Company: Reservation for 4
I wasn't very active in looking for restaurants for Winterlicious this year, I got lazy and hoped other people would choose places to go. Big Daddy's was on a list of suggested places to go with my high school friends but we didn't end up choosing it. I checked out the menu though and thought that it would be a good place to check out with +Will as I was hoping we could go to at least one Winterlicious meal together. We booked it for a Saturday dinner before a Birthday/House warming and +Stuart and +Laura joined us last minute also.
Big Daddy's is a New Orleans inspired restaurant and oyster bar. When I saw where it was on King Street, I realized that I had passed by it many times and wanted to try their much advertised oysters! The restaurant is really large and had tons of seating and decor, everything was accented with bright, bold colours, trying to bring out the lively, Southern atmosphere. Our waiter also let us know that Big Daddy's always has a prix fixe menu at $26 or $31 (depending on the main course) in case we wanted something different from the $25 Winterlicious menu.
We took a while to decide all our orders as they were many options to choose from, especially from their prix fixe menu. But we started with drinks and I ordered a Caesar which was pretty cool because they let you dress it yourself. It came with two types of tabasco sauce in a rack and the Caesar itself had a toothpick with a shrimp and olive on it. I really don't know how much hot sauce bar tenders usually put in Caesars so I did go a little bit overboard and had a rough time with finishing the drink.
Eventually we had all decided and the waiter took our orders, he was very accommodating for mixing some of the Prix Fixe and Winterlicious menu. I decided to go with the $26 Prix Fixe as they had everything on the Winterlicious menu and more to choose from. We were then asked us if we wanted some bread to start, we stupidly said yes even though we had a huge meal ahead of us.
For my appetizer, I had a tough time choosing from the many Creole options but I decided on the Seafood Gumbo. I didn't really know what to expect for most of these dishes, I had heard of them before but never tried them myself. The Gumbo was a dark, thick stew with a lot of rice and meat. I didn't find very much seafood in this, mostly small shrimps but it didn't have much of a seafood flavour either. The flavour was very rich and the temperature was perfect. It was a very hearty and filling appetizer though, I probably wouldn't recommend it to start a 3 course meal.
For my main course, I had to go for the Jambalaya which wasn't on the Winterlicious menu (only lunch). The Gumbo and Jambalaya actually have very similar ingredients and flavours in the dishes, so if you wanted some variety, I would definitely not recommend getting both of these. At this point, I was thinking I should have started with a salad as I was already kind of full. You have the option of having the Jambalaya with Rice or Fettuccine and I opted for the Creole-style rice. The ingredients were amazing for this one, the chicken, Chorizo sausage, and shrimps were huge. It was very aromatic and had a rich flavours, more so than the gumbo. It was very delicious but unfortunately I wasn't able to finish it as my stomach was about to explode and we had to go and drink afterwards! I was very sad to leave this dish behind.
For dessert, I went for the Apple Crumble with Vanilla Ice Cream from the Winterlicious menu. They gave us good portion sizes but I found the apples very sour and the crumble part wasn't very good either. Pretty disappointing since it's one of my favourite desserts.
Food: 2/5 - Gumbo was amazing and the portions for everything were huge! Everything else was mediocre.
Decor: 3.5/5 - Bright and vibrant atmosphere, fun place for large groups.
Service: 3/5 - Our waiter was pretty good and wait time was decent.
Willingness to go back: 3.5/5 - Just because I know the location well and that they always have a prix fixe menu, might be good place to take friends to try their many Louisianan dishes (and osyters!).