The West was once ruled by cruel, heavy-clawed crayfish overlords, who were vanquished by Lewis and Clark and turned into the first Cajun étouffée. Conquer cravings with today’s Groupon: for $10, you get $20 worth of Cajun cuisine at Joe’s OK Bayou.
Joe’s OK Bayou transports bayou flavors upriver with a menu filled with authentic Cajun cooking. Joe's all-you-can-eat lunches overwhelm any appetite with unending portions of gumbo jambalaya, étouffée or red beans and rice ($9.95 each). Begin evening feedings with the voodoo trio, a combination of chicken-tender bites, mozzarella stix and fried pickles ($8.95), before securing a true Cajun feast with heaping portions of boiled crawfish ($12.95 for two pounds). Specialty items such as Cajun-seasoned gator tail ($10.95 half, $16.95 full), fried frog legs ($10.25 half, $15.95 full), or fried oysters ($11.50 half, $17.95 full) allow patrons to casually munch on water-dwellers without summoning vestigial gills. Quell well-spiced stomach infernos with a towering wedge of peanut-butter pie ($4.25), made even taller with a whipped-cream fedora.
Joe's OK Bayou
Joe’s OK Bayou claims to be “da best Cajun,” but there’s also a humility to the enterprise—starting with the playful name and extending to decor that alludes to a low-country shack with a sheet-metal awning and rough wooden walls. Home-style cooking comes naturally to owner Joe Wheatley, whose father farmed grain and raised hogs before opening similarly rustic restaurant The Feed Mill with other members of the family in a former feed-storage building.
Since 1995, Joe and his team have striven to introduce Louisiana flavors to a northern audience, seasoning crawfish étouffée and chicken-and-sausage gumbo with spices that are bold but not painfully hot. Visiting in 2008, the Courier-Journal’s Marty Rosen found that this mission succeeded, with “bold, accessible flavors, friendly, quick service and extremely affordable prices.” He also found oysters “big and glossy with fine, firm textures—as fresh-tasting as any I've eaten along the Louisiana or Alabama coasts” on the menu’s wide selection of simply prepared coastal creatures—fried gator tails, catfish filets, and frog legs among them. Abita beers, the star of the drinks menu, hail appropriately from Louisiana, and join wines and other domestic and imported brews at the full bar.
9874 Linn Station Rd.
Louisville, Kentucky 40223Get Directions