One would expect the owners of Dixie Kitchen, an Evanston restaurant serving up lip-smackingly authentic Creole and Cajun eats, to hail from New Orleans, or at least south of the Mason-Dixon line. In reality, the husband-and-wife team behind this popular Southern spot is from Duluth and Canada respectively. But as a New Orleans-native myself, I can vouch that no matter the origins of its owners, Dixie Kitchen makes mean, bayou-style comfort food.
To really soak in the Southern hospitality, though, grab a seat at a table dressed in checkered oilcloth and savor your order in-house. Fried green tomatoes battered in cornmeal are a popular way to start the meal, while the crawfish and corn fritters with jalapeno jelly offer something a bit more adventurous.
The menu is bursting with the usual Southern suspects: jambalaya with andouille sausage and chicken, crawfish etouffee, gumbo, po'boys and catfish. Particularly popular are the fried oyster po'boy with remoulade on crispy French bread and the North Carolina-style pulled pork sandwich, both of which can be ordered up with traditional sides like black-eyed peas or mashed sweet potatoes. Whatever you order, save room for peach cobbler, bread pudding with whiskey sauce or pecan pie—all three are yummy, no matter where you hail from.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Kate Rockwood