Da Bayou is a repurposed kind of place. Think I am kidding? Check out the tarps, shipping containers, odds and ends and the bits of wood and flotsam.
If you think it sounds funky, you are right. If you think it is just a tad bohemian, you would be right again, but this place is just cool.
I arrived for an early Sunday lunch, and not long after I pulled in, others started to arrive.
A young couple walked in, wearing jeans, comfortable flannels and sunglasses. Then an older man and woman arrived, and they had their favorite jeans and sunglasses on, too.
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Da Bayou is situated right on Davis Bayou. The front is open to a pier and the water and marsh beyond.
The menu is simple and to the point. As you might guess, there are no French sauces, no wine lists, no sommelier, but no menu ever fit the motif of a restaurant better than this one does.
Start with the Hot Legs ($5.95), yep that’s right, not hot wings, but hot legs. They are spicy, messy and delicious. There is no way you could eat those without getting sauce all over your face. Order a beer (and there are plenty from which to choose) and enjoy the moment.
Next, I bravely chose the homemade gumbo and potato salad ($9.95). It’s a Louisiana thing, and some say it was German immigrants who came up with the delicious pairing. Da Bayou serves it with rice, but I think next time I’d ask that the rice be left out and I’d just go for the glory of creamy potato salad and gumbo chocked full of shrimp and sausage.
I liked everything about this place and decided I just couldn’t leave without trying the Who Dat Burger ($12.95). I love burgers, and I love spicy shrimp, so I just couldn’t resist this innovative combination. It was delicious and messy, and that is exactly what I was hoping for.
Da Bayou is a Coast classic, they just get everything right. The food is good, the vibe is right, the breeze off the bayou is refreshing, and if you wear your favorite jeans and your best sunglasses, you just might be cool enough to fit in.
Where: 2411 Beachview Dr., Ocean Springs
When: 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday; Tuesday closed; 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday; 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m.-1-p.m. Sunday