Dooky Chase’s Restaurant Review
With our GPS on the fritz, we stopped to ask for directions and were warned, “Dooky Chase’s? You’re a long way from Dooky Chase’s. It’s in the ‘hood.” Undaunted by the ominous tone set by our Good Samaritan; we sped off, our expectations and appetites unbated. (Speed was of the utmost importance since we had less than 20 minutes until closing time.)
Presidents, captains of industry, musical royalty (Duke Ellington, Michael Jackson), tourists (and a few locals) have dined at the venerable Dooky Chase’s Restaurant in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward neighborhood for nearly 70 years. Dooky Chase’s is owned and run by husband and wife team Dooky and Leah Chase.
As you step into the brick structure, there’s definitely a sense of being enveloped by history. A priceless collection of paintings by African American artists peppers the walls, in fact, not much of the raspberry-colored wall space is left uncovered. There’s even a picture of President Barack Obama above the doorway to the dining room, his face plastered with a smile that can only be characterized as beatific, tucking a napkin under his chin, a steaming bowl of gumbo before him. It’s a fitting image for what awaits you beyond the threshold.
Dooky Chase’s specialty is gumbo, a rich, okra-based roux chock-full of andouille sausage and seafood. The fried chicken is a thing of beauty, with its golden brown crispy skin, and moist, tender meat. The macaroni and cheese is so good, you’ll slap your mama and your grandmama, twice. Diners have the option of ordering from the menu or going all out on the buffet. If your appetite can handle it, we heartily recommend that option, which includes, salad, dessert, several vegetables, fried catfish and tea or coffee. But do leave room for dessert; the bread pudding is superb and the sweet potato pie, Leah says, is “Michael Jackson’s all-time favorite.” That’s a good enough recommendation for us. –michele fling
Dooky Chase’s is open for lunch Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m.. to 3 p.m.
2301 Orleans Ave.