Shak76 | Chicago Reader

Recent Reviews

Re: “Blue Bayou

My boyfriend & I live in Wrigleyville and have been waiting for months for Blue Bayou to open. We both love cajun food, so we were very pleased that they were building a cajun bar & grill in our neighborhood. The past couple of times we had walked up to the restaurant, the windows were covered with paper and a sign was on the door reading "private party." Last Friday, we decided to walk over and give it another shot, but when we got there, it was the same "private party." I sent my boyfriend in to ask when they were going to open to the public. A minute later, he came out and said we had been invited in for a drink.

When I walked in, I was amazed at the beautiful job they had done decorating the room. The ceiling was covered with a detailed decorate tile and extravagent light fixtures. The bar had big lamps with beaded shades and the walls were covered with art work. The loud music & decorations gave it an instant "marty gras" feel, but the wood booths and large wooden staircase also made it feel homey.

The owner immediately asked for our names. I told him we lived in the area and had been eagerly waiting for the restaurant to open. Then, to my surprise, he asked if we would like to have dinner & drinks on them - all we could eat - and all we would need to do is critique the food, drinks, and service. We graciously accepted, of course, and with that, he lead us to one of the great wood booths.

The menu, which was still a stapled packet of paper, was huge! There were lots of appetizers, two pages worth of oysters, two pages of sandwiches, a page of burgers, two pages of entrees, and of course, a dessert & drink menu. Our waiter was extremely helpful in making recommendations - which was great because everything sounded so good, we had no idea where to start.

We ordered shrimp wontons and fried green tomatos as appetizers. Both were tasty, although the wontons could have been a bit warmer in the middle. The fried green tomatos were covered with an excellent spicy sauce with chunks of shrimp.

For dinner, I had the pecan crusted catfish with southern greens and sweet mashed potatos while my boyfriend had a free range chicken and peppers dish. Both were EXCELLENT! The sweet mashed potatos were heavenly and the southern greens were unlike anything I have ever tasted. You definitely won't have a problem eating your vegetables here! The catfish was drissled with a cajun mayo, which I ended up asking for more of from the chef. The pecan crust was crisp while the catfish was done so perfect, it just melted in my mouth! My boyfriend's free range chicken fell right off the bones.

For dessert, we had bread pudding and chocolate peanut butter torte. The serving sizes were smaller, but we were so full from dinner, we wouldn't have had room for anything bigger. The bread pudding helped to cool our mouths from the spices of our entrees and the the peanut butter crust of the chocolate torte was so good!!

My only complaint was the drinks. Our hurricanes were too small and had way too much ice.

The meal was all free, but the prices on the menu were very reasonable. Both appetizers were about $6 and my dinner was around $13. Of course, we did leave our waiter a $20 tip - he was great!

This was an amazing dinner!!! We would have gladly paid for the meal and we will certainly be back! Blue Bayou opened to the public on Wednesday, February 12th! Please check it out! You won't be disappointed!

Posted by Julie Shakula on 02/13/2003 at 8:25 AM

Re: “Grand Lux Cafe

Once the waitress arrived at our table, the service was good. However, it did take her some time to get to us -

The restaurant is enormous and incredibly busy on weekends during lunch hour. However, we walked into a packed lobby and only had to wait 20 minutes for a table. The restaurant was loud, but did not prevent normal conversation. The waitstaff was very busy and consistently dropped silverware everytime they walked past our table.

The food took a long time to get to our table. But, the waitress brought warm bread to our table, so that was great.

The menu was extensive. You can find something to satisfy just about any craving.

The lunch portions were huge - all three members of my party ordered sandwiches. You can easily be full on half a sandwich, so I would recommend sharing an entree if you don't want to leave stuffed or with left overs. The fries were average, and there were so many on the plate, you couldn't possibly eat all of them. But, the sandwiches were all very good.

The restaurant's decor is beautiful and the dessert kitchen is on the way to the bathroom, so it's fun to stop and ogle at all the fabulous-looking desserts. Of course, we were way too stuffed to think about dessert.

I would defintely go back to the Grand Lux. But next time, I would share an entree to save room for dessert!

Posted by Julie Shakula on 11/12/2002 at 8:41 AM

Re: “Victory's Banner

The restaurant is a spiritual place that heavily emphasizes a life of mediation and spiritual enlightenment. The waitresses all wore saris, they played spiritual music, and had a tv showing something about meditation. They also have fliers on the table promoting their free meditation classes held at the restaurant after close.

The service was great. Everyone was very nice and accommodating. I had difficulty chosing what to order & the waitress was very helpful in making recommendations.

The menu was awesome. NO MEAT. My boyfriend (a meat lover) had the breakfast burrito, which he actually really liked! The food was freshly prepared and was delicious!

I'll definitely be back!!

Posted by Julie Shakula on 10/09/2002 at 11:57 AM

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