Colonial Heights, VA 23834
Colonial Heights, VA 23834
They place was completely empty so I took a seat and my waiter was there quickly to take my drink order. I had a coupon for buy one thing get one thing free. After browsing over the menu I settled on the BBQ combo $16.99 and fried alligator as an appetizer $10.99. That’s right fried alligator. While I waited on my food I tasted each of the three different types of BBQ that were on the table. The first was their Carolina bayou sauce; it was mustard based sauce with a strong mustard flavor that was very good. The next was their thick sweet sauce, also very good. Finally I tried that signature sauce. It was a think vinegary sauce with a sweet aftertaste. All three of the sauces were awesome and I thought that I was wrong and this was not one of the worst BBQ places around but was actually one of the best.
It actually took quite a while for my alligator to come out but since I have no idea how long it takes to prepare and cook alligator I can’t say anything bad about that. For $10.99 the 12 small chunks of deep fried alligator seemed a little expensive but where else in the Tri-Cities can you get alligator. As cliché as it is the alligator really did taste just like chicken but chewier. If you did not know that it was alligator one would think that it was just chicken bites. They were cooked very well; seasoned and fried to perfection. They were delicious and served with their swamp sauce which had more bite that the alligator ever did. But while it was spicy it was not uncomfortably hot and tasted very good.
Before I had eaten three pieces of the alligator my BBQ combo plate was served. It was a smorgasbord of smoked meats. It came with three ribs, ¼ chicken, three slices of brisket, 4 inches of sausage, a large helping of chopped pork, collard greens, cole slaw, and hush puppies. The portion was pretty large and was enough for two meals. Everything looked and smelled delicious. I thought that I had found an undiscovered BBQ gem. The first thing I tried was the sausage which I was disappointed with because it was just a smoked kielbasa type sausage not a true smoked sausage in my opinion. It did have a decent flavor but like I said it was only a kielbasa. After a bite of sausage I dug into the chopped pork BBQ, even though I really don’t care for chopped BBQ it was awesome, smokey, well seasoned and moist. Topped with their sweat creamy cole slaw and their sweet BBQ sauce it was outstanding although it would have been twice as good if it was pulled. With the pork BBQ being so awesome I was excited about try the beef brisket which is my favorite. Just looking at it I knew that something was not right, it appeared over cooked and dry and was a grayish color. My first bite proved my assumption correct, it was bone dry and extremely tough. It was the worst brisket I have ever eaten. It was more like roast beef. The ribs, which I ordered dry rubbed so that I could try the different BBQ sauces, suffered from the same problem. They were overly dry, tough and chewy. I will never order brisket or ribs here again. The chicken quarter on the other hand was quite good, nice and juicy and well smoked throughout. It was without any BBQ sauce on it but their signature sauce went extremely well with it. The sides were actually extremely good. Their collard greens were some of the best I’ve ever eaten full of flavor with not too much of a vinegar taste. The cole slaw was also very delicious, very creamy and sweet. The hushpuppies were the low point of the sides, decent but nothing special.Overall Bayou BBQ was OK. Their sauces are awesome and Thursdays they do have a pretty awesome looking New Orleans menu but their BBQ was lackluster. It was dry and tough, the exact opposite of what one looks for in BBQ. I would recommend going here. There is MUCH better BBQ right down the road in Petersburg. If anything stop by Bayou BBQ and buy their specialty sauce and put it on better smoked BBQ than they serve. I must admit that I did not have very high expectations for Bayou BBQ. Walking in, I thought that my expectations would quickly be realized because the place looked confused caught between a Mardi gras themed sports bar and a southern down home restaurant neither of which were done well. Everything looked old except for the Mardi gras decorations which looked tacky and cheap. I just reassured myself but thinking that there was a smoker out front so they had to have some sort of BBQ and as I always say bad BBQ is better than a good salad.