Do you fancy a bit of Southern fried chicken? Or chicken wings glazed with coke? Or a pink panty dropper cocktail to go with your meal? 🍗🍗
You can get all that at the best traditional smokehouse in Mzansi, TJ Billies. Located north of Johannesburg is a little slice of the American BBQ heaven.
I have been there at least 6 times and every time I go there I think I am ordering the same thing as last time but always find that there is something new on the menu that I have got to try.
It is rare that you’ll find restaurants where the chefs make everything themselves. The owners, who are also the head chefs are a couple who learned their culinary skills in The USA and came back to Mzansi to introduce us to what the American South tastes like.
Their prices are very reasonable for what you get, the portions are big and you obviously can’t leave without trying one of their special desserts.
TJ Billies is not exactly a place for vegetarians (although they do have plenty of vegetarian options). It is a restaurant where you can go with friends and family to have a chilled evening, sip on their surprise wine or aged whiskey and get your whole “meat life”. 🤤
It’s a child-friendly restaurant and offers superhero and paper plane contests for your child to get involved in, not a lot of restaurants do that. Most restaurants don’t cater for the kids.
This time, I went with hubby and the family and we had what they call a “Build your own Platter”. I highly recommended as you get a feel for a bit of everything.
We had the following;
- Pulled pork
- Southern fried chicken 🍗
- Chicken wings – some glazed with coke and some with blueberry
- Mac n’ Cheese
- Spicy slaw
- Han Solo Fries
- Beef and Pork ribs
The pulled pork and brisket is succulent and dripping in its juices, it is served with a homemade BBQ sauce which is hubby’s favourite thing. The wings come in three different glazes – hot & spicy apricot, blueberry bbq, and bourbon and coke ( I recommend trying some of each, they are sweet and delectable).
The southern fried chicken has a beautiful crisp crunch on the outside and it is juicy inside – there is no comparison with any fried chicken you have had before.
The mac n’ cheese is creamy and so cheesy. This is probably hubby’s second favorite thing, and it is a staple whenever we eat there.
The spicy slaw is different to what we are used to but in the best way possible. It’s fresh and tasty.
The Han Solo fries are pretty much everything you could want in a side. Carbs, cheese, bacon, and oil. Fries, covered in cheese sauce and bacon bits. So so good.
Corncakes. With bacon jam. Homemade bacon jam. (If you hadn’t noticed, we are fans of bacon). The corn cakes are more like crumpets for our South African friends and more like pancakes for the Americans. They have literal pieces of corn inside and are soft and melt in the mouth. 🥓🍟🥓🍟
The ribs. Owh Lawd. The RIBS! These are not fall off the bone ribs (fall off the bone means the ribs had been boiled…and that is nasty). These ribs are smoked. For. Hours. And the proof is in the taste. They are sticky and chewy and meaty and mind-blowing. We love their ribs (when they have them, cause they seem to sell out way too fast) and they are the best ribs I have ever had by far.
I really wish there was something I could fault the food on because I dislike being all positive…but..like…I can’t. At all. Everything’s just wonderful and scrumptious.
For dessert, I was able to make my own dessert, inspired by our waitron Bronwyn.
Chocolate and blondie brownie Sundae with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce.
Others had the following:
New York Cheesecake
Sunday Sundae (which does not need to be eaten on a Sunday)
Their brownies are ridiculous. Seriously, just stupidly good. They are chewy and chocolatey and filled with even more chocolatey goodness. The ice cream is also lovely (try the peanut butter ice-cream and milkshake – hubby’s favourite). The cheesecake has a subtle maple flavour to it, and it’s still creamy. The Sundaes, Cobblers, and Pies changes on a daily basis and will tantalize your taste buds – the variety means you will always find something to your liking.
We absolutely love this place and it’s no wonder they won the small business of the year last year (2017), it was well deserved.
Find out their latest news right here and see what exciting things they have coming up.
Atmosphere – 5 out of 5
It’s quiet and has this old school feel to it with classics playing in the background
Service – 5 out 5
Everyone who works there is amazing. Friendly, professional (but not too uptight) willing to try something new even if it’s not on the menu
Food – 5 out of 5
Absolutely amazing. You will be rolled out of there because you just can’t stop eating
Overall it’s an amazing family restaurant but also a place you can go with your partner for a romantic evening.