Bayou...more low country cooking...with frog legs!
And here we are with round two at Bayou and upping the true Creole cuisine a bit more with a little amphibious assault and seafood. Hey! It's Kermit on a plate...or at least the lower half of 'em!
Okay, not really, I mean that would an awful lot of inedible green felt. Still, right off the bat we decide to get the frog legs because, why not. You get the bottom half of the frog, basically hip bone down to feet. They are sautéed in brown butter, lemon, garlic, parsley and tabasco. If anyone ever tells you they taste like chicken they are right, it kind of is like it. White-ish meat mostly around the thigh area. But if ever there was a truly light meat bite, this is it.
Legs don't have that much meat on them and I'm not necessarily down with gnawing on the feet, of which you can see them quite clearly above. While the meat of the legs was cooked tender, can't say we were much fans of the sauce. It was thin, oily and not necessarily flavorful, even with the garlic and tabasco. I think I might have preferred them cornmeal battered and deep fried like some of their other stuff. I'm guessing they were trying to be a little different than just a simple fry, but not sure these are something I'd get again.
This was their variation on shrimp and grits. Sautéed shrimp, tasso ham, roasted garlic and spinach spread over grit cakes. There was more of that brown butter garlic sauce here but it was thicker than on the fish and frog legs. You get some nice chunky bits of ham and shreds of spinach. The cakes made of grits were also nicely done and they absorbed up the sauce pretty well. While the shrimp was cooked well, you really only get about four, which seemed a little on the slim side for an entree. Otherwise, a tasty plate and nice alternative version of a classic dish.
Sautéed crawfish and shrimp with green onions, tomatoes, spinach and a brandy cream sauce over a bed of pasta. I'm not sure if the pasta was house made or not (we forgot to ask) but it was done well or al dente as they like to say. There was also a fair amount of crawfish pieces and a handful of shrimp so you get some in most every bite. Keep in mind though, crawfish has a very distinct flavor somewhere between buttery crab and dirt, sorry I mean earthy. While it is a freshwater creature, like flounder it is kind of a bottom feeder. There's a reason they call it white trash lobster. I've never been the biggest fan of it, but mixed in with shrimp and sauce, it works well as a compliment without the odd aftertaste. The cream sauce also wasn't too heavy and neither was the brandy as I kind of missed it in the overall taste of the dish. I didn't mind, as is it is a filling and satisfying bowl of pasta and shellfish thingys.
But like most of my meals, it wasn't so over filling that we didn't have room for some dessert!
Sure, beignets are fine, but nothing says Southern decadently sweet dessert to me like pecan pie. A buttery crust filled with a stickily sweet brown sugar, eggs, syrup and what not topped with candied pecans. YUM!! This was a house made pie with just a little dollop of fresh cream which helps balance out the sweetness of the pie. Nah, just kidding, it doesn't really! This is a sweeter than sweet dessert bordering on tooth achingly sweet so be prepared if you've never had it before. And if you haven't, why not?! This type of pie isn't going to be to everyones liking since you know, too sweet, but Bayou does a really good job on it if you want a true down home dessert.
A lot of food and for the most part, a lot of good food. Outside of some greasy frog legs and boring white rice, Bayou Creole Kitchen is definitely worth a visit. Their variations on Creole, low country, Southern, whatever you want to call it food are close to spot on without going too California crazy. And while overeating is sort of a hobby in the South, when you go, make sure to save room for dessert, for me, they were the two best dishes we had. Makes want to go back and try their version of bread pudding and that pecan pie. Mmmmm....pie.