Friday, January 9, 2009

Dana Kaye

Dana Kaye’s
4453 Nelson
Lake Charles, LA
Monday - Friday 10:30 AM to 1:30 PM $7
This new plate lunch place occupies the old Quizno’s in the Market Basket Plaza on Nelson and McNeese. The exterior and interior seem to be pretty much the same except for the Dana Kaye signage everywhere. I concentrated on the plate lunches here. She also serves soup, salad and a couple of short order items like fried shrimp along with desserts. It is basically counter service. You order on one end of the lane then pay and pick up on the other end. Everything comes out in disposable ware. They were kind enough to bring me my order and get my drink. She has a weekly menu. Call them to find what day it is. I went in on Pork Jambalaya day, Pork Steak day and Seafood day (items on this day vary).
The jambalaya proved true jambalaya with the rice being cooked with the meat. Every grain possessed the flavor of the whole. The meat seemed to be chunks of pork loin. They were plastic fork tender and held just enough spice to make it interesting. “Mashed potato” potato salad with chopped eggs, black-eyed peas, and a hunk of cornbread accompanied it. The potato salad tasted excellent, the peas just a little undercooked for my taste (I do not care for firm beans), and the cornbread a little on the dry side.
The pork steak seemed to be a thick slice of pork loin roast. They braised it to perfe4ction (plastic fork tender, juicy, and spicy) with a killer au jus (what I call grease gravy) that seemed made for rice. I was quite pleased with it. The sides were mac & cheese, spring peas, and a yeast roll. All proved excellent especially the mac & cheese. Mixing the peas with the rice brought me back to my youth
The Seafood day consisted of fried shrimp and fried catfish strips with shrimp macaroni salad, cole slaw, and a roll. Both the shrimp and catfish were not greasy with a firm crust and succulent flesh although the catfish coating seemed a little salty. The tartar sauce was what I am calling Welsh style (mayonnaise and seasoning with a touch of ketchup). Frey’s formerly of Welsh was where I first encounter this variation. It goes well with fried seafood. The salad laden with shrimp possessed a perfectly balanced dressing. The cole slaw, mayonnaise based, (not my favorite) was fresh enough to still be crispy and I enjoyed it.
These people are friendly and down home nice. They serve good country food, as I would expect from someone originally from Welsh. Well worth checking out if you are in this part of town at lunch.

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