Reynolds rates Baby CJ's BBQ
By: Juquetta Reynolds, Print Reporter
Hi, I’m Juquetta! I love to experience new things, so I created this blog to document my food adventures. Follow me and my tastebuds to eight local restaurants in and around Statesboro, GA. I will give my honest opinion of their food, customer service, and atmosphere. A few of my classmates will be accompanying me, but the reviews are solely based on what I eat and experience.
I experienced Baby CJ’s Rib Shack with four of my classmates: Nakya, Jacob, Isabella and Sammy. I chose this restaurant because I’ve heard if you want good BBQ, Baby CJ’s is the place to be.
We walked in and were greeted by two ladies who told us to sit where we would like. As we looked over the menu, the owner, Clint Lovett, made his way around the restaurant checking on customers. We told him it was our first time there and he brought us a bag of pork rinds to try.
They were soft with a nice crunch. I only ate one because I prefer mine fried hard. It was delicious paired with their homemade Baby C.J.’s BBQ sauce. Not too salty and not too sweet. He also informed us where the BBQ sauce can be purchased from outside of the restaurant. Ellis Meat Market and Food World in Statesboro are two of them. It can also be purchased on their website.
As an appetizer, we ordered the brisket panther snack pack for $9. It was absolutely delicious. The mix of juicy brisket, melted, shredded cheese and barbeque sauce danced on my tastebuds. When I got home I wished I had gotten an order to-go.
Isabella ordered the chopped turkey BBQ plate with green beans and baked beans for $10.49. I did not try the turkey, only the sides. The green beans had so much flavor! Jacob said they took him back to Tennessee with his grandmother. That says a lot about the food when you can compare it to grandma’s cooking. The baked beans were delicious.
Jacob ordered the double cheeseburger with fries and a drink for $9.98. Sammy ordered the chopped BBQ sandwich with fries and a drink from the Uncle Ernest lunch special for $5.50.
Nakya and I split the sampler platter that was $16.99. It came with ribs, half a chicken, pulled pork and two sides. The drinks were $1.99 each. I am a huge fan of lemonade and I give theirs a gold star. We both chose macaroni and cheese as our sides which was good, but I would have liked it with a bit more cheese.
The pulled pork tasted good. I only took a bite or two at the restaurant because it wasn’t hot like the other food on the tray. For dinner I reheated my leftovers and enjoyed the pulled pork. I ate it with the slice of bread that came with it. I would definitely use it to make BBQ sandwiches.
The chicken was juicy. Grilled chicken can easily be dried out but they did a great job preserving the moisture. The ribs were tender and delicious. I love meat that uses sauce to enhance the flavor, not save it. These fell into that category. They were great without the sauce and even better with it.
When we finished our meal, the owner visited our table again and brought us a plate of caramel pound cake. The flavor was out of this world. It was so moist and rich. I bought a slice to-go for $2.99 and a brownie for the same price. The brownie was moist and chewy, just how I like them.
Even though I enjoyed my food and experience, the one thing I was not a fan of was the amount of black pepper in the green beans, macaroni and cheese and chicken.
I would definitely return for the dessert, Baby C.J.’s BBQ sauce and panther snack pack. Overall, the food received 2 of 3 utensils.
Our waitress Kat was very attentive and friendly. When we arrived she offered to move 2 tables together to accommodate us, but there was a booth in the corner that was a perfect fit. We ran out of paper towels and Kat quickly replaced them without us having to ask. It was nice to see the owner interact with regular customers and check on all the tables frequently. Customer service received 1 of 1 utensils.
As soon as you pull into the driveway, you understand where you are. There is a running well, rocking chairs, barrels and even more rustic decor on the outside. The building itself has a rusted look with a tin roof which is just what you would expect from a southern BBQ place. There is booth seating and table seating inside, so there’s a nice variety for date nights or family outings. On the inside, the walls are covered with Western and football decor, including some Georgia Southern signs. It felt like I was in a true hometown BBQ joint. Atmosphere received 1 of 1 utensils.