Alex and Frenchy’s Bayou Grill has been the talk of the town lately in many ways, so obviously I had to try them out.
A few friends and I went out one evening and sat on the small patio outside. The ambiance was great. I loved the lights and the cool weather. The next thing I noticed was the staff. They were kind and attentive but not to the point of overbearing. They were also great conversationalists, which helps keep the potential awkwardness of service at bay.
For an appetizer, we tried the boudin. It came with Cajun Fries and hushpuppies, which fit the mood just right. The boudin had great, authentic flavor and a good heat, which I appreciated. It’s difficult to find good boudin sometimes.
The hushpuppies were really good and avoided the typical pitfall of dryness. The fries were great, too. They have a nice texture and flavor, and they played excellently with a healthy portion of ketchup.
For entrees, we shared the Creamy Lobster Ravioli and each tried Alex’s Award-Winning Jambalya, Grand Isle Lump Blue Crab Cakes and Crab Stuffed Butterfly Shrimp.
Overall, I was not a fan of the Creamy Lobster Ravioli. For a dish with a price tag like $15.99, it was disappointing. For starters, the presentation of a creamy sauce dish in a giant white bowl is not a great plan. It also had a very fishy taste that didn’t pair quite so well with the sauce and the pasta was undercooked. We also found a shell in one of the ravioli. However, the sauce had an excellent, creamy cheesy flavor.
Alex’s Award-Winning Jambalaya was super good but totally not what you would expect. This recipe was on the sweeter side yet pretty spicy, which made for a great combination. The ingredients seemed to be well cooked, but it was served a bit cold. The jambalaya came with two sides. We chose the Cajun French Fries and Four Cheese Macaroni, which I highly recommend. This mix seemed worth the $10 price tag.
The Grand Isle Lump Blue Crab Cakes were fabulous. They had a salty and winning flavor with a hint of dijon mustard, and they were the best use of crab I had that night. It came with two sides. We chose Momow’s Potato Salad, a great choice with fresh ingredients and a subtle flavor, and the Louisiana Yellow Rice, which had a fantastic flavor and great composition but was served stone cold. I’m also leery of saying it was worth the $17.99 price tag.
The Crab Stuffed Butterfly Shrimp was my favorite dish of the night. The three humongous shrimp stuffed pretty full with stringy crab had great flavor and delicious, crunchy breading. It also came with two sides, and we chose the mashed potatoes and the Squash and Sausage Dressing. The potatoes were so good. I love recipes that include the whole bits of potatoes and skin. I also adored the Squash and Sausage Dressing, even though I’m not typically a squash fan. It is best with a full bite of sausage. Otherwise, it is a little heavy on the squash. But a balanced bite works well.
The final sampling came out as the Banana Foster Cupcake, and people, this is a true masterpiece. I loved the moist banana bread base that was complemented well by the creamy icing. It wasn’t overly sweet, but I could do with less icing. The presentation was also impressive.
Overall, Alex and Frenchy’s Bayou Grill seems to be on its way to becoming a successful Cajun delight in East Texas. However, like any new restaurant, they need to work out the kinks. They need to iron down their menu with more reasonable prices and work on making sure the kitchen is keeping everything nice and warm.
The grill is located at 4001 S. Medford Drive and is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
Olive Waldorf is a pseudonym for the food critic of The Lufkin Daily News. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.