I only had one night in Salt Lake City so I wanted to eat somewhere unique but also within close enough distance to the Little America hotel where we were staying. Unfortunately, the one night I had was also the same night I arrived in Utah, which translated to I had been up since 3 AM and also traveled almost cross-country (two flights to boot). So at no fault of The Bayou, a pretty cool Cajun/New Orleans style eatery, I was exhausted by the time dinner came around. But back to The Bayou.
While sometimes you visit cities and you feel surrounded by tourists, The Bayou definitely seemed a locals spot. The fact that they are Utah’s largest beer bar probably has something to do with it. (According to their website they have 28 beers on tap, 317 different bottled beers; for a state that until only recently had extremely strict alcohol laws, this is major.) We got there somewhat later than I’d intended and it being a Friday night, we had to wait (about 30 minutes) since unfortunately they don’t take reservations. But to keep with its New Orleans theme, instead of hand held devices that alert you when your table is ready, you are given Mardi Gras beads that feature a disc with a number on it instead. If that doesn’t invoke “Nawlins” I’m not sure what will. We were seated basically towards the front so I’m not sure how it was in the back but the front featured some great Big Easy works of art which I liked seeing.
The menu is incredibly eclectic, featuring everything from alligator cheesecake (obviously of the savory variety) which I really wanted to try but being semi-exhausted wasn’t up for being THAT adventurous, to the beloved muffaletta sandwich, to even Cajun game hens. There are also plenty of items that will suit the more traditional palate as well (turkey burgers and chicken quesadillas for starters).
We began by splitting a plate of the Sweet Potato Fries ($6.99) which was enormous. It consisted of a 50/50 mix of white and sweet potato fries that came with Bayou’s famous garlic-chipotle aioli. These could have been my dinner alone.
For my entree I selected the Bayou Pizza ($9.99) which featured spicy diced chicken with carmelized onions on a bed of cheese and spicy tomato sauce. While I didn’t really find the onions to be “that” carmelized, the pizza was still quite delicious and just had the right amount of kick to it.
D opted for the Gumbolaya ($12.99) which as the menu describes it is “our famous jambalaya smothered in gumbo to ensure full cardiac arrest.” You also have the option of adding shrimp or crawfish for an extra $2.59 which he did.
All entrees also come with a side salad which D got one of with his.
The Bayou is the complete opposite of a quiet time and you will most likely have to wait save for going ridiculously early. Yet for beer aficionados and the fact that it serves many dishes you won’t find outside of the state of Louisiana, it’s all the more reason to go and have a great meal.
645 South State Street | Salt Lake City, Utah | 84111