Bayou Cafe

Bayou CafeBayou Cafe
Liked This Place
3.86 w/ 4 ratings
Bayou CafeBayou Cafe

Type: Bar, Eatery

79 N Pearl St
Ste 100
Albany, New York, 12207
United States

(518) 462-9033

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Ratings: 4 |  Reviews: 4
Reviews by slander:
Photo of slander
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Tryin' to move around town some, see the sights, sample the wares, local flavor, all that. At the same time, it is snowing like a bitch and The Bayou is located just around the corner from the hotel so maybe it's a better way to play tonight as they ain't plowing the streets of Albany worth a shit. I've heard they've got some decent taps and I can do dinner there, and, um, you know I like to say the word "Jambalaya" aloud whenever I have the chance...

A few rooms with seating areas and the big room on the corner where it all happens. A curvy angled bar on the inside wall shaped like a dented "J" seats a dozen with an attached "L" piece running towards the rear seating another 6 with scenic views of the kitchen area tucked behind a bar island unit. 3 glass front coolers behind the bar displaying bottled selections and glassware stacked on them. A series of shelving units holding booze, and some nooks in between with little statues and hanging glassware on the bar back wall. Strung chili pepper lighting lines the trim above. Dangling glass lamps & a single mounted flatscreen above the corner of the bar, plus a large canoe and a Yorkstone Pub sign suspended from the ceiling. 5 raised bar tables this side of the bar counter that runs the long wall of windows on Columbia Street and the front wall of glass sporting macro neons on N. Pearl. Tucked in the corner, a band from somewhere not local to here, they don't suck. The inner brick wall holds framed pictures of musical performers, with a fire helmet, a call box and other nic-nacs tucked above and Bass & Harp pub signs to both sides of the arched cutway there through to the next room.

32 taps, spread out across 2 towers of 8 each here just below the main part of the bar and another pair of towers of 8 each sunken off the "L" down there. Nearly ½ the taps are micros regional (Captain Lawrence Smoked Porter, Brooklyn IPA, Victory Hop Devil, Smutty Winter, Wachusett Blueberry, Magic Hat #9 & Fat Angel, Harpoon IPA, Sam Adams Lager, Winter & Cherry Wheat) and beyond (Rogue Dead Guy & Mocha Porter, Anchor Steam, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Blue Moon), and then a handful of better imports (Spaten Optimator, Murphy's Irish Red, Paulaner) than the usual blah imports (Stella, Guinness, Harp, Bass, Smithwicks, Boddingtons, Newcastle), a cider and some macros.

Also some 5 dozen bottles (Corsendonk Monks Brown Ale, La Fin Du Monde, Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout & Winter, Victory Hop Devil, Rogue Brutal Bitter, A few Flying Dogs & Abitas, and a downhill slide from there. I sat at the bar and we spoke of Jambalaya, the bartender and I. It was very good but there was way too much of it. Took it down with a Captain Lawrence Smoked Porter and then repeated the effort.

Wandered about to see the rest of the place. The room behind the bar, through the cutway holds 9 tables, and another cutway in the opposite corner brings you out to the front entrance area. A dozen and a half booths & tables here, old tin signs & framed ancient Albany photos adorn the walls, orange uppers over weathered dark wood lowers. A mounted stop light up front and a pool table to the rear. And off that, a far side room with a stage area along the front windows and a bar on the wall running to the rear.

Good food, beers were fresh, and the band played on. Easy access to the hotel and a good proximity to the Albany Pump Station if you want to do the old one-two.

 3,428 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of melitameister
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

This bar on Pearl Street is within a block of Albany bars that constitute most of its nightlife scene. Two blocks to the Palace theater and other entertainment venues.

Food is very good for Albany, and beer selection is good enough to find the style you are looking for. If you are just meeting downtown for beers, there are several better choices downtown such as Lionheart, City Beer Hall and Wolff's Bier Garten, but none other in our opinion where you can get both a decent meal and a good beer in this burg.

On weekend nights, this place is hoppin.

 556 characters

Photo of STEG
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Cheaper than other Downtown Albany Bars but the selection isnt nearly as good as a place like Savannah's (The Dublin Underground) that has had some awesome stuff on tap. Bartenders are good, mostly filling orders of macro and the like but take the time to. Last time I was there they were all out of La Fin Du Monde so I asked for a Hoegaarden, out of that too, bartender recommended a goose island beer that was either the wheat or the summer and it wasn't bad but to make it all better when i threw him the cash he said it was on the house because they were out of the stuff I wanted.

Overall, not a bad beer list, with La fin Du Monde back in stock, some abita and the occasional above average keg of something cool.

People aren't bad, but there is the usual group of girls with an underage friend or two that try and get in, but the nicer than normal bouncers keep them at bay.

 885 characters

Photo of sponberg
3.55/5  rDev -8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Located on North Pearl Street in the "beer improvement district," a block and a half away from the Big House and four or five blocks from the Pump Station. Parking is available in lots nearby. Two or three brick buildings connected internally, with the bar area having chairs and high tables so you can look out the windows, the next rooms having table seating, and the far room is a dance floor. A pretty cool space.

Primarily a Cajun-style restaurant with a decent beer selection (about 25 taps). Heavy on the Magic Hat (usually 3 or 4 taps), with Davidson Brothers (Glens Falls, very decent) another highlight. Otherwise they have a large number of the usual micro suspects (Sam Adams, SNPA, etc.), a few imports (PU and Paulaner Hefe), and some swill. They serve most brews in standard US pint glasses, with the Hefe in proper glassware, although the waitress appeared taken aback when I said "Nooo!" to the lemon. The waitstaff generally knows what style each beer is, but that's the extent of it.

The food can be borderline great. Simply outstanding jambalaya - it must be good, my coworker Jim is in here a lot and he's a foodie like me and he knows from jambalaya. Other specialties are cajun chicken sandwiches and stir-fry, Mexican items, and Cajunified sides. I haven't tried them 'cause I can't get past the jambalaya. Service can occasionally be slow when it's busy at lunch, but it's always been accurate & generally friendly.

 1,447 characters

Bayou Cafe in Albany, NY
Place rating: 0 out of 100 with 4 ratings
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