemption. I went from the most expensive menu you can have at Winterlicious ($45 dinner) to the cheapest ($15 lunch). A more of a random pick than anything, I decided to try the New Orleans inspired restaurant Big Daddy’s Bourbon Street Bistro & Oyster Bar on King Street in Toronto. I came into this restaurant with really no expectations at all as I haven’t really heard much about it before, but excited as well that my 3 course lunch menu will only be costing me $15.
The restaurant is located underground so as you come across the big logo of their restaurant on street level you will have to walk down a flight of stairs to enter through their doors. As mentioned before, this restaurant is New Orleans inspired so their recipes specialize in cajun/creole southern cuisine. You immediately feel that atmosphere as soon as you walk into their restaurant because their decor is a direct reflection of what they are aiming for. With the dangling lights on the ceiling, to the bright red table cloths on the tables, and the plants hanging from the walls you really get the sense that you just got transported to the city of New Orleans. Even though it is located in a basement, the decor makes it seem like you are outside on a patio somewhere and to me it works. I appreciated the extra effort they put in dressing up what could have been a dark and dingy basement and the decorations didn’t feel tacky at all.
As this was going to be their Winterlicious lunch menu, I was going to have a set appetizer, main, and dessert all for $15. To start the meal off I chose their appetizer Popcorn Shrimp. The other two options were their soup of the day or a salad so the obvious choice to me that would best reflect the creole/cajun flavours was this. As the dish was fried the skin could have been a little bit crispier but all in all I enjoyed it. Their homemade pepper dipping sauce complimented the popcorn shrimp well and the portion size was very generous. The random piece of lettuce on the plate seemed out of place but it did add a splash of colour to the plate which is what I think the chef was going for in its presentation.
Popcorn Shrimp with Pepper Dipping Sauce - Cost $15 Set Menu
Over the years I’ve heard about a dish called Jambalaya but have never had a chance to try it. I really didn’t even know what it would look like so when I saw it on their lunch menu I knew I had to get it as their main course. Jambalaya traditionally is made of three parts: meat, vegetables, and completed by adding stock and rice while being slow cooked in a slew of different spices. My first impression was that it’s not the most pleasant dish to look at. As this was the Louisiana version of Jambalaya, shrimp was also added into the mix of ingredients. I was expecting tons of flavour and spice in this dish but it felt a little bit on the bland side. As this was my very first Jambalaya, I don’t have anything to compare it to taste wise so being a little naive I was still really satisfied with the dish.
Shrimp, Sausage, Chicken, Tomatoes & Spices - Cost $15 Set Menu
To finish off my 3 course meal I chose their Apple Crumble for dessert. It’s the typical crumble many people are used to eating so the dessert definitely wasn’t an inspired or innovative dish by any means. The presentation again looked a bit sloppy but to be fair most apple crumbles do look this way as well. All things considered there were no lows on this baked apple treat, but no highs either. The dessert tasted good enough for what it was.
Served Warm with Vanilla Ice Cream - Cost $15 Set Menu
For the price that I paid for this meal I felt that even though the food was not the best I ever tasted and the presentation of the dishes were not the best I’ve ever seen, for $15 it is really hard to find any complaints. Unfortunately there were no oysters on the Winterlicious menu so I would definitely want to try their fresh oysters if I were to come again as it seems to be their house specialty (it’s in their name, it’s got to be good right?). The waitress was very nice and welcoming and I didn’t have any problems with their service. The restaurant was surprisingly not very busy on a Saturday afternoon so our food came out relatively quickly. In this day and age a fast food combo can amount to almost what I paid for here and to get popcorn chicken, jambalaya, and an apple crumble all for three $5 bills made me happy. Value certainly triumphed taste at this restaurant during Winterlicious but sometimes that’s exactly what the Everyday Foodies need once in a while.
(416) 599 5200
Hours: Monday and Sunday (11:30am to 11:00pm); Tuesday to Saturday (11:30am to 1am)
The Everyday Foodie Report Card
Overall: 78% Everyday Foodie Satisfaction