CJs puts the B in Barbecue. It wasnt grade A mind-blowing wonderful, but the food was a solid B grade-wise on my first visit.
The beef was chopped up like carnitas. It was juicy and tender with a touch of fat, but I couldnt detect any smoke and there was no smoke ring.
The medium sauce was mouth-tingling hot and when added, the meat absorbed it like a sponge. It was a happy marriage of sauce and meat. The sauce is required here.
It might be best to ask for the sauce on the side because too much and the meat flavor gets lost. The medium was plenty hot for me. I can't imagine what the hot would be like.
All sides are house-made. They get a B too. Maybe I should grade on the curve since most BBQ sides are so forgettable in the Bay Area B+
The slaw was basic and with a slight wilt that might be the result of the journey home. Nice enough potato salad with a little celery and black olive
The serving, while generous, wasnt as hefty as Flint;s and, at $11.00, was more expensive.
A special of greens and cornbread was salty greens that were long-cooked with a piece of pork. Pork and pork bones were in the greens. Two tiny corn muffins were crumbly and tasted of margarine. The greens also tasted like they had some sort of margarine or butter in them.
They make their own banana pudding and peach cobbler. Again the cobbler earns a grade of B. It was made with canned peaches and broken up pie crust. Pleasant with a hint of clove and not overly sweet
I wasnt too inquisitive or chatty because I planned to see what Chowhounds or others on the web had to say. It seems like Ive seen one-line mentions of CJs here and there but Goggle is turning up nothing on Chowhound or elsewhere. So heres what else CJs has on the menu
BBQ: pork ribs, chicken, links (mild or hot) and, of course, the sliced beef
BBQ slabs: baby ribs, pork ribs
HOAGIES: Links, beef, pastrami, ham, turkey, pork. Hoagies come with sauteed onions, jalepeno peppers and garlic. Fries and soda or bottled water included.
FRIED: snapper, catfish, prawns, oysters, chicken wings, chicken strips
SIDE ORDERS: Potato salad, mac salad, cole slaw, baked beans and French fries.
Huspuppies are $1 for 3.
I just noticed that a small order of any of the sides is only $1.
In addition to the house-made banana pudding and peach cobbler, they use a Berkeley bakery for cake slices, pecan pie and sweet potato pie.
Theres also a specials board. Today it was greens and muffins. They also had green beans. From the looks of the signs, these might be permanent specials.
It is mainly take-out, but there re four tables. Miminalist decor - black and white tile floor, counter, brick oven. I think Shep said this place was once Good's BBQ.
Has anyone else tried this place? How are the hoagies?
The menu says:
You've Tried The Rest Now Try The Best, Ask Charles & Jeri About, Delicious B-B-Q Catering
CJ's Barbecue & Fish
2401 Macdonald Ave
Richmond, CA 94804
520 Parker Rd
Fairfield, CA 94533