Upon first walking in, your met with brick walls and a surprisingly refreshing brightness in the wooden adornments throughout the building. Fleur de lis are scattered across the walls, and mason jars are given to each patron. At The Bayou, you forget you’re in Pennsylvania – you feel like you’ve been transported New Orleans.
With the commencement of my recent twenty-first birthday, Lindsay decided to take me out to dinner as part of my birthday gift. Her and I have been dying to dine there, but decided to wait until I was finally 21 – I make an emphasis on finally, because I’m the youngest of my friends.
Since we have been looking forward to eating at The Bayou for so long, we essentially already knew what we wanted to order. And because I am now 21, I we were able to order cocktails. For my first drink, I ordered the Voodoo Juice. It is a concoction of banana, curacao, pineapple, sour, cranberry and their secret rum blend. Lindsay, being the berry-lover that she is, got the Bourbon and Berries – bourbon, Chambord, lemonade, raspberries and blackberries. Both of our drinks were good, but I would recommend the Voodoo Juice over the Bourbon and Berries. Lindsay’s drink was a tad strong, but mine was the perfect level of sweetness.
Bourbon and Berries
Just a little disclaimer – Lindsay and I can eat a lot. We know how to throw down food (but we workout so it’s okay, right?). And since this restaurant was a long time coming, we had so many things we wanted to try. To share, we ordered the Ty’s Mac and Cheese. This dish typically comes with house ham hock, but Lindsay is vegetarian so we ordered it without the meat. It is aged cheddar (DiBruno Bros.) and fontina, with sweet peas mixed in. I was curious as to how the peas would fair in the dish, but to my surprise, they were perfect. The mac and cheese was decadently creamy and perfect in every sense, but the peas help to balance out the extreme creamy texture. I think without the peas, it may have been too much. However, we happily ate it all and couldn’t stop talking about how good it was.
It was no difficult choice for me to decide what I wanted for dinner. I love pulled pork, but have such a hard time getting good pulled pork when I’m not in the south. I decided on the Bayou Burger, a hefty meaty combination of BBQ pulled pork, traditional slaw, house bacon and tabasco aioli. Fries also came with it because what is a burger without fries? This burger was everything I wanted and more – there was the perfect amount of BBQ sauce that you could taste it without it being too overwhelming. In addition, it wasn’t too overly meaty, despite the burger patty and the bacon. I had ordered my burger medium rare, although I am quite fine with rare burgers because my family eats our meat rare often. However, my burger was very rare. I was okay with it, but if it were any more rare I would have sent it back. Their fries were also perfectly done, because they were crispy but still a little soft in the middle. I couldn’t have been happier.
Lindsay ordered the Crispy Skin Salmon for her dish. It was charred napa cabbage, carrot ginger butter, pickled daikon, Anson Mills farro piccolo. I tried a bite of her fish and it was quite tasty. She said she enjoyed it, but noted that The Bayou is more of a meaty food place, so their salmon wasn’t the best salmon she had eaten.
Lindsay and I overall had a lovely time. Our waitress was very friendly and accommodating. In addition, the food was fabulous. There’s are so many things we still want to try, so we’ll be back for sure.
The Bayou Southern Kitchen and Bar
702 Hawthorne Rd, Bethlehem, PA 18018
Mon-Thur 11:00 am – 10:00 pm; Fri-Sat 11:00 am – 11:00 pm; Sun 11:00 am – 10:00 pm