Friday, October 17, 2014

The Bayou - Bethlehem, PA

Just down the road from Bethlehem's "Restaurant Row", The Bayou brings gourmet Southern comfort food to the Lehigh Valley.

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Pork Belly Confit - The Bayou - Bethlehem, PA

After weeks of sporadic blogging, I have finally returned to my regular blogging routine of writing four posts per week. (Today's post review is the fourth post.) The road back has been long, but I have to admit -- it's good to be here! I just hope I can keep it up throughout the duration of my second trimester because I have a strong feeling I'm not going to be as productive in the months right before the baby is born.

Since I haven't been writing all that much over the last few months, I have been building up quite a backlog of posts, including this review of The Bayou, a fabulous new restaurant in the Lehigh that serves up gourmet Southern comfort food with the sound of blues bands playing in the background.

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Mason Jar of Beer - The Bayou - Bethlehem, PA

Stephen and I first dined at The Bayou back in March, fortuitously grabbing the very last available table on a night when the sky was emptying buckets of rain down on the valley. We instantly fell in love with the restaurant's energy and the vibe, and, with perhaps just one exception, the food didn't disappoint either.

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Golden Scallion Hush Puppies - The Bayou - Bethlehem, PA

To explore as much of the menu as possible, I decided to order an assortment of dishes -- one from the Snacks section and two from the Small Plates section. The Golden Scallion Hush Puppies ($6) were perfectly crispy on the outside and warm and flavorful on the inside.

The scallions in the filling weren't overpowering and the accompanying Spicy Tomato Butter and Scallion Chimichurri really accentuated the creaminess of the cornmeal and the slight bite from the onions. I could have easily eaten another plateful.

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Pork Belly Confit - The Bayou - Bethlehem, PA

As much as eating the hush puppies made me happy, what I was really anxious to try was the Pork Belly Confit ($9) served with Cucumber Kimchi, Scallion Oil, and Chinese Black Vinegar. The pork belly was everything I wanted it to be and more.

Slightly sweet from the caramelization, crispy, and satisfyingly meaty all at the same time with a richness that was balanced by the tangy cucumber kimchi. This dish became an instant favorite in my book.

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House Andouille with Crispy Grit Cakes - The Bayou - Bethlehem, PA

Since the meal was going along so well, I expected great things from the House Andouille with Crispy Grit Cakes ($9) served with Pickled Shallots and a Fried Egg. Unfortunately, I was disappointed with the dish, as the sausage was way too salty for my liking. In fact, it was so salty, I could only eat a few bites of it, abandoning the house-made specialty for the remaining components of the dish.

An unfortunate end to the evening, but certainly not one that would deter me from returning for another meal. Especially since I've heard great things about their Buttermilk Fried Chicken and I'm not one to turn down the opportunity for fried chicken. ;-)

The Bayou
702 Hawthorne Road
Bethlehem, PA 18018
(610) 419-6669 | Online Reservations | Map

The Bayou on Urbanspoon

Looking for more restaurants in Bethlehem, PA? Check out the following:



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