New diner calls in fans with authentic southern dishes

Gwendolyn Ducre

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Willie Duck’s Diner has been booming with business ever since its grand opening on Oct. 25.

I was able to feed into the publicity hype and actually dine-in at the restaurant in West Monroe. I must admit, I was secretly hoping to spot a Duck Dynasty cast member.

When first hearing about the diner I imagined it being a mixture of Waffle House and a watered down Cracker Barrel. But boy was I proven wrong.

The venue was surprisingly nice; I suppose being a diner has nothing to do with the actual atmosphere of the restaurant.

The décor of the diner was classic, but had a southern hospitality vibe. Each section was designed as though you were in the home of the Robertson’s.

After being greeted, my party and I were seated promptly. I usually determine whether or not I would return to a restaurant by the time in which I am serviced.

The restaurant was so packed I worried the wait would be extremely long. But yet again, I was proven wrong.

Our waitress came within five minutes to get our drink orders. Not only did she come with a lot of energy, she brought complimentary biscuits, cornbread and hush puppies.

The diner serves unlimited amounts of lagniappe throughout the course.

Now, let’s talk business-food business that is. Being from Southern Louisiana I feel it is safe to say I was reared to be a seafood cuisine critic. And believe me, my taste buds were pleased. It was refreshing to have seafood actually taste like seafood.

I ordered crawfish meat pies, jambalaya, with duck and sausage gumbo.

I ordered these dishes because these meals are so easy to make but can easily be cooked horribly.

The spices were flavorful and definitely reminded me of a restaurant back in New Orleans.

There was no need for hot sauce, or as some people like to do, dilute the entrees with Tony Chachere’s.

The menu was filled with Cajun dishes that can only be found in Louisiana. Entrees ranged from meatloaf to fried alligator.

I joked to my friends that there would be things like duck beak on a stick and pure countrified hand-caught meals. There were items like duck and frog legs, but nothing too extreme.

The prices were fair considering the food that was offered. Nothing on the menu exceeded $13.

The portion size makes you forget about the price because you actually get what you pay for.

All in all, I felt like family and left satisfied and full.