Food & Drink

The menus at this Biloxi casino cafe leave this reviewer ‘a bit breathless’

Delightful barbecue pulled pork sweet potato tots.
Delightful barbecue pulled pork sweet potato tots. Special to the Sun Herald

The Bayview Café is in the lobby of the IP Casino and Resort and it is open 24 hours a day, so you will be forgiven for thinking it’s just another diner. It is causal, the prices are affordable, and it is just seconds from the front door, so access is a breeze. It’s a big restaurant, and well-appointed; I think comfortable is the right way to describe Bayview.

So, now you just might be lulled into thinking this is just another 24-hour-a-day casino place, right? No! If you are a foodie, and if you, as I am, are overly fond of innovative food, delightful, even playful pairings, then you are going to go nuts over this place.

Nothing delights me more than finding a chef who has the tact and craft to incorporate little surprises in his dishes. The first dish I tried at Bayview was from the bar menu (there are also menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner). It made me want to jump up and shout, waving the menu around like a madman: delicious sweet potato tots, tender inside, crispy outside, sandwiched between a topping of creamy coleslaw, surrounded by house-made barbecue pulled pork, pickles, cheddar cheese, barbecue sauce and spicy little bites of jalapenos. Wow! If this was the only item on this menu, I’d be here once a week. So many good ideas in one dish, unusual pairings, and so thoughtfully prepared, and at the amazing price of $8! Simply unbelievable.

But the surprises don’t stop there. What about a grilled cheese sandwich loaded with slow-braised pot roast, caramelized onions, and, forget the regular sliced cheese you might expect, this bad boy is made with house-made pimento and cheese, grilled on thick cut sourdough bread. Just $12.99.

If you are seriously hungry, go for the $12.99 country fried steak. It is, without any exaggeration, the biggest country fried steak I have ever seen, and tender, with perfect thick and creamy black pepper country gravy. Are you starting to get the picture?

I just loved the oyster trio (Rockefeller, Bienville, and remoulade), again for just $12.99, and the Savory Bayou Beignets were simply over the top, also $12.99. A beignet is a pretty simple idea, delicious and sweet, but when you stuff them with local blue crab meat and shrimp, plate them with crawfish and corn maque choux and crab boil aioli, it leaves me absolutely speechless.

The burger is great (and huge), the gumbo is just right, and it is my guess that the multitude of other dishes (43 on the basic menu, 44 on the lunch menu, 19 on the late-night menu and more than 30 on the breakfast menu) are all as beautifully prepared.

Describing this menu leaves me a bit breathless, but happy, delighted in fact. Three cheers for the culinary team at the IP that put this wonderful place together.

Bayview Café

Where: IP Casino and Resort, 850 Bayview Ave., Biloxi

Hours: 24 hours

Phone: 228-436-3000, Ext. 3288