Having “DeJaVu”: My New Orleans Moment in the 901

Posted on September 1, 2014

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By Kendra Lyons

Tucked away on Main Street, on the same strip as Local, Flight, and Aldo’s Pizza, is DeJaVu, a must-try Memphis staple that features New Orleans-style cuisine with a Memphis flair.

I tried DeJaVu late on a rainy weeknight this summer. 9:00 PM rolled around and I realized I still had not eaten dinner (something I’m sure most young adults are all too familiar with). When I showed up to the door of DeJaVu like a lost, hungry puppy holding an umbrella, I figured the restaurant was about to close since they had already started to clean up and the door was locked. As I walked away, one of the waiters opened the door with a huge smile and said, “come on in!” I resisted at first, saying I felt bad since they were already closing. “It’s no problem at all!” he urged with enthusiasm and genuinity.

I entered the cozy restaurant and felt right at home. Since I was the only one dining in the restaurant, the entire staff took time to say hello and recommend some of their favorite dishes for a first-timer to their restaurant.

Since I was undecided, I ordered a little bit of everything to-go: plantains, red beans and rice, an oyster po-boy (and admittedly a few other things as well). The plantains were by far the most memorable; they were sugary sweet, soft, and served as the comfort food I never knew I wanted. The red beans and rice had a spicy kick to bring some zest to the down home meal, and the po-boy was full of flavor and was wrapped up in soft, fluffy white bread.

While I waited for my food, I sat at the bar and sipped on water, talked to the staff, and watched Ninja Warrior which was playing on the TV; the weirdness of it all just made it that much more perfect. The man who welcomed me into the restaurant went through the whole menu with me and talked about his favorite side dishes, what some of the more obscure options entailed, and without even realizing what he was doing, showed me that the Memphis interpretations of New Orleans style cuisine and hospitality are a special and necessary facet to the Memphis culinary scene.

Next time you want to mix up your meals, head downtown to DeJaVu and check it out for yourself! And seriously…get the plantains.

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Posted in: Lifestyle