I have been driving to Kent several times a
week for years now and there are so many places we had never tried.
Cajun Dave’s is one I didn’t know existed. I have it on good
authority however, from bona fide Louisianans, that the Po-boys here
are about as good as you are going to get in this area. Now I have
never had a Po-boy. I have had subs, hoagies, torpedoes, Cubans,
heroes, grinders, and so on. Is a Po-boy any different? Well, until
I get opportunity to slide into the Big Easy for some serious
epicurean gluttony and tomfoolery, Cajun Dave’s will be my only real
Located inside the Water Street Tavern, Cajun Dave’s appears to be something of a symbiotic growth that sprung up on the side of the bar one night. The bar is nicer than I had expected with a small rectangular bar and televisions everywhere you might glance. There are several tables and chairs where you can enjoy adult libations or Cajun staples. At least Ohio’s version of either. You should hear the signature drink at the Water Street, you wouldn’t want to say it out-loud in some places, and you probably shouldn’t drive for about three days after imbibing. But we were here for food, Cajun food, we’ll save the mind and life numbing for later.
Appetizers are the special on Saturdays and we
started with a couple of options. The Corn-Crusted Mississippi
Catfish Bites were served with a chipotle pepper tartar sauce. The
corn crust is awfully crunchy and tasty. The fish was steaming hot
and moistly flaky. It was a super start. The only thing I would
nitpick about would be the sauce. There seems to be a balancing
agent missing. Maybe some acid or something with a smack of sweet
would help, the current could be replaced with heavy cream and a few
twists of black pepper.
Bummer Tot's, I'll Go With OreIda
Surprisingly Delicious BBQ Sandwich
Great Bun, Hot Shrimp, Cold Veggies, Hot Sauce, Awesome
The Whole She-Bang
The other app did not deliver anywhere near as well on its promise. House made Russet potato tots with smoked Gouda & Cheddar cheeses were served with a chipotle ranch dipping sauce. You could taste Gouda, the outside of the tots were fried to a rich dark brown, the potato was done through. They just didn’t work for me at all, with or without the sauce that differed little from the catfish variety. Flavor, texture, the whole shebang, was epically disappointing, most went unconsumed.
The sandwiches were both long on quality
though. The surprise to me was the BBQ Pork sandwich on a toasted
brioche roll. You could get it with either Ancho, spicy Cajun, or
southern sweet homemade BBQ sauces and get it topped with sweet and
sour coleslaw. Steph ordered the southern sweet with slaw. The pork
had a distinct and deep smokiness and was itself rich and succulent.
The roll was gorgeous and the slaw did an excellent job of cutting
through the ridiculous goodness that was the rest of the sandwich.
The Po boy came with shrimp coated in the same corny delish coating
and set atop a crusty French roll, adorned with tomato, lettuce and
mayo. The little condiment table had a bottle of Louisiana’s Pure
Crystal Hotsauce. After trying a shrimp and a bite of the sandwich I
took it over to the table and gave it a dousing of hot sauce.
MMMmmmmmm. Glorious. The big surprise of the evening was the side we
got with the sandwiches. Cajun Dave’s Style Fresh-cut Fries. The
fresh cut fries are Creole seasoned and topped with roast beef
debris gravy, melted cheddar cheese, and drizzled with creamy
horseradish sauce. I have seen the debris used in places like
Chicago, it is the leftovers in the bottom of the pan after slow
roasting beef roasts. This is a disgustingly wonderful concoction!!!
Diets be damned! Our journey to Cajun Dave’s has only served to whet
our appetites for the real deal down on the water. Until then I
suspect we would be best served by making several dressed rehearsal
chow down stops at Cajun Dave’s. Sometimes life just isn’t fair.