Restaurant offers upscale Gulf Coast food


Patrice Graham

A customer enjoys his food at a table at Daisys Po’ Boy. The resturant, which opened this summer, is an homage to classic New Orleans sandwich cuisine.

Audrey Matei, Arts Editor

The multi-colored windows facing Hyde Park’s always-awake Harper Avenue illuminate the dining room with a kaleidoscope of colors as the headlights of cars pass by. The uptempo music and a droning chatter mix to create a vibrant atmosphere within the restaurant. Best of all, the scents of traditional New Orleanian food waft from the kitchen into the dining room evoking flavors of home-cooked shrimp, gumbo and even alligator. Recently opened Daisy’s Po’ Boy and Tavern has something for everyone looking for a taste of the American South.

Daisy’s Po’ Boy and Tavern opened on 52nd Street and Harper Avenue in early August and is centered around the food and culture of New Orleans. The restaurant is the creation of Chef Erick Williams, a James Beard Award-winning chef who opened Virtue Restaurant and Bar only a few years ago just down the street. 

The restaurant was named after Chef Williams’ Aunt Daisy and Uncle Stew, who started the chef’s love for the traditional food of New Orleans. 

Daisy’s has been lovingly designed around its theme. Everything from its Mardi Gras wall decor to its alligator-adorned napkin dispensers screams New Orleans. Unlike Virtue, Daisy’s is a much more casual dining experience. Patrons order at a counter, and multiple TVs display sports channels throughout the large bar area of the dining room. 

Chef Williams told Block Club Chicago that the restaurant was designed to mimic the spirit of New Orleans.

“We’re a restaurant that has delicious food with the sounds and scenes of New Orleans,” he said. “It’s vibrant. It’s colorful 

Daisy’s main selling point and namesake is the po’boy, a classic sandwich typically containing seafood or roast beef served on New Orleans French bread. They also serve other classic American dishes like gumbo, onion rings and wings.

I tried one of their signature dishes, the fried shrimp po’boy. The shrimp was cooked to perfection and was complemented by pickles, lettuce, tomatoes and mayo. The French bread was the perfect combination of crunchy outside and pillowy inside, allowing its contents to fully shine. Generally, the flavors were unsurprising yet delicious. 

The price range of the dishes stray toward the higher end, so Daisy’s may not be an everyday restaurant option. The 12-inch po’boys range from $16 for the fried green tomato option to $30 for the fried oyster option.

Keep in mind that the 12-inch option is a more filling portion while the 6-inch po’boy is on the lighter side for a full meal.  

Despite this, Daisy’s offers an ambient place to sit down and enjoy a delicious meal with loved ones.

So, if you’re driving by Harper avenue and a flash of color catches the corner of your eye, give Daisy’s Po’ Boy and Tavern a try. The flavors and Gulf Coast atmosphere are worth a shot.