Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Blue Bayou Restaurant: A Daveland Reader Fave

The Blue Bayou restaurant was an overwhelming favorite in a poll I posted here awhile back. Unlike most of the other restaurants in the park, it is very difficult to get a seat on the spur of the moment. It is probably the most special restaurant experience in the park next to Club 33, which is unattainable for most guests. What makes this place so darn special? The biggest reason is the atmosphere. Even the waiting area is themed and beautifully appointed in accordance with the New Orleans area in which it resides.

Once you walk into the restaurant, you lose all sense of time. It is perpetually dark in the Blue Bayou, lit only by candles and the green glow of fireflies.

The seating area actually faces the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction, and guests float by as you eat your meal.

I love the Chinese lanterns that hang overhead; one of these days I'm going to find a set for my backyard!

Here is an early publicity shot (obviously posed) from the restaurant’s early years.

The service is also excellent here. Guests usually have approximately 2-3 waitstaff per table, between the waitress/waiter, staff serving bread, and staff busing the tables, keeping them clean between courses. Besides quantity, the staff here is usually of a much higher caliber than I have noted in other restaurants at the park. Across the way, Cafe Orleans serves very similar food, however, the staff is usually not as polite or attentive as the ones at the Blue Bayou.

And the food? It’s not as good as what I’ve enjoyed at Napa Rose, but it is probably the best in the park. The notorious favorite is the Monte Cristo, which is basically a real artery clogger but tastes so good going down!

Once you eat one of these babies, expect to be lethargic and in a food coma for the rest of your day at the park. I have noted on my last trip though that the portion seemed smaller (but still plenty to fill you up, as the previous portion was huge) and it also seemed to be less fried...are they trying to make this classic more healthy?!?

Desserts are often themed here according to the season, but none compare to an offering from long ago: The Fried Cheesecake. Oh how I miss that delectable concoction!

One more vintage photo before closing today’s post, this one from August 1976:

Prices have changed just a bit!

See more vintage & current Blue Bayou photos at my regular website.


Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Nice post Dave! "more healthy?!?" WHAT! "Fried Cheesecake" that actually sounds yummy.... Great vintage photo with the menu closeup! What's the price for the Monte Cristo these days?

Katella Gate said...

What a great restaurant! I've gushed about it before, so there's not really much left to say, except this is really the high-water mark of Disney Dining.

Major Pepperidge said...

According to one website, the "Le Special de Monte Cristo" is $21.99!!

The Viewliner Limited said...

Great post Dave. A favorite place for me.

Funny videos said...

Great post. I like this post.

Daveland said...

Although the price does seem high on the Monte Cristo, it also includes bread (and the waitstaff is VERY generous about bringing more pieces to the table) and either soup or salad. The salad has transitioned from a wedge into a delicious mix of greens, andouille sausage, blue cheese, tomatoes, and either vinaigrette or ranch. AND you get the Bayou! What a value! On my last visit, we both got pins with our check.

SundayNight said...

I’ve been to the Bayou a couple of times. Once we had a seat next to the Bayou itself and we watched the boats go by. Groovy!

Katella Gate said...

Groovy Indeed!

TokyoMagic! said...

It has been about 20 years since I have been inside the Blue Bayou! I just kind of forget about it being there. I can I forget about it when the POTC boats go right by it? Your post makes me want to eat there now.

Speaking of fried foods...did DL ever have fried ice cream? I remember reading a Disney News article about WDW selling it on their Main St. Hot and crispy batter on the outside and soft melted ice cream on the inside!

walterworld said...

Dang---I want a Monte Cristo for $3.10!!!

I ate there on July 4 of that year (the Bicentenial) as a 7 year old. My mom put the menu in the family photo album.


Anonymous said...

Funny that the hours of the Blue Bayou shown on the vintage sign make it seem like it's only open for 1/2 hour per day... :)

gedward said...

Absolutely one of the best atmospheric restaurants there is.

Btw, is that Bobby Brady in the last photo??

Anonymous said...

Ironic to me that you posted a photo of the August 1976 Blue Bayou, since I dined there with my family for my sixth birthday in August of 1976! I didn't remember the name, but the ambiance of the place left a mark. Even at those prices in those days, my dad stretched to feed us there. I'm glad he did, and I'm glad you posted the pics. There was scant 1000 speed film in 1976! Good stuff.