Late night Creole dining on the cheap
I stumbled upon Big Easy’s on a recent stroll down Preston Street. I was pleased to find that, apart from their expansive regular menu, the restaurant offers an inexpensive “Easy Times” menu. It’s only available in the area by the bar during happy hour (Monday through Friday between 4 and 6) and for late night snacks (during the last two hours of service). With tasty dishes, low prices and doo-wop blaring on the stereo, you’re all but guaranteed to have a good time here.
My date and I started things off with a couple of martinis, which were offered at a reduced price of $4 (down from $7). The key lime martini was heavenly, approximating a liquid version of key lime pie with surprising accuracy. My date’s Creoletini would be best left to those looking for a good dare. Consisting of little more than vodka, Cajun spices and olives, this truly awful libation was altogether too fiery. I couldn’t help but wonder why something that tasted this bad was still on the menu.
The first appetizer to hit the table was the jambalaya linguine. Though you couldn’t call it authentic, this dish was pretty enjoyable, with loads of spicy sausage, plump shrimp, chicken and red peppers, all in a spicy tomato-based sauce. For just $7 for a small bowlful, I’d say this dish is a steal. The mixed platter ($9) featured a trinity of fried delights, with tender calamari, southern fried catfish nuggets and coconut shrimp, and a trio of tasty dipping sauces. Each of these snacks was delicious, but the coconut shrimp would be worth ordering on its own. These big juicy shrimp were covered liberally in coconut before being fried to a lovely golden brown.
The blackened seafood fondue ($8) arrived at the table rip-roaring hot, still bubbling from the oven. Served with a pile of thick-cut crostini, this garlicky cheese fondue would please even the pickiest of eaters. Purists may appreciate the blackened scallops ($5.50), which arrived dressed with only a squeeze of lemon.
My date and I ended things off on a sweet note. The dessert menu features the more standard vanilla crème brûlée, but also a daily offering with a more unusual flavour profile. The pomegranate and triple sec crème brûlée was competently prepared, with its silky texture and brittle caramel top.
Big Easy’s Seafood and Steak House
228 Preston St.
Late night: $3.50-$11
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