Restaurants & Bars

Driving The Links: J&M's BBQ, Parry's Pizzeria

JojoA | Jan 18, 200608:57 PM     7

J&M’s Good Ole’ Fashioned Mississippi Style BBQ - This place, which sells its wares from a catering truck, is definitely a family affair - the husband, who is from Mississippi, handles the cooking (done in the building where the truck is parked) and the rest of the family (the wife & kids) handles the cash register and packages the food.

The menu isn’t extensive - essentially, you have sandwich combos ($5.95) or dinner combos ($11.95/$12.95) with your choice of ribs, chicken, or links and sides of green beans, pork & beans, cole slaw, potato salad, and rolls.

First time out, I ordered the rib combo came with individually sliced ribs (8 total) with a side of BBQ sauce, along with your choice of two sides. The ribs were fairly large and had a decent enough taste, but they were dried out in spots, probably from sitting out too long (I got these in the late afternoon near closing.) The BBQ sauce was pretty good (semi-thick, starts off sweet but quickly breaks into a nice smokiness) and helped moisten the ribs to make for a good enough eating experience.

Later, I tested out the link sandwich - this thing may give you a full stomach just looking at it. A large sandwich roll was equally matched by the two large brownish-red links cut lengthwise stacked on top of each other (no “too much bread for the hot dog” syndrome here.) Sandwiches are served with your choice of lettuce, tomato, onions, mustard, mayo and American cheese. I could barely get my hands around the thing to hold it like a sandwich; I gave up trying and tore the sandwich in half lengthwise and devoted one link each to one side of the bread. I ended up with a essentially a half a sandwich left over because I was so stuffed finishing the other half (and this was with me barely sampling the sides.)

The links themselves tasted decent enough and had a mild spiciness to them. This also comes with BBQ sauce, but I found the BBQ sauce worked better with the ribs than it did with the links.

The sides that I tried (green beans, potato salad, pork & beans, and cole slaw) were nothing special. They have a modest selection of beverages and chips as well.

It’s not on the menu, but they also have what look to be handmade dessert items for sale. The first visit, the wife (I wish I had asked for her name) was manning the truck. While waiting for my order, I noticed what looked to be pumpkin pies inside. When she said it was sweet potato pie, I mentioned I had never had it before, and she gave me a free slice for me to sample and asked me how it was (it was pretty darn good and I let her know both what I thought and how grateful I was.)

On the second visit, they had not only sweet potato pie but also what looked to be two obscenely fattening versions of chocolate cake with different frostings and a third cake I couldn't identify. However, I figured the link sandwich would be enough indulgence for the day and didn’t indulge in the sweets this time.

I think those with big appetites could do worse than J&M’s - this ain’t the greatest BBQ in the world, but it’s definitely not the worse.

Parry’s Pizzeria - I finally got around to trying one of their grinders and decided on the sausage variety. This also is a substantial-sized sandwich - a 12" nicely crispy Italian roll from the oven with a sliced up sausage link covered with tasty red sauce and lots of mozzarella cheese. The sausage itself was a pale gray and had a semi-coarse texture, but didn’t have much of a distinguishing taste (it did have a slight peppery kick at the end.) I think it served as more of a textural thing than anything else within the grinder - the bread, sauce and cheese were by far the dominating features tastewise, which for me was fine.

Nothing sophisticated to be sure, but this grinder was a simple and delicious pleasure and I’m glad to have a place like Parry's nearby.

J&M’s Good Ole Fashioned Mississippi BBQ
1328 Lemon St
Vallejo, CA

Parry’s Pizzeria
234 American Cyn Rd
American Cyn, CA

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