As a professional food critic, travel photographer, and certified sports nutrition coach, I am always on the lookout for the most authentic restaurants in the areas I visit. So, when I ventured into the Catskill Mountains, I knew I had to explore the local food scene.
The Catskill Mountains are a popular destination for travelers looking to enjoy the area's many farms, wineries, cideries, and breweries. As I made my way through the picturesque countryside, I couldn't help but be struck by the beauty of the landscape around me. From the rolling hills to the sparkling creeks, the Catskills are truly a feast for the eyes.
As I searched for a place to grab some delicious food, I stumbled upon J&J Smokehouse BBQ in Catskill, NY. This unassuming restaurant is located at the end of historic Main Street, at the bottom of the bridge into Jefferson Heights, and 1.5 miles from Exit 21 off the New York State Thruway. The building, a former gas station from 1941, is nestled beneath the train trestle, overlooking the Catskill Creek with the Catskill Mountains off in the distance. It's a cozy spot, and while seating is limited, take-out options seem to be extremely popular as I witnessed bunch of people picking up their orders while I was dining in.
As I perused the menu, I decided to try their Trio Platter, which came with Pulled Chicken, Mac & Cheese, and Cole Slaw. And of course, no Southern-style meal would be complete without some delicious cornbread, and crunchy/spicy sliced pickles just took it to a whole new level! As a bodybuilder and sports nutrition coach, I was pleased to find that the generous portion was just right for someone like me who needs to keep an eye on their macros.
The food was simply scrumptious - the pulled chicken was tender and juicy, and the mac and cheese was creamy and flavorful. The coleslaw was crunchy and refreshing, with a perfect balance of acidity and sweetness. I really appreciated the generous portion of BBQ sauce on the chicken and even more on the side, cause it's ain't BBQ if it's not drowning in delicious BBQ sauce
To wash it all down, I ordered Pete's Best Hard Apple Cider by Indian Ladder Farms Cidery and Brewery from Altamont, NY. The cider was the perfect complement to the smoky, savory flavors of the barbecue. I could feel myself getting lost in the moment as I savored every bite. And now that I got a taste of the Indian Ladders Farms cider, I am determined to make it to Almont, NY later this spring and try all of their ciders and beers!
As a travel photographer, I always try to capture the essence of the places I visit. And J&J Smokehouse BBQ was no exception. The restaurant's cozy ambiance and friendly staff made it a perfect place to snap some pictures to share with my readers.
Overall, J&J Smokehouse BBQ is a must-visit for anyone looking for some truly authentic Southern-style barbecue in the Catskills. The owners, Jim and Jill, are local fixtures who share a passion for creating the best possible barbecue. Their commitment to quality and their welcoming atmosphere make J&J Smokehouse BBQ a standout in the area. I highly recommend this restaurant to anyone looking for a delicious, down-home meal in a beautiful setting and I'll be coming back to try their famous Spare Rib Sandwich and the spicy Jerk Chicken that was sold out on the night I was there.
If you enjoyed reading my review of J&J Smokehouse in Catskill, NY, I invite you to check out my other restaurant reviews in the Hudson Valley, Catskills, and New York City. Whether you're a foodie, a traveler, or simply looking for your next dining destination, my reviews are here to provide you with honest and detailed insights into some of the best restaurants in the area along with professional food photography which is a feast on its own (for your eyes though). From farm-to-table cuisine in the Hudson Valley to the latest hotspots in New York City, to hidden gems in the Catskills, I have explored them all and shared my thoughts and experiences through my writing and photography.
So, be sure to check out my other restaurant reviews and jump on the Hudson Valley Style Magazine Newsletter to join me in discovering the amazing food scene in the Hudson Valley, Catskills, and beyond. Thank you for reading and bon appétit and happy gay travels!