The Bayou

Where are you eating and what do you think? What's opening, closing, succeeding, failing?
crevice beatle
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The Bayou

Postby crevice beatle » Sun Mar 22, 2009 10:27 am

Opening this weekend, a buddy and I went down to Butler to check this place out.
They did a good job with the layout and decor in terms of capturing the essence of New Orleans. The waitstaff, bartenders, and overall general service has many kinks to get ironed out. Service was pretty slow, even on simple drink orders, despite the fact there really weren't all that many people in there for a Saturday, not to mention, opening weekend. Hopefully this is something that will improve in the coming weeks. One thing I questioned was where the new ownership was. There was a woman at the front of the bar who appeared to be overseeing things, yet she really wasn't making any effort to pick up the slack for the bartender nor the waitstaff. She also never made any rounds to tables asking if they people were enjoying their dining experience. I found this a bit strange as most new restaurants I've visited, owners/managers typically like to engage themselves with their intitial clinetele.

Starting with a crab cake appetizer, there wasn't really anything that stood out that would beckon me back there, until I saw the po'boys.
I ordered I believe what they referred to as a "Bayou Po'Boy". I was impressed with the size and filling of the sandwich. Served on a superb french bread completely stuffed with fried shrimp and crawfish, it was probably the most authentic and filling po'boys I've had in Madison. The sandwich was at least 10" and there was enough meat for every bite that I still had piece on the plate that had fallen out when finished. There were additional 9 or 10 other po'boys on the menu, including vegetarian options, all of which sounded good. Beyond the po'boys, I can't speak for the "yesterdays soup", jumbalya, or seafood plates, but the sandwich I had warrants a second visit. They also are serving weekend brunch which I'm curious about.

On the downside, the beer selection wasn't the least bit interesting. They have Abita, the New Orleans local fave, but beyond this, the most adventourous they get is "spotted cow". Also, with a full bar, I am surprised they don't include any specialty concoctions or specific drink menu for alcoholic beverages native to New Orleans (Hurricanes,etc). I would think this would be an easy upsell oppurtunity for them considering they have the whole place decked out in the French Quarter theme.
All in all, I plan on returning, at the very least for the po'boys. I'm curious who else gave this place a shot and if anyone tried the oyster bar, catch of the day plate, jumbalya, etc. and what their experiences were.

Renee Gabel
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Re: The Bayou

Postby Renee Gabel » Sun Mar 22, 2009 9:15 pm

I'm thinking of going there Wednesday night. Did you notice any Red Tail Ale?

Did the bartender have little feet?

Iamtheslime
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Re: The Bayou

Postby Iamtheslime » Mon Mar 23, 2009 11:36 am

We had dinner there last Thurs and I had the best etoufee I’ve eaten outside of New Orleans. The oysters weren’t bad but they were a little pricey even for Madison.

The experience was so good we went back for breakfast last Sat and not only did the manager come to our table and introduce herself but Travis the chef did as well. And again the bignets were the best I’ve had other than at Café Du Monde.

zelda
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Re: The Bayou

Postby zelda » Mon Mar 23, 2009 3:28 pm

Hmmm... about the beer. I had an Ale Asylum there earlier in the week. Perhaps they ran out?

crevice beatle
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Re: The Bayou

Postby crevice beatle » Mon Mar 23, 2009 4:29 pm

zelda wrote:Hmmm... about the beer. I had an Ale Asylum there earlier in the week. Perhaps they ran out?


Well, I might be jumping the gun here. I wasn't sitting by the bar and the bar was crowded. I actually didn't even notice the taps. When I asked our waiter about the tap beer selection he mentioned Abita, Spotted Cow, and when got to Miller light I kinda phased out what he was saying, opting for a nonalcoholic lemonade instead. I didn't take into consideration what they might have in bottles. If they do have a better bottle selection, they really should incorporate a alcoholic beverage menu at the tables.

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Re: The Bayou

Postby BobbyOrr » Mon Mar 23, 2009 4:44 pm

Ate there the other day...1/2 po boy and soup combo was perfect, since a) the gumbo was very tasty and b) half a po boy (and it was a tasty one of the shrimp variety) was plenty!

a few random thoughts...
-- the bread was good -- I hear it's flown in from N.O...
-- Ambergeddon (Ale Asylum) was tasty...
-- chatted with the head chef...friendly guy, who seems genuinely interested in turning out interesting/quality authentic New Orleans-style food...
-- the atmosphere is interesting with some cool details. The "night sky" effect was turned on just as I was leaving...cool, in a "domes-painted-like-the-sky-in Vegas" kind of way.

Good addition to the scene...I'll be back and I hope people will give it a fair shake. Good luck Bayou!

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Re: The Bayou

Postby jjoyce » Mon Mar 23, 2009 6:05 pm

I'd like to invite the posters above and anyone else to leave a review of The Bayou on it's profile page:

http://www.thedailypage.com/theguide/ve ... venue=3149

You can now leave reviews on any restaurant in our database. Laissez les bon temps roullez!

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Re: The Bayou

Postby TheBookPolice » Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:29 pm

I love that there's three topics about this place.

Got takeout tonight. Fried oyster po'boy with sweet potatoes fries, and red beans and rice. The red beans and rice has a LOT of meat in it for a $6.99 dish. Andouille and pork, maybe? I didn't get a bite of meat #2.

The fried oyster po'boy was pretty good, if bland. I haven't had a lot of fried oysters, but they were basically seafoody, spicy, fried breading bits. Big and plentiful bits, to be sure, but I didn't get a strong shellfish vibe. For quantity and price, I'll give another meat a try.

The bread for the sandwich and the accompaniment to the beans and rice was great. Really great. Easily the best part of the meal.

There's a $1 takeout fee. I hope that's a "for now" thing.

EDIT: My burps taste more shellfishy than the sandwich did at the time. Yum, right?

Also, the website's prices are a PINCH off.

Fried oyster po'boy
website: 8.49
reality: 9.75

Beans and rice
website: 6.99
reality: 7.75

The beans and rice are still a great deal. The po'boy, maybe slightly less so. But still huge, about 3" in cross-section and 9" long.

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Re: The Bayou

Postby narcoleptish » Thu Mar 26, 2009 9:33 am

Went there with two friends recently. As someone said earlier they really need a drink menu. The indifferent waitress wasn't super informative about beer selection and we had to go up to the bar to see the odd selection of bottles and cans on a high shelf. We ordered 1 shrimp po'boy and 2 chicken-something sandwiches. They looked great on the plates but all proved very bland. My sweet potato fries were very good. I was hoping for a chicken po'boy but there is none.

Nothing to draw me back other than the hope that it will improve. Considering the work that went into the building it's just a shame. No manager stopped by our table, just a single "how's everything" from our bored waitress. My feeling was that they weren't really ready to open, staff and food-wise, but maybe had set a goal date and were not going to miss it. I hope they get the kinks out and I'll try it again in awhile.

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Re: The Bayou

Postby TheBookPolice » Thu Mar 26, 2009 9:36 am

narcoleptish wrote:My sweet potato fries were very good.

If they're good fresh, they definitely do not survive the takeout process.

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Re: The Bayou

Postby Renee Gabel » Fri Mar 27, 2009 5:15 pm

The beer tapped under the Ale Asylum Ambergeddon is definitely not. Maybe Hopalicious, but not Ambergeddon.

Doesn't accept credit cards and I wish that was made more clear so I didn't have to stiff the waitress a decent tip.

Crab cakes were very good.

Needs more heat. I think they might be dumbing it down for the Sconie folk.

Chef Travis stopped by our table. He seems nice enough.

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Re: The Bayou

Postby Kenyatta » Fri Mar 27, 2009 5:46 pm

Fried oyster po'boy
website: 8.49
reality: 9.75

Beans and rice
website: 6.99
reality: 7.75

There's a $1 takeout fee


Those prices are much higher than at New Orleans Take-Out, plus of course there's no takeout fee. I'm sure you're paying more because of the decor, though. I've seen the photos of the interior and it's beautiful. It really does look like New Orleans - the French Quarter at least. I would like to go there sometime.

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Re: The Bayou

Postby AndyWx80 » Fri Mar 27, 2009 9:07 pm

i visited last monday and it was fucking fantastic. had the shrimp creole, which was fresh, salty (in that perfect southern way) and sweat-inducingly spicy. there were abundant shrimp, and although it was served with a large slice of their delicious bread, i wish i had saved enough to clean out my bowl. the abita light was a good pairing.

i can't say i'm a big fan of bread pudding, but the menu enticed me into trying their sweet potato version. oh. my. GOD. i dream about it every night. seriously. try it.

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Re: The Bayou

Postby Tsur » Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:56 pm

Just ate at the Bayou:

The good:

Really liked the gumbo. Ordered a cup, wish I'd gotten a bowl. My crawfish po'boy was really good too. Nice airy bread, good batter and I enjoyed the remoulade. It was a little difficult to eat, but only because the portion was so generous. I enjoyed the atmosphere. I almost felt like I could have been on Bourbon Street. I'm not much into sports bars so I could have done without the numerous flat panels, but overall I enjoyed the ambiance. I thought the price was reasonable: $41 for two draft beers, a half dozen oysters, a cup of gumbo and two po'boys with fries.

The bad:
Service was kind of shaky. They weren't busy but it took a little too long for the food to come out. It took forever to get the check. I hate being held hostage by the check. When I'm ready to leave, I'm ready to leave. I actually had to walk up to the bar to pay. For most, it would be a minor offense. The true annoyance was our waitress' near refusal to honor our request for no pickle. My wife inexplicably hates pickles. The thought of them makes her dry heave. So we asked for no pickle.

Waitress: "Sorry, the sandwiched is either dressed or not."
Us: "Oh"
Waitress (trying to put us at ease): "Don't worry the pickle is on the side."
Me: "Perfect, just don't put it on the plate."
Waitress (truly flustered): "Yeah, the thing is the kitchen is going to be pissed off that I asked for dressed with no pickle."
Me: "Do what you can."

I guess I'm just a little astonished that a pickle can't not be put on the plate and that she I are so buddy-buddy that "pissed off" is fair table language. To our amazement, my wife's plate came without a pickle.

The sweet potato fries were disappointing. They were too potatoey in texture and not in the least bit crisp. The beer came in plastic cups. I would have much preferred a glass.

The unforgivable:
I love oysters. Half the reason for me trying out The Bayou was their bragging about their raw oysters. I won't be ordering them again; they were presented on a bed of lettuce. At first, I thought, "Odd presentation." But, what WTF do I care if the presentation has some greenery. But then I realized why every other raw oyster I'd ever eaten came on a bed of ice. These oysters were, at best, room temperature and, at worst, warm. I was hoping that the first one I downed was accidently sitting near a heat lamp or something. But the second one confirmed my fears: these oysters were tepid. I think they were fresh, but I couldn't quite tell because I couldn't get past the warmth. Maybe room temperature oysters are how it's done in the real bayou, but I'll stick with cold oysters. That said, if warm oysters are your thing, try them with the bloody mary sauce. I liked it.

Will I be back? I think I'll give it another chance. I really liked the gumbo and po'boy. Obviously, I won't order the oysters. I'll get the beer in a bottle and I'll try normal fries.

If someone else goes and gets their oysters on ice, I'd like to read about it; report back.

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Re: The Bayou

Postby narcoleptish » Wed Apr 08, 2009 8:52 am

I would bet you had the same waitress we had. I wonder if she figured out that it's possible to stop in between the kitchen and your table and flick the pickle into the trash, or if someone else had to instruct her?

Beer in a plastic cup? I guess they're really going for that Mardi Gras authenticity.


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