Down on the Bayou ... in Palmdale
Barbecue and gator on the menu
“It’s been crazy,” said co-owner and co-general manager Darlene Porter of Bayou Bar B Q.
From the time the doors opened for the grand opening on Saturday until they closed on Sunday, a nonstop parade of patrons came in to get their taste buds tickled—Cajun-style. Among those attending the opening were representatives from the fire department, Bishop Henry W. Hearns of Living Stone Cathedral of Worship in Littlerock, and real estate entrepreneur/philanthropist LaDoris McClaney.
Of course, Carl Porter’s parents and four brothers came out in support.
Bayou Bar B Q actually had its “soft opening” on March 1, which gave the Porters a chance to do a run-through before the official grand opening.
A native of Baton Rouge, La., Carl attended Southern University during the same time as American Idol judge Randy Jackson. Their paths crossed and Porter started taking bass lessons from him. But when their paths diverged, the lessons stopped. To this day Porter still holds a fondness for the instrument.
Carl said the restaurant was born out of his “passion for barbecuing.” When he lived in Louisiana and some times catered,"People always asked me ‘where’s your restaurant’?” he said. “So I just decided to make it come true and open a restaurant.” He opened his first restaurant in Louisiana.
Following college, Porter had a career as a project manager/engineer with several major corporations in the petrochemical and refining industries, which took him all over the world. Prior to his last assignment with ConocoPhilips, he moved to Palmdale. That assignment sent him to St. Croix, in the U.S. Virgin Islands. After transferring back to the States two years later, he decided to take an early retirement and “to do something different.” That “something different” was the decision in the summer of 2010 to open a restaurant.
Darlene was born in Watts and raised in Lynwood. She was employed as a human resources and finance manager in research administration at UCLA. In 2007, she moved to Palmdale and met Carl in 2008. After they married, she left UCLA and joined him in St. Croix. She handles staffing and finances at the restaurant.
Darlene said she began cooking at “a very young age” and remembers making gumbo as early as 9. “(My mother) had us cooking everything,” she said.
Bayou serves a combination of “Carl’s family recipes as well as my family recipes,” Darlene said.
She described the fare as Southern Cajun-style. Both Porters cook, with Darlene handling the sides.
Since the alligator is part of the bayou fauna of Louisiana, Carl employed it as Bayou’s trademark. “The first thing that came to my mind was ‘Willie Gator’,” said Carl, “and it just kind of caught on, so he’s become our official mascot.”
Alligator also found its way onto Bayou’s menu as an appetizer, and has become “one of the biggest sellers.” Driving its popularity are customers wanting to feed their curiosity, as well as those acquainted with gator but who couldn’t find it offered locally.
Customers seemed pleased with the food. One was overheard telling Darlene that the taste of the sauce was still lingering in her mouth. Tré Balfour, one of the last customers on Sunday, fell in love with the greens. As he worked his way across the plate to the brisket, he exclaimed, “I’m liking this sauce!”
To get that unique flavor in the barbecue, Carl uses a combination of various woods in the industrial-size smoker, including red oak, hickory, citrus and walnut. His rub, though, remains a secret.
Bayou offers several items imported directly from Louisiana such as boudin (blood) sausage, but others can be sourced locally.
Plans for the future include a bar, live entertainment on Friday nights, and monthly Cruise Nights. This summer, they plan to utilize the drive-thru window that was there when Krispy Kreme was a tenant.
Their “Slap Ya Mama” line of Cajun seasonings will soon be available for purchase. Bayou’s signature desserts, such as teacakes and pecan candy are on the menu now but will also be available to buy separately. Bayou Bar B Q apparel is in the works.
Bayou Bar B Q is located at 540 W. Rancho Vista Blvd. (Avenue P), Suite 101, Palmdale 93551. Phone: (661) 273-4BBQ (4227).
Candice Glover could barely remember her own name after she was crowned the new “American Idol” on Thursday.
“I’m still trying to process the whole thing, I don’t even know what’s happening,” she told the press backstage. “It feels amazing though that I finally got to this point; I’ve been working for so long.”
If “American Idol” producers really are planning to toss aside all of the show’s judges, as rumors have suggested, they only have three left to go.
On Thursday night, Randy Jackson confirmed that he’s departing the long-running reality competition, meaning the show no longer has any of its original judges.
Randy Jackson, the last original “American Idol” judge, announced Thursday that he’s voting himself off the hit singing competition program after the current season ends.
“Yo! Yo! Yo! To put all of the speculation to the rest, after 12 years of judging on ‘American Idol,’ I have decided to leave after this season,” Jackson said in a statement, released through his representative.
Along with Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul, the musician and producer was one of three judges when the Fox show debuted in 2002.
Simon Cowell’s “The X Factor” might not be the only Fox singing competition headed for another season of change.
The Hollywood Reporter heard whispers from sources in the know that the network’s “American Idol” was considering swapping new judge Mariah Carey for former judge Jennifer Lopez.
Lopez departed the competition along with Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler in 2012 after two seasons aboard the series, but THR notes that she did cultivate a solid fan following.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—Michael Jackson’s mother and nephew will serve as co-guardians of the late singer’s three children under an arrangement finalized today by a Los Angeles judge.
Earlier this month, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff reinstated Jackson’s mother, Katherine, as the children’s primary guardian and temporarily appointed TJ Jackson, the son of Michael Jackson’s brother Tito, as a co-guardian, pending today’s hearing to finalize the arrangement.