A few years ago, if my American friends came to visit Edmonton, I wouldn’t have dreamed of taking them to a Mexican or a barbecue restaurant in town. We didn’t have anything close to what Americans had at home.
But, wow, has that ever changed. We have fantastic Mexican eateries. But maybe no style of cuisine shows off how Edmonton’s food culture has changed for the better than the American/southern category. In fact, Avenue decided to add the category this year because of the popularity of comfort food/barbecue joints.
Meat, with its succulent brisket by the pound, southern fried chicken and wonderful bourbon-fuelled old-fashioned, is the cream of the crop. While the barbecue is top-notch, the sides are also worth noting. Dashes of honey and bacon make for a Brussels sprouts dish that people who hate Brussels sprouts will enjoy. And the garlic fries are simply a meal on their own. –Steven Sandor
DaDeO New Orleans Diner and Bar, located on Whyte Avenue, is hard to miss – just follow the neon pink glow. In the spirit of southern hospitality, each meal starts out with a serving of signature biscuits and jalapeo jelly, on the house.
While the menu contains many Cajun classics such as jambalaya, it’s hard to pass up a po’ boy. Whether you opt for blackened chicken, catfish or fried oysters, it’s served on a soft French loaf with coleslaw and your choice of side – although, given how legendary DaDeO’s sweet potato fries are, it’s really not a tough choice. –Adrianna Szenthe
10548A 82 Ave., 780-433-0930, dadeo.ca
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3rd Sloppy Hoggs Roed Hus
The first time I walked into Sloppy Hoggs Roed Hus, I came with dreams of southern barbecue and succulent ribs. This joint did not disappoint. Big plates helped sate my big appetite, and there was no dish better than the half smoked barbecue chicken and half slab of ribs. Add to that some of the best sweet, sticky sauces in the city and, to be honest, I had to punch a new hole into my belt.
The next few times I entered, I overindulged with the Captain Caveman: a ridiculously large kangaroo burger with loads of bacon, a wealth of waffle sauce, and all the fixings. The last time I left Sloppy Hoggs, I was two belt notches bigger than before, but it was worth it. –Cory Haller