When Mike Kantrow founded his original sandwich shop in 1979, he thought the name Byron's looked too boring. So, as he explains on his restaurant's website, he scratched the s and added a z to the end, giving birth to both a local legend with the Big Byronz sandwich and a local controversy over how to pronounce "Byronz." "If you want clarification on how to say it," Mike explains, "don't ask me."
So while regulars may fight over phonetics, few argue over the flavors infused in Bistro Byronz's southern-styled bistro cuisine. Hearty entrees anchor both the lunch and dinner menus, inviting diners to dig into the roasted potatoes that flank a French-cut pork chop marinated in Abita root beer. Comfort dishes soothe the soul, such as tender pot roast that wades in creole gravy and the signature Byronz sandwich with three types of meat, cheeses, dressing, and black olives.
Tsubaki Hibachi Grill & Sushi's kitchen team sears, fries, and rolls traditional Japanese cuisine on hibachi griddles flanked by seated diners and cataloged on the menu. Sprung from hibachi grills into properly prepared mouths, shrimp ($22) and steak ($22) are scored on skill and landing by a judges' table of soup, house salad, and fried vegetables. Six slices of red snapper ($7)—one for each year it takes to crush a grape with a heavy thought—slink into ponzu sauce, and tofu, seaweed, and green onion soak in miso soup's ($3) soy-bean broth. Diners can also indulge palates' seafood predilections by imbibing the spicy tuna, crab, shrimp, cucumber, asparagus, and masago that unite as roommates in the Ricky roll ($10), an enfolded sheet of soy paper.
At Bourbon Bistro and Bar, chef Michael Craft, a Baton Rouge native, marries his Cajun roots with his Texan cooking experience to cast a unique spin on the classic bistro. The French influence is hidden within such Cajun dishes as étouffée hash, po' boy sandwiches, and fried catfish. Roasted poblano peppers and regional spices add their kick to the crayfish étouffée and steal the spotlight in the pulled-pork nachos and quesadillas. Each of the chef’s creations is made with fresh, local ingredients and pairs well with the casual eatery's wide selection of bourbon.
With a commitment to flavorful, bayou-infused cuisine, Joe's Dreyfus Store Restaurant upholds the traditions of warmth and hospitality established during its past life as Civil War-era general store. A bevy of buxom burgers and poboys ($5.99-$11.95) sing a lunchtime siren's song that leaves taste buds enthralled. When Richter-level rumbles leave stomachs shaking from want, dinner options like the timelessly glamorous oysters Bienville ($8.99) or the 21-day aged filet mignon ($21.99) provide more replete repasts.
Though Wow Cafe & Wingery has now found a foothold in more than 60 locations throughout the U.S., the chain still offers the same tasty soul food and wings as it did when it was founded by a trio of Louisianan brothers in 2001. The friendly sports pub still broadcasts the day’s games on various televisions, allowing guests to follow multiple sports or Jenga tournaments as they lick one of 17 delectable sauces from their fingers. In addition to these finger-food staples, guests can devour fajitas, burgers resting between slices of texas toast, and classic New Orleans dishes such as gumbo, catfish, and red beans. Spice-covered tongues cool off with signature drinks such as an italian mango bellini or Louisiana's Abita beer.
Bistro du Cayenne’s, nestled within the homey walls of the Holiday Inn Lafayette, doles out a savory menu of Cajun-, Creole-, and soul-fare-inspired cuisine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. During dinner hours, patrons warm up organic food processors with appetizers of breaded and fried alligator bites or a crabtini brimming with lemon-oil-covered crab meat and fresh mangos. The étouffée piles buttery veggies and a choice of crawfish or shrimp on a soft bed of white rice, and the captain's platter lines up a seaworthy roster of maritime delicacies including fried frog legs, stuffed crab, and oysters. Beer and wine selections cheer on comestibles as they speedily navigate esophageal highways, and desserts such as old-fashioned bread pudding drizzled with hot rum sauce inspire plans to cover all future meals in rum.