Big Creole portions at The Bayou, Mt. Vernon...

We were not able to get there for Mardi Gras this year, so we stopped at The Bayou early last night. Owner/founder Peter Van Cott was holding court as he has done for 25 years or so. The bar and dining room was strewn with all its New Orleans funk as always, and the staff as inviting as could be…
We went for the Louisiana Fried Shrimp Po’ Boy and their big special 7 inch round Muffuletta, stacked with Italian meats and cheeses, topped with olive salad dressing. I asked for the sandwich to be warmed so the cheese melted in decadent fashion. The orders came with house made chips and cole slaw. Very tasty. Did not need any of the sauces on display, though the Po’ Boy came with a flavorful remoulade. Washed it down with a couple of beers. Portions are very generous, and we took some home.
Have to come by for some of their Zydeco sometime soon…

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Great review - thank you for posting! :slight_smile: I’ve always enjoyed the unique vibe and food. No place like it in our area. The muffaletta and po’ boy sound delicious. Their voodoo wings are a favorite of mine. I’ve always wanted to try the crawfish boil (aka mudbugs), but I’m not sure when they’re in season.

I haven’t been to The Bayou in years, but I used to go a lot whenever I was in town from when they opened in 1991. I remember because I knew Pete from when I was a teen, and I saw him at New Years when I came home to visit family and friends when I was off at college, and he told me he was opening in a month or two. One of my first girlfriends when I was a kid, was the manager there for awhile, and some of my friends Zydeco band played there often. I always enjoyed the food, music, and scene, except when the bar and restaurant were packed. Then it got a bit annoying, but I had more tolerance for loud music and crowds back then.

A long time ago they had a kitchen fire and the rebuild took so long the chef went elsewhere, and the new chef was mediocre. Then I spent many years traveling and living around the world, and never made it back there since I moved back to NY several years ago. I have to get back there soon.

Pete also used to have a hot sauce shop in Eastchester on Rt 22, right near the diner called The Hot Spot. That former girlfriend who managed the Bayou as was the manager for the store until it closed.

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Nice story, JMF. My recollection of Peter goes back to the original Rockwell’s Tavern on Depot Square in Tuckahoe (now The Tap House). I was doing some work for Steve, the founder and owner, and working the floor during that time were three guys who went on to open their own successful restaurants: Peter Van Cott of The Bayou; Jim Sullivan of Rye Grill, The Tap House, and others; and Steve Palm of Underhill’s Crossing in Bronxville…

I agree the food does not pass muster (especially if you have eaten in New Orleans), however I had seen something online somewhere about them debuting a new menu. I was wondering if perhaps that meant a new chef was on board.

However, I do not want to sound like I don’t like it there. It’s still a fun place to hang out. I just wish they would put more effort into the food and not use so many canned/mixes. And the crawfish are definitely frozen (although lately I am guessing it would be possible for them to get them in season – May – from H Mart).

I can’t tell you how many times I have been tempted to buy them there and bring them straight to the Bayou to cook them.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold