Bayonne is a new fancy-ish Southern style restaurant that just opened up in the new arts district in downtown San Jose. They’re trying to call it SoFA but I have completely forgotten what SoFA stands for (oh, apparently it stands for South First Area). It is located in the Agenda building, in which our fast favorite singlebarrel inhabited the basement. Quick note: singlebarrel sparked my foray into Pisco Sours and gin fizzes. Anyway, I was craving fried chicken one day and not to be deterred from my food fads, we ended up having a surprisingly delicious meal.
For an appetizer, we got Gator’s Barbeque Shrimp and Grits. Holy wow, that was certainly one of the highlights. The tender, juicy shrimp had a touch of char along their pink edges and they were on display and plunged into a clear pool of buttery, herbed grits. Amazing.
As an entree, I had the oven-fried chicken. (The owner and chef of Bayonne, lovingly called Chef Gator, apparently took a years-long tour of the South to learn all the ways of cooking and food. As a result, he weighed almost 400 pounds and had to have a gastric bypass. Now, his restaurant is focused on Southern cooking in a healthier, sustainable way.) It was oven-fried to be healthier, and though quite delicious, I realized that when I’m craving fried chicken, I am not craving it to be healthy. Tom got roast pork loin with a truly finger-licking applejack brandy gravy. I asked our waiter for an extra side of gravy for my chicken, and a side to take him with the leftovers. Our resident squatter who treated us to the dinner got pan-roasted catfish with corn maque choux and cajun tartar sauce. I got the mac and cheese as a side to fulfill the seriously lacking M&C portion of this blog. It was a good, hearty, homemade version with herbs, not too oily and a good balance of noodles and cheese.