Now I have heard good things about the TJ Billies BBQ spot in Northcliff, but driving out to the other side of town was just a long thing for some of us Sandtonites.

But like the next food lover, I am a huge fan of the Triple D (Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives) and been looking for some authentic American pie and great tasty ribs, so decided to trek out with the family one sunny afternoon to check it out.

 Situated on the outskirts of Northcliff in a cute little centre, TJ Billies was close to the highway and easy to find.

As per their website TJ Billies BBQ Restaurant in Northcliff is a traditional Smokehouse who prepare all those smoked items that are common in the Southern States of the USA so I might actually be in for a treat.

Entering the BBQ restaurant, I noticed all the authentic American décor (not cheesy like other places I frequent with the kids), real pics, flags and other souvenirs. They also have this awesome superhero wall with the coolest collection I have ever seen in a restaurant. I felt like I had just stepped in the South, the American South that it.

To start off with, I ordered the homemade lemonade and divine it was. I had a few more glasses of that deliciousness throughout the meal. The menu was extensive with so many options so arriving with an empty tummy on purpose, I ordered two platters. The selection included Ribs, , Southern Fried Chicken, Pulled Pork, Chicken Wings and Beef Brisket. The portions were insanely large for the price.

We (hubby and I) hardly got through the first one when the friendly owner herself arrived with the second one. She was super nice and treated us like we were regulars at the place. I asked about the restaurant and she was as generous with the info as she was with her portions. Felt like home with just a whole lot more flavour. Apart from the great food, her warmness guaranteed many many more trips from us to this family run establishment.

Okay back to the food. The ribs were simply delicious, something like I had never had before, the smoking was somewhat different to other smoked meats I’ve had in the past. I liked it alot. The fried chicken was everything I imagined it to be, well really like the friend chicken served at Rick Ross spot in the ‘South’. Not too oily and not too dry. The pulled pork was soft, not too saucy and super tasty. The two word Brisket review from the hubby: ‘SIMPLE AMAZING’. He is the family expert on this subject and even he was left speechless for the few minutes he took to eat it all up. I worry he might want to steal their recipe now.

Chef Jules the owner told us that TJ’s prepare everything on site using the traditional American smoking methods and various South Africa cuts from the local buthcer. They also use mostly locally sourced ingredients to produce their menu.

With everyone going vegan / vegetarian these days, I did enquire about vegetarian options and wow do they have nice things for vegie lovers. From the spicy jalapenos to the Refried Bean Nachos to the Vegetable Empanadas. Shame they thought about it all.

Kid-friendly, it’s a yes. My 4 month old was welcomed and nobody gave us a second look when she started crying. They don’t really have a kiddie menu but they do offer small meals and drinks that are child-friendly and not too spicy. That reminds me, I ordered the banana cream pie to go since I was defeated with stomach space.  Sadly I didn’t share with the kids later that night so we are not talking about it really. A mom is allowed to have some pleasures in secret sometimes.

All in all, great experience. We will be back.

Situated on the corner Weltevreden and Bagley terrace in Northcliff, they open from Tuesday  (9am-9pm) to Sunday (10am-3pm).

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