Review of J&J BBQ and Burgers (Cedar Park, TX)
I stopped by J&J BBQ and Burgers today to pick up some lunch for Tish and myself. At first glance it looks like a hometown version of Bill Miller BBQ. (For those not familiar, Bill Miller is a Central Texas chain with … questionable BBQ). Like Bill Miller, J&J has BBQ, but they also have burgers, chicken, and seafood on the menu. They serve day-long breakfast as well, including pancakes, breakfast tacos, and migas, and have a 7 pound migas challenge. While I'm not sure Cedar Park qualifies as small town anymore, the place definitely has a small-town feel to it.
I ordered two three-meat plates to go. They were out of puled pork, so I got brisket x2, ham, chicken, turkey, and original sausage. I also get ¼ pound of pork ribs.
Ham: The ham is tender and moist. However it doesn’t really have a smoke flavor to it (at least the pieces I try). It's got a good flavor, but not anything that makes me think BBQ. Grading on a BBQ standard: 5.0/10.
Brisket: The brisket has a good bark and a decent smoke flavor. They put lean on my plate, and it is a touch dry. 7.0/10.
Sausage: Their original sausage has a good flavor. There's a nice snap in the casing and it is tender and juicy. 8.0/10.
Pork Ribs: There's a good crust on the ribs, and they have a solid smoke flavor. They are tender without being overdone. Their ribs are very small, as ¼ pound got me three ribs. 8.0/10.
Turkey: The turkey is tender, juicy, and has a nice smoky flavor. It's not too salty. This is good stuff. 8.5/10.
Chicken: The chicken has a nice peppery flavor in the rub. It is also tender and juicy, and has a nice smoky flavor. It's even better than the turkey. 9.0/10.
At the beginning I compared this place to Bill Miller. However, let me be clear: J&J BBQ and Burger has succeeded (at least on the BBQ front) where Bill Miller has failed. They've turned out a solid line of BBQ with at least 4 of the 6 items I tried ranking in the exceptional range.
Is it worth a visit? Absolutely. And it has the added advantage that you can go there and satisfy your craving for BBQ while meeting the needs of the non-BBQ lovers in your group (although why you are hanging out with non-BBQ lovers…).
Is it worth a trip? Again, yes. Four of the 6 items I tried are scoring 8 or higher and that's always worth traveling and checking out.