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Richmond & Fairfield - CJs Barbecue & Fish – the rest of the story

rworange | May 16, 2006 03:18 AM

Except for the baby ribs, we’ve tried all the BBQ meats on the menu. Here’s the preference. I always asked for sauce on the side.

Chicken (no sauce. The smoke flavor would be overwhelmed)
Ribs (good plain. The medium sauce, if necessary)
Mild links (good with mild sauce)
Hot links (perfect with hot sauce)
Beef (needs sauce. I think medium is best)
Sliced pork (needs sauce. Once again, medium is the best for me)

Not interested in trying the fried items. Here’s the details on the latest visits (previous report linked at end).

Chicken – I won BBQ chicken roulette a second time in a row. It is some compensation for years of dry BBQ birds.

CJ’s was every much the equal of the perfect poultry I had at Flint’s recently. Pink smoke ring to the bone and fall-off-the-bone tender. Flint’s had the edge, but not by much. No sauce to detract from the smoky goodness of this beautiful bird. At both Flint's & CJ's the chicken was bought about 5 pm - the chicken hour, it seems.

Hot links – The snappy casing, the color of a 1960 copper penny held a juicy fine grind that was a deep subtle rosy pink.

I didn’t notice any heat in the link. That was added with the hot sauce, a vinegary wicked deep plasma red that had lots of pepper seeds that warned “taste at your own risk."

Sliced pork – Both the beef and the shredded pork are moist and tender, but rely on the sauce to complete them.

Pork ribs – nice spareribs that have enough meat and are juicy and the perfect texture. The light smoke gets lost with sauce, but the medium is a nice complement if anyone needs sauce.

The specials board was re-organized since my last visit. There was also an newspaper article that I didn’t have the time to finish reading. It seems one of the owners grew up in Arkansas where he learned BBQ from the family. They don’t describe their as a specific region, but Southern-style.

The BBQ door was opened to check the ribs on a visit and about a dozen slabs of ribs were being smoked.

They don’t talk a lot or answer question, but the are nice people. They helped me out to the car with my order. They also give the order the way you ask for it without hesitation.


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