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New BBQ/Tex-Mex in Milford, CT

k
kwhitehead Mar 25, 2010 09:01 AM

Anybody been there?

http://www.joeycbbq.com/

I don't make it to that part of town much but, I now may have to.

  1. cheereeo Mar 25, 2010 09:57 AM

    That is so interesting. Berwyn is a side street in Devon. Is this restaurant inside someone's house?

    1. cheereeo Mar 25, 2010 10:06 AM

      I checked out the address; I wonder if this restaurant is related to the family who owns the limo company I use on Berwyn??

      1 Reply
      1. re: cheereeo
        l
        lsnhc Mar 25, 2010 11:10 AM

        Our summer home is in the Laurel Beach area, so I am familiar with the location. Suffice it to say it is a VERY strange place for a restaurant. At a time when restaurants on main roads are literally dying due to the economy, you have to wonder how a place on a relatively untraveled side street is going to do.

      2. cheereeo Mar 25, 2010 12:50 PM

        I checked with my friend who recently sold her home on Berwyn. She said it is in a little building right next to a house, next to the limo guy I spoke of. I think it is behind the Whiskey Barrel Liquor Store. The menu does look good, and says they do curbside pickup, so I am imagining someone bringing ribs out to the car wrapped in foil like a drug deal. I wonder if I can get my husband to get up the nerve to try it? If the food is good, and folks can get the word out to foodies on sites like this (thanks kwhitehead) and the locals enjoy it, it may do OK. May not have a big overhead, that's for sure.

        1 Reply
        1. re: cheereeo
          k
          kwhitehead Mar 25, 2010 01:31 PM

          We're planning to go on Sunday. I'll report back.

        2. l
          LorenV Mar 26, 2010 09:09 AM

          It's in that tiny house right behind the new "apartments". Didn't that place used to operate as a restaurant before this place? I thought I read that somewhere.

          Also, why hasn't someone snapped up the primo route 1 location of the old and boarded up Corvino's?

          1 Reply
          1. re: LorenV
            cheereeo Mar 26, 2010 11:03 AM

            I know Loren, that's where I was first thinking this place was but knew it highly unlikely since the boards are still on all the windows with graffiti to boot.
            I'm happy to have Kwhitehead be the guinea pig for all of us. I wonder if she'll dine in or opt for drive-by dining.

          2. cheereeo Apr 18, 2010 02:24 PM

            So I went. . . Saturday evening. Takeout. Ordered a family deal that was $40-something included one rack of St. Louis Ribs, 1/2 pound pulled pork, one lime-roasted chicken, sides of coleslaw and potato salad and corn bread. I also ordered kids taco and macaroni and cheese for my eldest fuss-budget son. Figured it was a good way to try a bunch of items and was a good deal for our family. So, I arrived. It is located in a small house behind the new condos. It was really cute inside (see picture). It has about four tables inside. It was very warm and cosy, clean and quite busy--very cute setup. When I placed the order over the phone, I was told the wait was 30 minutes. I felt great inside. THe people seemed so nice. Open kitchen was very busy with two chefs cooking in the back, a gringo (Joey?) and a Mexican (I think). One table had a family who had frequented the place before and was returning. Another table of five or six was there with BYOB, and I overheard a woman sitting there say, "Well, we definitely have to come back here!" She seemed impressed with the food. I had to wait about 10 more minutes for my order, not a problem. THe folks were so friendly. I asked if I could take a pic of the inside. I really want to see them do well. You know how you just really like a place. . . Well, onto the food. . . So we get home and bring out the paper plates for easy clean-up. On the menu, it says you can order three different types of sauce, one was vinegar based and one was zesty bbq and I can't remember the third. I ordered the zesty BBQ for the ribs, remember these were the St. Louis style, not the babyback for this package deal. I asked if I could pick the sauce for my pulled pork and the guy told me it would come with the same as the ribs (fine.) Later, as I was waiting, I heard the table getting their pulled pork with the vinegar sauce! (Darn! I hate that; I wanted vinegar sauce for the pulled pork, so I could try both). Anyway, I assumed the sauce would be on the ribs, but when we arrived home, the sauces came in a bunch of little containers, seemingly separate. THe ribs LOOKED really good. Then I tasted them. It was the weirdest thing. There was no taste whatsoever. They were super tender and dark, like they had been cooked well, but there was still no taste. I tried adding salt, still nothing. It was just so strange. Again, I really want to see this place succeed, so I try the pulled pork, again, no taste, just nothingness in your mouth but texture. Not a bad taste, just no taste at all. I tried the sauce but it wasn't that great. Menu says it is made with agave nectar and no corn syrup or sugar, so maybe they are healthfood style or something. The chicken, well, it started off badly, flabby non-crisp skin and immediately seemed a little undercooked as I placed half of a chicken on a paper plate and cut it in half. A little later, I noticed a pool of blood on the plate, sure enough, the thigh was red on the inside and you couldn't even tear off the wing. I was so disappointed. I couldn't call; I didn't feel like going back. The cornbread was terrific. The potato salad and coleslaw and macaroni and cheese was great. I tried my son's soft beef taco and it was good as was his side of rice and basic black beans, but he wouldn't eat it because it was cut up steak style instead of ground beef (I know he is gross, but that's what he likes and even though I asked if it was ground beef or steak when I called inthe order, I was told it was ground beef, but it wasn't). So needless to say, not a great report, but I almost oddly want to try it again, but am scared. I wonder if their mexican food is better and more flavorful? That may be the case; I didn't want to stare to see what the folks were eating who were raving about their in-house meals. I wish them well. I have tried to attach some photos. So, Kwhitehead, have you gone yet; I wonder if your visit was different than mine?

             
             
             
             
            1. cheereeo Apr 18, 2010 02:25 PM

              This was the raw chicken

               
              4 Replies
              1. re: cheereeo
                m
                mkoso May 6, 2010 08:03 AM

                Honestly, seeing a chicken on the menu for $28 is a bit of a turn off for me. I might have to break down and try it myself though.

                1. re: mkoso
                  JenJeninCT May 6, 2010 11:51 AM

                  We have tried Joey C's twice. It is less than amile from home, and we were so hoping to love it so we would not to have to travel to Westport every time we get the craving.

                  We'll still be driving to Westport....

                  The first time, we got 1 baby back rib platter "mopped"(sauced on the grill) with baked beans and slaw, and 1 pulled pork platter with collards and mac and cheese so we could try as many things as possible.

                  The good:
                  The cole slaw was, by far, the best of the lot. Cornbread was tasty but very sweet. Mac and cheese was authentic, and probably deliicious when it was first cooked, but suffered, as my own mac and cheese does, by refrigeration and reheating- all of the sauce components had separated.

                  The not so good:
                  Everything was un/underseasoned.
                  Ribs weren't tender, and had an overly burned wood flavor- like they were not smoked, just grilled,with some dry wood (or chips they had let run dry). The pulled pork was plentiful and tender but completely flavorless(I doctored up the leftovers with good sauce and made BBQ nachos). The BBQ sauce is just weird and and BBQ-y at all. Beans were... not cooked, hard, gross- SO thought they might have been good if cooked. Collards were ...cooked, at least, but unfortunately without any pork or seasoning of any kind. This meal was somewhere around $40.

                  2nd meal was pulled pork sandwiches topped with slaw, sides of scalloped potatoes and black beans. Doctored up with some of our own BBQ sauce, sandwiches were ok. Scalloped potatoes were very tasty. Once again, beans were inedibly undercooked and underseasoned. This meal was about $25.

                  I don't think they'll be getting any more of our dining dollars... we're so bummed , we really wanted them to be great and make it.

                  1. re: JenJeninCT
                    k
                    kwhitehead May 18, 2010 10:31 AM

                    Wow, sorry to hear about the experience. We never made it down there. Not sure if I will now.

                    1. re: kwhitehead
                      w
                      wreckers00 Aug 24, 2010 06:48 AM

                      what do you drive to in Westport to get? Bobby Q's?

              2. t
                triggs73 May 6, 2010 02:14 PM

                Has anyone ever tried uncle Willie's off I-95 in West Haven? I've been a few times and thought it was pretty good. My SO is from Texas and she said it's pretty close to what she had back home.

                5 Replies
                1. re: triggs73
                  JenJeninCT May 6, 2010 03:17 PM

                  Its definitely on our "to try" list

                  1. re: triggs73
                    h
                    harrie May 6, 2010 04:03 PM

                    I've done Uncle Willie's in their previous locations - Orange and New Haven. Pretty sure it's the same people - the food is very good, but I couldn't tell you whether it's authentic BBQ or not. I like BBQ but am no authority on it. I usually get the pulled pork sandwich, and it's quite tasty; the sweet potato pancakes are excellent.

                    -----
                    Uncle Willie's
                    558 Chase Ave Ste 1, Waterbury, CT 06704

                    1. re: harrie
                      t
                      triggs73 May 7, 2010 08:34 AM

                      Neither am I. That's why I ask "the Boss" her opinion having been born and grew up in Texas. I enjoy going there for their "burnt ends" plate.

                      1. re: triggs73
                        JenJeninCT May 7, 2010 02:37 PM

                        Well now we really have to go- the burnt ends are 1 of our fave things at Bobby Q's

                        1. re: JenJeninCT
                          t
                          triggs73 May 8, 2010 11:33 AM

                          It's only a once evry few month kinda thing

                  2. m
                    mkoso Jun 30, 2010 09:47 AM

                    Well, finally broke down and tried the place last night and it was just OK. Didn't get anything special, just a pulled pork sandwich and a skirt steak quesadilla.
                    The pulled pork definitely had a burnt overdone taste to it. It was dry and lacking. The quesadilla was the same. The meat was overdone and dry. Not a bad taste but definitely lacking in the flavor dept.
                    I might try it again because it's convenient but, I can make much better BBQ in my own back yard.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: mkoso
                      j
                      jennking Jul 8, 2010 05:43 PM

                      Well we are frequenters of Uncle Willies in west haven, but its a far drive for a quick dinner so we decided to try joey c's/ i wish we read the reviews first. We ordered 1/2 rack of baby back and 1/2 rack of st louis, scalloped potatoes, beans with bacon, and cornbread. so disappointed. the ribs had no sauce on them, just the "rub" which would be ok if you were expecting that. the rub, i dont know what it was made of, but it couldnt have been spices because it was absolutely VOID of flavor. it was the oddest food experience of my life. it tasted like someone rubbed dirt all over a rib and burnt it. the meat itself had zero flavor, it didnt even taste like a meat product. it had a weird texture as well. on to the potatoes, very very bland. tasted like boiled potatoes in a container. that was all there was to it. the beans had good flavor, no bacon to be found, and were extremely hard. i have never had hard beans. ever. the cornbread tasted like it was boxed, very sweet and cakey. the sauces that they served seperate didnt even help. for a tex mex place i expected a little bit of flavor! there was none AT ALL. the food is also very pricey, uncle willies is half the price and the food is a million times better. do yourself a favor and go the extra 15 minutes up 95 to uncle willies. so sad, i was looking foward to a closer place for good food. it was a real let down.

                      1. re: jennking
                        cheereeo Jul 9, 2010 08:59 AM

                        At least I know I wasn't going crazy with the "void" of flavor thing.

                    2. JenJeninCT Aug 18, 2010 12:47 PM

                      Went this past Sunday in semi- desperation....

                      I had the pulled pork sandwich and mac and cheese, SO had the pulled pork burrito (baked with cheese for an additonal $1.50) and scalloped potatoes.

                      Nothing was great, nothing was horrible, portions were generous.
                      Pulled pork in both dishes was very tender but without any noticeable seasoning and very little flavor. The BBQ sauce( I got what they describe as "Zesty") is virtually tasteless, so I again doctored it up with some of the good sauce I keep at home. They could improve the sandwich a lot by grilling the port roll with a little garlic butter- or serving it on Texas toast. Mac and cheese was improved from the last batch I had- maybe had a bit of extra cheese stirred in as it was packed? In any case, a noticeable improvement. Potatoes were the same. The "new kid" in the order, the burrito, was, as mentioned very generous in size, but a little soggy from being way over-dressed with tomatoes, and cold all the way through, despite being "baked with cheese". Don't know if they are pre-assembled, but I think it would be a much better dish presented hot. The burritos from Milford Pizza and Mexican( take out place , behind Milford Bank in the little plaza on Naugatuck Ave)are much tastier.

                      Above all, appropriate seasoning for each genre would be a big help.

                      I re-read my previous posts, and certainly do not feel that either of them "bash" the restaurant. I aim to be honest, above all, and honestly, the time I had them, the ribs were so bad, I would never order them again. I'm happy for you that your experience was different, but I'll stick with the safer options for my dining dollar if/when we go again in the future. Raised mostly in the south, I'm not a BBQ amateur, and having spent several years in San Diego on the Mexican border, I'm not a Mexican food amateur, either. As I stated in my first post, we were hoping we'd love it because a) its so close to home; and b) as a fellow neighborhood business owner, I want other small businesses to succeed. Between my last post and this one, I've been to Bobby Q's 3 times and Wilson's once, and enjoyed all of those meals for comparable prices (not including cocktails and tips) much more. NO anger, just honesty.

                      1. f
                        ForeverB Mar 8, 2011 06:26 AM

                        Joey C's BBQ in the Devon section of Milford. Wow, I was surprised to see such lukewarm reviews of this place. I went for the first time on Saturday and was very impressed with our food. My husband ordered the grand burrito - they literally brought the thing out on a tray - it was filled with nice beef, pork and chicken. He could barely eat 1/2 of it and we had the rest for dinner that night. I had the Road House tacos which were very good and had the most delicious fresh green salsa on top. We like it so much that we went back Sunday night with my sister and her husband. BYOB was not a problem and we tried four other items on the menu - everyone went away happy and full!!! We will definitely do again. The people could not have been nicer, the place was as clean as could be and the food was an incredible deal for the price. I'm a fan!

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: ForeverB
                          k
                          kwhitehead Nov 4, 2011 08:44 AM

                          Looks like they are moving. Saw the sign on the Post Rd. They'll be walkable from my house. Hope the reports get better about this place.

                          1. re: kwhitehead
                            cheereeo Nov 10, 2011 09:56 AM

                            Yes, to the old Japanese Restaurant, Yoshida, across from X-Pect. Taking a long time.

                        2. s
                          Stylo Jan 31, 2012 10:45 PM

                          I really like this place. It's nothing spectacular or best-in-class, but it's very solid and pretty damn good for CT. It's more California-style BBQ than Texas IMO. Good stuff though.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Stylo
                            k
                            kwhitehead Feb 3, 2012 10:59 AM

                            Actually ate here the other night. New space is rather nice and it looks as if no expense was spared. Nice beer list (12 on tap) and a huge tequila list. Not sure how the tequilas will go over in a working class place like Milford but, I could be wrong.

                            Food was good although I wasn't super hungy. Portions were ample and the prices seemed fair. I had a couple of tacos, which were piled high. We also had a chicken burrito which was enormous.

                            Place was busy for a Wednesday night. Service was a bit slow but I think they are just getting the kinks worked out. We'll be back.

                            1. re: kwhitehead
                              s
                              Stylo Feb 3, 2012 11:16 AM

                              I will be checking it out.

                              Devon might be working class, but much of the other parts aren't. You'd be surprised how many professionals have moved into town (especially younger) because of the high prices of the Stamford/Norwalk/Fairfield area. I think, if anything, the town needs more places like Bistro Basque that are trendy, good, and mid-high priced (but not quite as expensive as, say, your average Westport eatery).

                          2. cheereeo Apr 9, 2012 10:43 AM

                            So we went back to try the new digs. I really liked the atmosphere. Definitely well-done, and I like that they reused wood from damaged homes from Hurricane Irene. It is very cool. I like that Joey came around personally to check on everyone. I liked the picnic tables and the buckets of papertowels at the tables--great when you have kids. They need booster seats, but that is minor as I'm not sure how they would be used at the picnic tables anyway (they do have hi-chairs).

                            In regard to the food. The lemonade was delicious. The pulled pork nachos were delicious. My kids enjoyed their quesadillas. I ordered shrimp fajitas--they were not the big fresh variety, seemed to the be the small frozen kind but the fajitas were very delicious with good flavor. Side of black beans and mexican rice were decent. My mother ordered the fish tacos and was disappointed. Her words were that they tasted "flat." And she was upset because they were super messy and drippy and difficult to eat. My sister ordered the St. Louis style ribs with zesty bbq sauce on the side and a side of their collared greens. And just like my review back in 2010, the ribs again were very tender, but lacked any noticeable flavor. They appeared to be coated in a thick rub, but it wasn't crusty; they were soft. The sauce helped but they were just so flavorless in a very odd sort of way. The collards also were very plain, definitely more healthily cooked, no ham hock or smoked turkey leg cooked with it that I could detect.

                            I really want to like this place. The owner is clearly trying hard. The atmosphere is very nice and warm. I think I'd go back but definitely not for the ribs. Perhaps if we just stick to the basics. I heard they have terrific chili. People around us also appeared to have interesting looking drinks from the bar.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: cheereeo
                              j
                              johnpops1 Apr 10, 2012 05:37 AM

                              I agree about the ribs. As a matter of fact, I thought they were the worst ribs I ever ate. The rub was kinda matted on. I scraped it off with my knife and the rub came off like coffee grounds. The meat itself was flavorless mush. Really bad. My wife had a turkey wrap which was good. She also had the chili which was good too.
                              The inside is really cool. In the back they had a Clint Eastwood movie playing on the wall. Great atmosphere. Too bad about the ribs.I saw someone else order a GIANT Burrito that looked like something I would want to get so I may go back one more time to try something else. So far, for BBQ I still go to Smoke and Bones in Derby.

                              1. re: johnpops1
                                DavidA06488 Apr 13, 2012 07:58 AM

                                I have passed Smoke and Bones on the way to meetings in Orange, and was intigued. How is their food?

                            2. DavidA06488 Apr 13, 2012 07:56 AM

                              I hate to gloat, but in the western part of the state we have 2 very good alternatives, The Cookhouse in New Milford (Rte 7) and Big W over the line on Rte 22 in Wingdale, NY. Both are excellent. I like Piedmont style (NC) pulled pork, and love the BBQ I can get at Stateline in El Paso, TX. Both places serve BBQ worthy of NC and TX. Doesn't sound like joeycbbq has very good quality control. Too bad. We need all the quality BBQ we can get in CT.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: DavidA06488
                                s
                                stormshadow Apr 15, 2012 12:42 PM

                                I agree with you on the Cookhouse. I miss the Branford one so badly. *tears*

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