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.
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.
Named for the ever-present loaves of bread that stood as religious offerings at the Temple in Jerusalem, The Table is Bread mingles Southern culinary and spiritual traditions in a spacious dining room. The menu brims with classic Southern specialties alongside Cajun-tinged seafood such as the signature Table La-La, a juicy catfish fillet fried or grilled and smothered in zesty crawfish étouffée. The centerpieces aren't the only flavors in the spotlight, however. "The candied yams were my favorite," writes Shermin Khan of Dig Baton Rouge. "Cooked with brown sugar and a dash of cinnamon, [they were] neither too greasy nor overly sweet." Khan also expands upon the restaurant's spiritual focus, which draws weekly performances by gospel musicians and includes maintaining an alcohol-free atmosphere.
The family that founded China Garden Buffet did so with a passion for sharing Chinese home cooking with the community, and to that end they present an all-encompassing scope of Cantonese, Szechwan, Peking, and Hunan cuisines. With that wide spectrum of dishes on hand, the menu bulges with an expansive selection, tempting guests with simple, elegant choices such as roast pork lo mein, egg drop soup, and general tso's chicken glazed in a signature sauce with hot pepper. The chefs add a touch of showmanship to the newly renovated dining room by grilling up Mongolian barbecue dishes right before diners' two eyes, unlike the cooks at fast-food restaurants, who do everything behind a giant scoreboard often called a "menu." For convenience, the staff makes the buffet available during lunch and dinner for sit-down dining or carryout.
Flames soar from the surface of griddles built into the middle of Ginza Sushi & Japanese Steakhouse's tables, as chefs drum out a steady rhythm against the heated metal surfaces with their knives. Beneath the flashy blade-work, delicious proteins – such as filet mignon, scallops, grouper, and chicken – soaked in Japanese style sauces divide into bite-sized cubes of flavor. Meanwhile, sushi chefs perform equally deft, if less often observed, tricks with their knives, dicing rolled conglomerations of rice, seaweed, and raw fish into even morsels. They prepare such treats at the super dragon roll, featuring snow crab and avocado topped with barbecued eel, or the cherry blossom roll, with tempura shellfish beneath a blanket of lobster salad. Mixologists wash the seameats down with concoctions of their own, brewed to order at the full bar.
When patrons at Red Zeppelin Pizza request Whole Lotta Love, Great Balls of Fire, and Mamma Mia, they're not asking to hear oldies hits. Instead, they're ordering uniquely named specialty pizzas piled with toppings that include Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce and sizzling italian sausage. A guitar, concert posters, and other rock 'n' roll memorabilia dot the tomato and marigold walls, where mounted televisions broadcast footage of Pete Townshend smashing pizzas during cooking-show guest appearances. Twenty-one draft beers and drinks with titles such as Dr. Love and Boo’s Lemon Drop also help wash down sub sandwiches, calzones, and salads. Outside, wrought-iron flames and a sculpture of the pizzeria's namesake blimp guard the entrance of the fenced-in patio from incursions by rival musical genres.