McKinney may be over 520 miles and almost 8 hours away from New Orleans, but thankfully we don’t have to travel that far to enjoy the true taste of NOLA. Bayou Jack’s Cajun Grill is serving up the authentic New Orleans food, feel, and fun everyone is looking for right here in McKinney.
Located in downtown on Louisiana Street (coincidence... I think not), Bayou Jack’s Cajun Grill makes you feel like you are walking straight into the heart of New Orleans with the smell of Cajun spices in the air, the jazzy NOLA themes décor, and the jazz music playing in the background. The friendly staff serves all the NOLA favorites from Alligator to Oysters, Jambalaya to Shrimp and Grits and Po’boys to Burgers. With the majority of my family being New Orleans natives, it’s like going home when I dine at Bayou Jack’s Cajun Grill.
Owner Jack Layman, who comes from a small town in Louisiana, has a deep love for the food and culture New Orleans brings to the world and wanted to share its uniqueness with McKinney and all who visit. He opened the store in Dec. 2013, and after celebrating five years of success, he and his friendly staff are excited for the many more years to come.
I stopped in during December and enjoyed every bite! The mouthwatering food is served in hot and very generous portion and will have you coming back for more and more. The Po’boys are made with fresh and hot real French bread shipped from New Orleans weekly and they are stuffed to the max. The gumbo is made with the freshest of ingredients and the taste is true to the unique New Orleans style. In New Orleans, there is a saying, “if the month of the year ends in the letter ‘r' in it, then the oysters are the best," and Bayou Jack's oysters passed the test. Fried, raw, or swimming in the gumbo, they were big and juicy, just how they are supposed to be eaten.
Not only does Bayou Jack’s Cajun Grill have great oysters, but they are also serving up crawfish pound by pound by pound. Crawfish season, January to June, is upon us and Bayou Jack's is the one stop shop for fresh and juicy crawfish. One pound of crawfish is $9.99, so stop by and be the life and favorite of every Super Bowl and March Madness party. Because the food is so good, you will be going back often, so don’t forget to try a fan favorite dish Crawfish Etouffée and of course their signature dish of Shrimp and Grits.
After you are done with all the great Cajun delights they offer, order any of their mouthwatering desserts and you will not be disappointed. Their authentic NOLA bread pudding gives my New Orleans native grandmother a run for her money with its warm, moist, gooey goodness served with their perfect twist on the classic bourbon sauce. If you aren’t into traditional NOLA desserts, then try their brownie madness which is a giant warm brownie with an even bigger scoop of vanilla ice cream made so good you gonna wanna slap yo momma!
Bayou Jack's Cajun Grill has a welcoming atmosphere for a family night out to ladies or guys night out. The layout of the restaurant helps support both types of outing with its open floor plan with booths lining the left wall, low tables in the middle, and high tops to the side. The full-service bar is to the far right in its own walled-off section including multiple television for all types of entertainment.
Although Bayou Jack’s Cajun Grill is the real Cajun deal, they know a thing or two about good Texas beer. With 15 Texas craft beers on tap, they are guaranteed to have something that you like and are craving to match any Cajun delight. Happy Hour is every weekday from 3 to 6 pm with $3 bottles, a $1 off all drafts, $3 well, and $5 specialty drinks. Tuesdays are special because all day, 11am-9pm, is Happy Hour, so all previously mentioned drinks sales are the same with the addition of $3 crown and down. All drinks are served cold and to your liking with just the right mix of alcohol, spice, and everything nice.
Whether you're from New Orleans or not, you can and will find something you love at Bayou Jack’s Cajun Grill which will keep you coming back for more every time. They are the real deal, serving up authentic New Orleans style food, so geaux and see them!
Eat, Drink & Be McKinney Contributor
Chloe Lewis is a senior majoring in theatrical performance and public relations at University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) with an anticipated graduation of December 2018. She has had the wonderful opportunity to advance her many communication skills by performing in a multitude of plays at UTA, being a studio intern for the Ryan Seacrest Foundations and the Red Balloon Network and being the On-Field Host for the Texas AirHogs in Grand Prairie.
At the young age of four, Lewis found her love for entertaining others and passion making others around her feel loved, welcomed and accepted. She plans to combine her love and passion with McKinney residents and guest through her entertaining and informational writings about hot spots in McKinney. Lewis, a former collegiate thrower, plans on pursuing a MBA in Marketing from UTA starting in January 2019.
Lewis grew up in the small town of Temple, Texas graduating from Belton High School with a respect for remembering where she came from which continues to help her get to where she is going by the grace of God.