You might think the name of Blue’s Bayou Café is a reference to a genre of Louisiana music. Blue is actually the name of chef and owner Blue Benoit who operates Blue’s Bayou Café together with his partner Lorill Fraser. Together, they’ve imported authentic Cajun/Creole cuisine at its very best – right down to the ragin’ Cajun alligator sausage – to the Victoria restaurant mix.
And when we say ‘Victoria’, we actually mean a scenic little hideaway at a marina in Brentwood Bay, about 25 minutes from downtown Victoria but about four minutes from the Butchart Gardens. In fact, it’s so close to the gardens, on a summer Saturday evening, you can enjoy superb dining on Blue’s harbour-side outdoor deck and take in the Butchart Gardens fireworks display.
The restaurant’s genesis lay in a 1997 trip the Calgary couple made to New Orleans. The Cajun cooking inspired them so much that, after a move to Victoria, they established Blue’s Bayou Café. Since then, the two have been back to New Orleans many times with a mission to collect ideas and funky, wild bayou decor to adorn the restaurant walls. The marine character of the immediate area – a salt-water marina is next door – only adds to the ambiance.
Since Blue is the chef, the quality of what goes on the plate is always paramount. Victoria’s local daily newspaper has given Blue’s Bayou a four-star rating. Joining the alligator sausage on the appetizer menu is ‘Voodoo dippin’ cauldron’, Creole Queen crab cakes and ‘French Quarter’ fried green tomatoes. Of course, no Cajun menu is complete without Jambalaya, but other dishes with a creole character include seafood cannelloni, horse-radish encrusted fish, bayou chicken, ‘Southern Comfort’ loin of lamb and ‘Blackened Voodoo’ beef tenderloin. Po’boys are on the lunch menu, along with a superb ‘Big Easy’ shrimp melt, and gator gumbo.
If you’re headed to Butchart Gardens, Blue’s Bayou Café is a tasty stop before or after your gardens visit. And there’s much more to see on the Saanich Peninsula.