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The Bayou Cafe
A Freehold, NJ Restaurant Rating and Review

The Bayou Cafe
32 West Main Street
Freehold, NJ 07728


Bayou Cafe Freehold, NJ


Price Moderate
Fare Cajun - Creole

Restaurant Ratings

Food 0.5 Stars
Service 2.0 Stars
Decor 2.0 Stars
Overall Rating 1.0 Stars
Our New Jersey restaurants ratings and reviews have been established on the basis of a combination of many sources. Click here for an explanation on how we rate restaurants.


Restaurant Review

This new Freehold BYOB restaurant opened in February, 2009, is the sister restaurant of The Bayou Cafe in Manasquan under owners, Robert and Bernadette Lumley.

Placing this restaurant in the category with other fine dining restaurants poses a dilemma since fine dining restaurants are expected to provide well prepared high grade of food, ambiance, decor, and well trained and attentive service. Because this restaurants ownership prides itself in being and in marketing itself as a fine dining restaurant, we have decided to review it in the category of fine dining along with its accompanying standards.

In terms of ambiance, decor and service, the Bayou Cafe meets the standards and more. However, its in the kitchen where it fails to meet fine dining standards.

The ambiance is pleasant, relaxing, trendy and on weekends, there is soft, live jazz background music. The decor is attractive with soft earth toned walls, a large brick wall, high ceilings with spinning ceiling fans, and tables that are set with earth toned linen and napkins.

As you enter you are greeted by a very friendly and energetic hostess who clearly takes a serious interest in making sure the diners are pleased. While at the time of this review, the restaurant is in its early stages of working the bugs out, the wait staff is friendly, attentive, although not well versed and trained in having a knowledge of the preparation of the menu items. However, any missteps along the way are immediately picked up by the hostess who takes decisive action with the diners and in making sure amends are made.

The upside about the food is that it is very reasonably priced. Most of the entrees come with either soup or salad and are priced under $20. In addition, the cajun and tiger sauces are exceptional.

The downside though is that the exceptionally tasty sauces overtake and the poor quality and overall preparation of the ingredients. Menu items without sauces are not recommended.

For example, recommended starters are the Cajun Chicken Fingers, The Cajun Popcorn lightly battered crawfish tails, and the Blackened Sampler of catfish and chicken.

The recommended dinner entrees are the Barbecued Shrimp, the Chicken Creole, and the Crawfish Etoulee.

The items that are not recommended are for starters, the Chicken Vegetable Soup that is overcooked and tasteless. The dinner entree to avoid is the Creole Crab Cakes that are over breaded, over cooked, and tasteless and need to be immersed in the accompanying tiger sauce to be salvaged.

The desserts are unimaginative and tasteless. For example, when eating in a restaurant that advertises it to be "A Taste of New Orleans" the bread pudding is usually a highlight. The bread pudding served at the Bayou Cafe is un imaginative and tasteless. It is very dry, without a hint of any pudding and topped with an excessive amount of whipped cream and a maraschino cherry that resembled a dessert at a children's birthday party.

They are child friendly and offer a kids menu with half-size portions from the main menu.

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