If you or someone you know suffers from the bayou blues, a stop at Dossman's Cajun Kitchen in the Northway Mall may be the tastiest way to cure it.
Before opening in the former Orange Julius location this April, the Dossmans already had a spicy legacy in local cuisine scene.
"Everywhere I go, people asked me when I was going to open back up," owner Adrian Dossman said.
He learned to season and spice in the Creole and Cajun traditions of Louisiana from his father. The senior Dossman built up the family name, first by peddling Cajun spices and then by serving up fresh, authentic southern food in Anchorage, winning over ADN food critics dating back to the '80s.
The mall locale is the fourth incarnation of Dossman's. The first two restaurants were in Mountain View and the most recent one closed in 2000. That was followed by a roadside stand on the corner DeBarr Road and Boniface Parkway than ran from about 2003 to 2006. The only way to get their Creole and Cajun food the past couple of years was through a catering business.
The restaurant's one-page menu features specialties like its rib, chicken, catfish and jambalaya dinners ($11) as well as gumbos made from chicken and sausage ($4.95-$8.95) and seafood ($5.95 - $9.95). They offer boudin ($5.95 per pound), a mix of seasoned pork and rice stuffed into a casing like sausage and standards such as a cheese burger ($6 with fires or potato salad) and hot wings ($8.95 - $15.95).
My first visit was for a late weekday lunch. I ordered the jambalaya dinner and my guest ordered the red beans and rice with hot links ($8.95). We were only waiting a couple of minutes before Dossman cordially delivered our meals to the table.
Everything was hot and freshly prepared. The jambalaya was loaded with sliced sausage and tender chunks of chicken. The rice had the right consistency, neither crunchy nor mushy and the seasoning packed a slow-burning heat that built up with each bite.
If you prefer an extra-spicy smack down, just let Dossman know and he will bring the heat. I chose the greens and corn as the two sides for my dinner.
The long-simmered collards were good and my guest couldn't get enough of them. Though the kernels of corn weren't fresh, it was buttery and sweet. The dinner's finishing touch was a corn bread muffin, a soothing sweetness when things got a little heated after a bump of Louisiana hot sauce.
The hearty portion of red beans and rice was accompanied by two perfectly seared hot links. The dish was rich and spicy. It boasted fluffy rice and toothsome beans. Lunch was served on cafeteria-style trays with disposable plates and utensils. Our sodas ($1.50 each) were served ice cold in the cans with a straw.
I knew on my return trip I had to try the gumbo and catfish since they represent the restaurant's top sellers along with the jambalaya. I also wanted to try the ribs, but they were sold out by the time I placed my dinner order at 6:30 p.m. I called for pick-up and everything was ready on time, 15 minutes later.
Unable to decide on one, I ordered a small of both the chicken and sausage and the seafood gumbos. Both were piping hot, even after my drive home. Neither one let me down, this was down-home Southern fare deftly prepared with a roux that had obviously been painstakingly fine tuned.
"The gumbo took me a long time to prefect because of the roux. It took me years to get that down," Dossman said.
Rice studded with chunks of chicken, slices of sausage, seafood along with celery, onion and green pepper blended to form a well-seasoned mix of ingredients in the house-made brown roux.
The catfish ($2.25 per side) was crisp and the gentle flavor of the fish was not overpowered by the cornmeal coating. When I order this next time I will ask for a little bit more heat in the coating though.
We couldn't resist the novelty of the Cajun burger ($8.95 with French fries or potato salad). Dossman said the hot-link-topped burger was his dad's creation. Though it was good, I probably won't order it again simply because the gumbos and jambalaya are just too good to pass up.
Dossman said he also expects to add alligator and crawfish to the menu in October.
"I get all my stuff shipped in from Louisiana and everything is prepared from scratch," he said.
The Dossman family's Louisiana roots and decades of experience in serving up southern comfort offer Anchorage diners a soulful taste of The Big Easy.
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Dossman's Cajun Kitchen
*** 1/2 $$
Location: Northway Mall
Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Friday; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday; noon to 6 p.m. Sunday
Phone: 770-5626 Want to rave or pan?
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