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“The best ribs!”
Review of PJ's BAR-B-QSA

Cuisines: American, Barbecue
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Kids, Families with children, Large groups
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: The PJ's BAR-B-QSA story begins in the mid-1960s, when Carolyn and PJ became high school sweethearts in their hometown near Buffalo, NY. They married, graduated together from college and became elementary school teachers. They began a small catering business out of their home and spent their summer vacations doing barbeques and county fairs. Eventually, they bought and operated a seasonal barbeque restaurant, while continuing to teach. They finally stopped teaching to devote their full attention to operating PJ's BAR-B-Q. Over the years, PJ, Carolyn, and their son Johnny added the country's regional barbeque favorites to their menu. They went on several barbeque road trips to make sure they were authentically representing these regional favorites. PJ's BAR-B-QSA now operates year-round, featuring barbeque from Coast to Coast. If you'd like to experience America's time-honored regional barbeque favorites without traveling across the country, you can take "A Taste Tour of American Barbeque" right here at PJ's BAR-B-QSA. Happy Trails!
Albany, New York, United States
Level Contributor
45 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“The best ribs!”
Reviewed April 17, 2013

We love this place - the food is good and the DJ - especially in the summer months is fun for everyone. Hoola hoop contests and bubble blowing is a fun time for the kids - and fun to hear all the oldies that the little ones dance too. Love sitting at the picnic tables but wish they'd do something about the flying insects in the summer and move the trash buckets away from where we are eating.

Visited April 2013
Thank Trish P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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209 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
37 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Best upstate barbecue”
Reviewed April 13, 2013

In the past year, PJ's has undergone major changes from a seasonal outdoor place to a year-round restaurant, and has eliminated some of the quirky edges which made it unique (my favorites-the parking place for Bills fans only and the extensive 50's music collection).
In any other place, I would suspect that they hired a restaurant consultant, and that may be the case here.
But the food is as good and perhaps,on a consistent basis, better. This was former Governor Pataki's favorite restaurant for takeout during his 12 years in office. If you care deeply about global warming, you are probably opposed to good barbecue (as well as NASCAR and eating red meat generally). On any nice summer day,the smoke from their charcoal pits rises heavenward.
but the result is amazingly good. I grew up in South Florida, where barbecue is a Georgia import and every good barbecue place is a shack which burns down once every two years. (We also sneered at both the mustard-based barbecue of North Carolina and the sugar based barbecue of Kansas City)
What is remarkable about PJ's in its reincarnation is its respect and interest in the barbecue traditions of each of the competing regions-Texas,North Carolina,Kansas City, and upstate New York (which I never thought of as a barbecue region-but they have some kind of Cornell chicken thing ).
In the regional samplers (which I strongly recommend) the choices come wrapped in butcher paper-which put me off at first but keeps the meat moist, tender, and flavorful. The variety of sauces are to die for.
Maybe they will add Georgia/Florida barbecue as a region next.

The dining room is dark and grim-and you should eat real barbecue outside anyway.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank Jim S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
27 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Fun spot with a DJ”
Reviewed April 9, 2013

While we were eating, the DJ came to say hello and asked what kind of music we liked, where we came from, etc. He immediately played a French tune for us because we came from Quebec. Great atmosphere and it is right across from the Best Western Plus

Visited April 2013
Thank sandinette
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kinderhook, New York
Level Contributor
143 reviews
107 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Decent food”
Reviewed April 3, 2013

Found the food to be decent but over-priced for what you received in my opinion. This is a annual summer tradition but I don't visit year round.

Thank Jay V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clifton Park, NY
Level Contributor
348 reviews
317 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 158 helpful votes
“An annual rite of Spring.”
Reviewed April 2, 2013

Spring is here and BAR-B-QSA has lasted through it's first Winter season. It was time to return and see how it compared with our first visit within the then newly remodeled, year-around facility.

My wife ordered the Pacific Northwest Salmon Platter (charged $16.95, but $17.50 on their web page) which we don't recall being offered last year. If it was we probably would not have noticed it as we were more focused on pork or beef that last trip. The platter was offered with a choice of two sides and for this trip fries and coleslaw were chosen. The salmon was smoked and a sizeable 8 ounce portion. It had nice flavor and was properly cooked to remain moist. The curly-Q-fries were the usual eat-um-while-hot ok. The coleslaw was nothing special.

I had wanted a 3 Region Tour (charged $15.95, but $15.50 on their web page) of all three rib styles, but was informed that the PJ's Original ribs were a seasonal item and not available yet. So I settled on Virginia Smoked Sausage along with the Memphis ribs and KC ribs. My choice of sides were the sweet potato casserole that I enjoyed so much the last time, and collard greens. Both rib styles were good as was the sausage. I actually think I enjoyed the ribs a bit more on this trip. Collard greens were just ok with their sour flavor, but the sweet potato casserole continues to be a favorite for me.

A couple of sodas ($1.95/ 24 oz. cup) helped to wash everything down. Maybe we'll make another visit later in the year.

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Roger K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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