Downtown Denver Restaurants: Bayou Bob’s

bayou-bobs-exterior-downtown-denver-20091Bayou Bob’s Restaurant and Bar
1635 Glenarm Place
Upper downtown, Denver
Bus directions: from Market Street Station, take the free shuttle up 16th Street to Glenarm. Bayou Bob’s is next to the Paramount Theater and near the Pavilions.

After the Green Festival, Todd and I headed out to Bayou Bob’s for dinner. The next day I would be succumbing to the Eat to Live diet (1 lb. each raw and cooked vegetables, 1 cup beans, 1 oz. nuts, and 4 fresh fruits daily), so fried food sounded like the proper sendoff.

There is nothing at Bayou Bob’s on the Eat to Live diet, not even the house salads. But we didn’t bother with those. I ordered jambayala with green beans Acadien, Bayou Bob's jambalaya, 2009which was suitable spicy and gooey and loaded with sausage and chicken. Amazingly enough, the portion was just right.

The hush puppy was crispy but not mind-blowing like one I had at Brunet’s in Baton Rouge.

Todd ordered friend shrimp and mashed potatoes with cream gravy. The gravy had a little too much white pepper, but the potatoes, mashed with the skin, were creamy.Bayou Bob's friend shrimp and mashed potatoes, Denver 2009

The gumbo could have been spicier, in my opinion, but it does look pretty in this picture. As you have no doubt noticed, food presentation is not Bayou Bob’s strong point.Bayou Bob's gumbo, Denver 2009

Todd claims the fried shrimp at Bayou Bob’s is the best he’s ever had. He said there were only a couple of places in Louisiana that measured up. The shrimp I ate was tender; the batter was crisp and not too thick—what’s not to like?

Bayou Bob’s is a vinyl-covered-booth kind of place, with lots of windows that allow you to watch passersby if you can’t think of anything to say (or you’re dining alone).

Now that I think about it, Denver has quite a few Cajun/Creole restaurants. If you want elegance, you could try Gumbo’s in LoDo. Another home-grown favorite is Lucile’s, with house restaurants in Denver, Boulder, Longmont, and Fort Collins.

I know of two chains:Pappadeaux in Westminster and south Denver and a Bubba Gump Shrimp Company 4 blocks from Bayou Bob’s. As far as atmosphere goes, Lucile’s and Pappadeaux are pretty much opposites—Pappadeaux is one huge room with glass and dark wood accents, and Lucile’s is crammed into a worn old house. Bubba Gump’s main claim to fame is that it allows you to harass your waitron.

You wouldn’t eat at a chain when you could eat at a local, family-owned place, now, would you?
Bayou Bob's Seafood & Southern Cookin on Urbanspoon