We head south to The Bayou. By south we mean to Mt. Vernon. But the place really is called The Bayou. There we saw enough hot sauces to satisfy every taste, a menu with an alligator, and beverages that were colors that no mortal should ingest. How was brunch? Well…
I was hungry when we got to The Bayou for breakfast. So hungry that I thought everything on that brunch menu looked delicious.
It was a tough decision, but I think the four of us basically covered most of the sides offered.
I had the andouille and chedder omelette, which came with some chopped lettuce and a roasted tomato. I also ordered a side of beignets and a buttermilk biscuit to go with an order of fried pickles and coffee.
First up, the fried pickles. A single order was sufficient for 4 people. The pickles were well-fried and seasoned, and came werved with two dipping sauces. I would have preferred a thicker pickle chip, but that’s only cause I’m still on my pickle kick.
Up next, the beignets. These were a bit disappointing. It was just strips of fried dough topped with some powdered sugar. Not terrible, but not really worth the calories. Skip those.
My omelette was pretty decent. The sausage was flavorful, but somehow I always thought andouille sausages had more of a kick to them. It almost just tasted like a kielbasa. There wasn’t a lot of cheese in the omelette, which I preferred.
Skip the biscuit. It was $1, and it was a Pilsbury biscuit.
I also tried some of Shelley’s sweet potato pancakes. They weren’t terrible for what they were. They were simply mashed sweet potatoes pan fried until they were crispy enough to hold their shape. Unfortuntly the crisp disappears quickly as the pancakes get cold, and they also get gummy, which is what happened to these. I love starch (Chinese fried starch balls anyone?), so I kind of liked them, but I can see how the rest of the crew did not like them.
The czar says: Given the amount of food we ordered, it all came out to $20 per person, which wasn’t bad. The prices are pretty decent, and the food is okay. Not a bad place to go for breakfast if a crazy unaturally colored alcoholic (or non) concoction is what you’re looking for to go with your eggs. Otherwise, given how well they fried those pickles, I think coming back for lunch or dinner or drinks is what this place is good for.
The Case: The Bayou v. The Westchester Breakfast Club
The Venue: The now-familiar Gramatan Ave. in Mt. Vernon.
The Facts: Deep-fried pickles are tricky things. At their best they can be thin slices of salty-juicy-crunchy deliciousness. At their worst, they are thick logs of acrid-soggy-gritty grossness. When the Bayou’s deep-fried pickles came out and were toward the deliciousness end of the spectrum, I thought it boded well for the rest of their southern-style offerings. That optimism was cruelly shattered when, fifteen minutes later, our second appetizer, beignets, came out, and it all went slowly downhill from there. I say “slowly,” not because the food got worse only gradually, but rather the significantly worse food came out only gradually. For example, Shelley and Sylvia’s omelettes came out almost 10 minutes before Jeff’s eggs benedict and my chicken-fried steak. Although I will admit, the coating on my steak was pretty good; I regret not having ordered it attached to chicken, rather than a tough and flavorless cut of beef.
The Verdict: Guilty of putting their best foot forward, and then following that foot with one that had stepped in something unpleasant.
Southern breakfast? Some flavors from the Bayou? I’ll give it a shot.
Well, The Bayou in Mt. Vernon has so much promise. I’ve had dinner there and it’s really good food! Breakfast must be good too… right?
Alas, another establishment that does dinner really well, but falls short on breakfast. Let’s start with the service. It was, well… slow. We sat down, and yes, we took a while to order, but that’s fine, because we’re the customer. After we ordered, it took a really long time for the food to come out. I’d understand a little if the place was really busy, but there were only a handful of other parties there. I’m not sure, but I think a couple came in after we were already seated, ordered after us, and got their food before us!
Secondly, the coffee service was slow to nill. If you’re running brunch, then coffee should be a little faster. I’m reminded of the scene in Reservoir Dogs where Steve Buscemi explains why he doesn’t tip based on the lack of coffee service!
Food-wise, I ordered the Bayou’s Benedict. I felt like my eggs were over cooked, almost like I had a soft boiled egg instead of a poached egg. I understand that this might sound pretentious, but come on! If you’re going to serve it, do it right! Also the food was minimal on the actual entree. The sides are separate, which I suppose is fine. We actually got a bunch of sides for the table the share. The main side I had a gripe about was the biscuit. It was dry and almost cardboard-ish. Sylvia mentioned that it reminded her of Pillsbury biscuits. I agree! And they charged a buck for that! The hash browns were decent enough, but nothing to write home about. The sweet potato pancakes were more like sweet potatoes smashed up and put in disk form. I expected a little more crisp around the edges. Their version of beignets were lackluster. It was actually just dough that was flattened and thrown in the fryer. Not worth it at all.
The one thing I really liked from The Bayou were the fried pickles. They were seasoned amazingly. They were also really hot, which really was my fault for shoving it into my face as fast as I could.
Overall, the check amount didn’t come out to too much, which seems appropriate given the overall disappointment we had. But, if you’re looking for quality, I’d look a little harder for a nice breakfast place. However, go to the Bayou for dinner, and get the fried pickles. I think that’s worth it.
I’m sorry to say that my meal at The Bayou was the most disappointing brunch that I’ve had in a long time.
The fried pickles we started off with were good, and the remoulade sauce that accompanied them had a nice kick to it. But it was downhill after that. I got the same omelette as Sylvia, the andouille and cheddar omelette. This was the flattest and driest omelette I’ve ever had, and it had basically no flavor, despite the abundance (I’d say overabundance) of andouille sausage. I felt they’d overdone it with the sausage and underdone it with the cheese. I detected just about no cheddar in my omelette. It was a big disappointment.
The same goes for the sweet potato pancakes. I like potato pancakes. I like sweet potatoes. But sadly these were just flattened round mashed sweet potatoes. They were more like a potato fritter. There was no potato pancake crisp. It was just kind of a sad orange mush. Not worth the money.
I wouldn’t go back to The Bayou for brunch, it’s just not worth it. For late night drinks or snacks (think fried pickles), yes, but brunch, no.