26 April, 2007
The Big Easy (Downtown Raleigh)Posted in : Dining in Raleigh - NC, Restaurants, Travel on by : The Gourmez
The Big Easy
222 Fayetteville Street
I’d been wanting to check out the Big Easy for a long time and apparently, so did a bunch of my compadres, so we went last Saturday night as a group. They did a great job with the atmosphere for this restaurant—I was disappointed in only the lack of Mardi Gras beads. They should give some out when you walk inside! My friends who had been to New Orleans before said that even the bathroom was appropriate as it screamed, “mug me” with its location in a dark corridor between dining rooms. Really, though, the feel of the place was great but the food was rather underwhelming.
We started out with the Louisiana Pretzel, their biggest seller. It’s a fresh take on a crab dip appetizer by essentially putting the dip on top of the bread rather than in its own bowl. It was a tasty and well spiced. We also ordered a round of alligator bites for the table, as most of us hadn’t tried alligator before. The response ranged from “good” to “not as good as the ones at our wedding!” I found it a bit too chewy.
I went for the Taste of Louisiana meal, which offers gumbo, jambalaya, red beans & rice, and fried oysters. The smell of the dish was salivating but opinions were mixed from the half of us who ordered it. The presentation was definitely lacking, just three small white bowls with the oysters on the side. Our consensus was that it was served a bit lukewarm and the dishes weren’t spicy enough. I did love the oysters, though.
From other guests, I learned that the shrimp was overcooked and if you’re going to serve fried spinach, it should really be labeled as such on the menu. My drinks were pretty good; I heard rave reviews of their bloody marys, but the food just failed to deliver.