Sunday, July 19, 2009

Float on Down the River to a Cajun Hideaway: Bayou Bay

Walking into Bayou Bay, you may briefly think you are in a shack amidst the swamps of Louisiana. But in fact, you are on Chapman Highway in the heart of South Knoxville. If the atmosphere doesn't make you feel like you were there, the food will.

As the back of the menu will tell you, Bayou Bay opened in the early 1990s after its owner, a Louisiana-native, married a Seymour girl. Ever since, Bayou Bay has been serving up traditional Cajun-style cuisine in the hills of Southern Appalachia.

For seafood lovers, there are several offerings. From clams, catfish and crab to scallops, frog legs and even alligator (great for Gator Haters everywhere), Bayou Bay has plenty of tasty options. Many po' boys as well as some signature Cajun dishes like red beans and rice (my favorite) and jambalaya are also sumptuous selections.

As my father would say, 'If it don't moo, it don't do.' A Tennessee farm boy at heart, he just doesn't have much love for anything that can be referred to as 'seafood.' So for those of you like my dear old dad, try the Lucy Burger. There are also some other pork, chicken and steak items on the menu. But if you are going to a Cajun place, eat something you can't find elsewhere, like a nice crawfish etouffee.

Visiting Bayou Bay is as much a cultural experience as it is a culinary one, so broaden your horizons and your palette. Bayou Bay is located at 7112 Chapman Highway. Be sure to take your time soaking up the surroundings, and make sure to ask about all the dollar bills at the bar.


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