Ouisi Bistro serves up gluten-free cajun creations

When my fiancé and I moved into the South Granville area, one of the first restaurants we discovered was Ouisi Bistro on Granville between 14th and 15th.  We checked out the menu and quickly decided it was a place we wanted to try.

Ouisi is a small restaurant on the East side of Granville.  It specializes in Cajun and Creole cuisines, with an emphasis on New Orleans-style cooking. Ouisi features an extensive selection of scotch, bourbon and whiskey, along with a lengthy wine list.

The restaurant is dark and has a great bar for watching the game. Behind it is a small courtyard that seats about 20 people. It’s a really nice space in the summer, and a fabulous place to sit, relax and have a couple drinks. We’ve been to Ouisi a few times now, the latest of which was this Thursday evening with my parents.

Ouisi is a fabulous place to eat if you need a gluten-free meal that's packed with flavour. They are very knowledgeable about different allergies, and have a list of all of the potential allergens in their menu items. This list is great, as not only does it tell you what you can and cannot eat, but it also lists what you can eat if one or two ingredients are removed.

Joel and my dad shared the gator bites and I started with a Caesar salad, sans croutons. The guys loved the gator bites, which were served with a Cajun tartar sauce. I’ve tried them before, and I thought they tasted kind of like gamey chicken. I wasn’t really a fan, but people seem to love them. My mom tried them and thought they were “interesting.” My Caesar salad was good, but a very basic Caesar. It lacked the pepper and garlickyness I love in a Caesar, but it was still satisfying.

For our entrées my dad and I both had the jambalaya, which is Ouisi’s Thursday special. It was served over rice with tomatoes, smoked ham, andouille and chorizo sausages, prawns and the trinity.  The trinity in Cajun cooking is onion, celery and bell peppers.

The jambalaya was fabulous. It was spicy, but not overbearing, and extremely flavourful. I absolutely love chorizo sausage, so having that and andouille in the dish was really enjoyable. My only complaint was that there weren’t enough prawns. If I could have made one suggestion, it would have been to have had a little bit less of the smoked ham in the mix, and a few more prawns instead.

My mom doesn’t really enjoy spicy food, so she chose The Dinner Belle; crab-stuffed chicken breasts with roasted new potatoes and a citrus beurre blanc. My mom really enjoyed her dish and said she would definitely be going back to Ouisi. She even said she was thinking about having her Christmas party there, next year.

My fiancé’s main was the Satchmo Blues Plate; a pork chop stuffed with andouille sausage and cornbread, with a wild mushroom demi glace and served with beans and rice. I was really tempted to try the wild mushroom demi glace on Joel’s plate, but traditionally demi has flour in it, so I didn’t want to risk it.

All of us really enjoyed our meals especially my dad, who was headed to the airport afterwards and wasn’t sure what he would be served on the plane.

Ouisi is a fabulous restaurant for a romantic date, an evening out with friends and family, or just a casual drink. Every time I’ve been to Ouisi I have tried something different, and I have never been disappointed.

Check Ouisi out at 3014 Granville Street, Vancouver or online.

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