Riverside, CA

Coast to Coast Flavor at Dhat Creole Grill

J.M. Lesinski

The shrimp and catfish po boy from Dhat Creole Grill in Riverside, California.Photo by J.M. Lesinski

The American coasts are both known for excellent regional specialties that utilize iconic cultural ingredients to make a melting pot of cuisine all our own. Located inside Food Lab in Riverside, California, Dhat Creole Grill is doing just that by producing some of the most authentic Creole and Cajun cuisine on the west coast.

The creole shrimp and fried catfish is an absolute must-try for any fan of seafood. The unique kick of the catfish alongside the tangy flavor of the sauce is downright harmonious. The crunch of the batter is perfectly balanced, not too heavy, not too light, and the spices used are simply superbly well-balanced and mixed.

The other fan favorites on the menu include the bourbon and jerk chicken and jerk chicken and meatballs, both of which feature the same choice of side, veggies, and plantains as the creole shrimp and fried catfish. The bourbon glaze on the bourbon and jerk is excellent, adding a sweet and smoky layer to the already spicy and just a touch smokey kick of the jerk chicken.

For those who want to try one or the other between jerk and bourbon chicken, and do not want to sacrifice any of the side options, they are in luck. Both options, plus a delicious creole chicken, creole pork, and just plain creole meatballs options, all exist as main entrée plates, and all but the creole chicken also exist as sandwich options. The sandwiches are a personal favorite for not just the amazing flavor, but the fact the bread holds, and holds well.

Beignets from Dhat Creole Grill.Photo by J.M. Lesinski

The one menu item at Dhat Creole Grill that stands head and shoulders above the rest, however, is the beignets. Topped with powdered sugar to one’s liking, the light and fluffy fried pastry treat is the pillow of the gods. With just the slightest layer of crispiness on the outside and a delectably soft and fluffy inside, the beignets are ‘melt in one’s mouth’ good.

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I have worked as a professional journalist for over five years now, covering the arts, music, food, politics, and culture up and down both coasts of the United States. I have a B.A. in English from SUNY Fredonia with minors in Psychology and Creative Writing, as well as an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from California State University, Fresno.

Buffalo, NY

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