‘Burbalicious: Where I Ate in Lewisville

Shrimp po boy from Bayou Market (photos by Carol Shih)

To gear you guys up for July’s Best Suburbs issue, I’m traveling to ten different ‘burbs in the DFW area for a semi-weird cross-city food tour. I’ll be documenting all my finds in these ‘Burbalicious posts that’ll be peppered throughout June and July. If you feel like your suburb deserves a shot at some SideDish love, email me and I’ll ask my Magic 8 ball if I should go.

Let’s be honest. Nobody really travels to Lewisville for the food. If they do, they travel along 121 only to get stuck in the congestion that clogs up Vista Ridge Mall on weekends. Or maybe they have a thing for the Talbot’s Outlet Store on East Round Grove Road (like my mother). The parking lot at the Applebee’s in that area is always maddeningly full.

I made it my mission to find a place where non-Lewisville people could potentially travel to eat – a place that wasn’t even in our restaurant listings yet. That’s when I whipped out my Google search skills and found the Bayou Market, an “Authentic Cajun Kitchen.”

Bayou Market is located in this ugly brown strip mall that might as well be invisible unless you know it’s there. (Sorry, Lewisville, I do love you. I am a product of your school district, so please don’t hold these comments against me.) But Bayou Market is pretty easy to spot. For one, the floor-to-ceiling windows are plastered in these tacky neon-colored signs that make you want to turn around and hide inside your car so you can avoid the bright glares.

Catfish po boy with lettuce and tartar sauce.

The po boys are worth braving those doors, though. Bayou Market ran out of oysters the Saturday I went, but the catfish po boy was the next best choice. It was lightly breaded, crackly, and held together nicely while I was chomping away on the  lettuce and tartar sauce that came with it. (The menu says it’s supposed to arrive with tomatoes and pickles, too, but I guess mine were invisible.) All of Bayou’s French bread ships from Cambino’s Bakery in New Orleans. The shrimp po boy, which my friends all ordered, was met with a lot of satisfied murmurs.

Crawfish etouffee, dirty rice, and hush puppies

Skip the crawfish étouffée here if you know what’s good for you. Though the dish had a surprisingly large number of small crawfish, the base of the dish was too tomato-driven and tasted more like a spaghetti sauce than anything else. Never mind the fact that the rice was undercooked.

Bayou Market’s po boys easily satisfy a po boy craving, but they aren’t anything to write home about. Comparing them to the po boys you’ve eaten at Johnny’s or Mother’s in New Orleans is like sinking yourself into a big, fat hole. It takes the enjoyment out of eating a cheap po boy in a sad little strip mall in Lewisville. And this, my suburbian friends, is pretty good for Lewisville.