Inside a vintage building fronting Government Street is a meat mecca unlike any other in town. Enormous steaks and its famous tamales are what make Doe’s Eat Place so special.
The menu features a smattering of appetizers, starting with Doe’s beloved Mississippi Delta tamales, plus two soups and a few salads. Read on, though, and you reach the stars of the show: steaks.
These immense slabs of beef come basically in sizes large or larger, the smallest being an 8-ounce filet and the other end showcasing a 3½-pound sirloin. With the exception of the filets, each item is priced by the pound.
My friends and I were all highly amused by the T-bone description: “This steak is perfect for people who want their own steak. Available in 2-pound cut.”
For non-beef lovers, Doe’s offers two seafood entrees.
Of course, we started our meal with a half dozen tamales, served wrapped in paper with a side of chili. The masa was supremely tender and airy, and the overall flavor was outstanding. I didn’t actually top my tamale with the included chili—I just kept shoving the tamales in my mouth. It could easily be a standalone dish.
I wanted to sample the gumbo, but I’m not a fan of okra. My disappointment disappeared when I tasted the mouthwatering broth, a perfect liquid-to-rice ratio and plenty of shredded chicken and sliced sausage.
Apparently, the porterhouse is the steak to order at Doe’s, and with a 2½-pound option, it was more than enough for four to share. We were offered a 3-pounder just in case, but we politely declined.
Entrees come with a marinated salad of iceberg and grape tomatoes, and a choice of red potatoes or french fries. For an upcharge, you can substitute asparagus or sautéed vegetables for the potatoes and a Caesar instead of the regular salad.
Our table got really quiet once the porterhouse was portioned. It was tender, skillfully seasoned and cooked to rare-plus perfection on both sides of the bone. We asked for blue cheese on the side, but the steak was so luscious on its own, we ended up ignoring the pungent cheese.
The red potatoes reminded everyone of crawfish boil potatoes; however, the skin-on, fresh cut fries were a favorite all around. One diner asked for a side of sautéed mushrooms and loved them, but I found them a tad too salty and rich.
Brought complimentary to the table was a basket full of what were called biscuits but were actually fried balls of dough that were more or less left untouched—we were all more focused on our entrees.
Because we were all leaving with the meat sweats, we decided to take dessert to go. Three options were offered, but the pumpkin bread pudding with caramel sauce was the one we chose. The large serving was dense yet tender with a mild sweetness. The texture reminded me more of a pumpkin loaf bread, though we were struggling to discern any pumpkin flavor. We had been told the sauce was caramel but it reminded us more of a white chocolate sauce. All in all, everyone still found it absolutely delicious.
Doe’s is a low-key, special-occasion kind of place. Yet it’s also a casual, no-occasion-necessary joint perfect for a guys’ or girls’ night out, or even just for ya mom and dem. On the night of our dinner, we saw iterations of all of these groups equally enjoying this one-of-a-kind spot.
Days later, I asked my partner why we don’t go there more often. The reply: As long as we can find friends willing to share mammoth, mouth-watering steaks, we can go again next week. I’ve already sent out the call.
THE BASICS: While it may look like it’s been a local institution for decades, Doe’s Eat Place is part of a franchise with humble beginnings in Greenville, Mississippi, in the 1940s. It opened in Baton Rouge in 2007 and has become a go-to for steaks—straddling the line between casual and special occasion.
WHAT’S A MUST: The steaks, obviously, with the porterhouse being a perfectly seasoned and cooked highlight. You also can’t pass up Doe’s much-loved tamales. Round out the meal with sides like a marinated salad and fresh-cut fries and you won’t go home hungry.