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Bayou Cafe - Manasquan

craving cajun and don't feel like driving up to Keyport plus probably impossible to get a reservation at Drews at this point in time....anyone been to Bayou Cafe? Did a search and could only find one chow who recommended it. The menu looks pretty authentic...

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  1. Used to be very good, haven't been in several years so I don't know what it is like now. The chef/owner is from New Orleans, if it is still the same guy.

    1 Reply
    1. re: shorebilly

      Actually Bayou Cafe was bought by chef Robert Lumley a couple years ago. The food is still good, the menu is pretty much the same. Being a native of Jamaica, he has added a few Caribbean dishes to the selection (Jerk pork is good, ask for extra marinade on the side, it goes well on the rice). :-)

    2. I've been there once and thought it was prety good. I love cajun but it is hard to come by, I would go more often it if were closer to home. We had there signature BBQ Shrimp App and it was very good. My wife had the jambalaya which also was very good. I had a pasta dish with crawfish in a cream sauce. Hard to say if it was good or just OK becuase i was jealous of my wifes jamabalaya.

      1. This is a bit of a ride for you, but if you are ever in the mood for a road trip, there is a very good restaurant in Cherry Hill called Melange Cafe that has excellent Cajun/Creole food. It's BYOB, open for lunch and dinner. From Manasquan, it is actually a pretty easy ride either down 295 or the turnpike. About an hour and 15 minutes. Here's a link to the menu in case you are interested. The jambalaya is excellent and they have a great smokey crab bisque that is wonderful.

        1. Just thought I would mention - We are hankering for Cajun, the wife and I are taking the Kids to Jenkinsons Aquarium this weekend and then over to the Bayou for a late lunch early dinner, I will be sure to report back a detailed review.

          6 Replies
          1. re: angelo04

            There are two other local Cajun places: one in Belmar, one in Avon-By-The-Sea.

            Rajun Cajun in Belmar has been around for a while, and is decent, homey, but not fancy. I tend to stick with the blackened shrimp, which is very nice, but they also offer jambalaya, red beans & rice, and other traditional Cajun dishes. Most plates are around $20, and it is BYOB. During the summer there is outside dining (marina front), but its right on RT 35 so there are better outdoor dining spots. They also occassionally have live Blues & Bluegrass music, which can be fun (in moderation).

            Clementine's in Avon has been around for 2-3 years. They just reopened in a brand new (or totally remodelled building) and have a little more space than before. I haven't eaten there since they were in the old space, but the food & service was adequate, but very pricey in my opinion. I suspect prices are just as high or higher now, and the fare is less traditional than Rajun Cajun, probably more of an "American" twist on Cajun dishes.

            I haven't tried Bayou Cafe, but will have to give it a shot..

            1. re: jlsmi2

              Last spring, we ate at the Bayou. The jerk pork was literally the worst restaurant meal I tasted in a long time.

              1. re: MGZ

                The last time I was there the jerk pork was pretty bad too (Dry and singed). This was disappointing as the first time I ate there last Summer it was pretty good...

                1. re: MGZ

                  Where can you find good jerk pork? I've never tried it and I'd be interested.

                  1. re: jrd303

                    The last place that I felt had really good jerk pork was Blue Marlin in Bradley beach, but they closed years ago (The started with great jerk chicken too but the hoi polloi forced them to switch to boneless skinless chicken breast which just doesn't work).

                    My current favorite is Islander II in Asbury, but it is just a take-out place.

                    1. re: equal_Mark

                      Blue Marlin was good - used to go there frequently. They had a really great mixed seafood dish w/ plantanes on the side... Too bad... How's the mexican place that's in the same location now?

            2. I have to disagree. I ate there twice this past summer. Service was good and the food was good. I specifically rememebr a great bbq shrimp app, a nice gumbo, good etouffe. We went here after taking the kids to Point Pleasent. Certainly not better than Drew's but certainly a good meal and beats eating garbage boardwalk food.

              2 Replies
              1. re: angelo04

                Like I said in an earlier post, I had good food there last summer too. My last visit in the fall was another story altogether. Of course I probably ought not judge a Cajun place by their jerk pork, but I figure if it's on the menu it's fair game...

                1. re: equal_Mark

                  I think it's fair to judge a restaurant by any item on its regular menu. Besides, the website tauts that the chef was Jamacian-born.

                  Considering that the place is within walking distance of our house, I really wish it could still be good. I am afraid of even trying it again.