If you're driving into downtown Belleville and you see a giant alligator on the roof of a building, you know you've arrived at Bayou Grill.
The restaurant is known for serving up the fun, bold flavors found in New Orleans.
"Who doesn't love good food, you know?" says Bayou Grill owner, Brain Copsey.
It was his love of good food that got him into cooking in the first place. After high school, he went to culinary school, and upon graduating, he started competing in hot food competitions. It was at one of these competitions that he met the famous chef Paul Prudhomme, who specializes in Cajun and Creole cooking.
"He was a good mentor to me and a god of Southern cuisine," says Copsey.
So when the Bayou Grill went for sale in Belleville, Copsey jumped at the chance to buy it, reopening it in 2010.
"The cuisine and culture is just so full of love and life that it's exactly what I wanted to bring to this town," says Copsey.
The restaurant has all your classic New Orleans dishes, like shrimp Creole, jambalaya and shrimp etouffee, but it also has items like burgers, steaks and ravioli. Everything is made to order and can be as spicy as you want it. Two of the most popular dishes on the menu are the Bayou Catfish and the Banana Foster for dessert.
If you would like to try Bayou Grill, it is located at 404 Main St in Belleville. For more information, visit its website here.