CJ’s Bar-B-Skew rocks Carrollwood

Michael Farrell, Business Manager

As soon as you walk into CJ’s Bar-B-Skew you are thrown into a world of music and food where you are bound to say that you’ve never seen anything quite like it before. 

The “rock star” atmosphere is pushed from the minute you order (where you receive a record as your order number), in addition, murals of recognizable musicians line every square inch of the walls.

The music theme came across strong as paintings of rockers such as the Beatles, Kiss, Elvis and dozens more surround you in the restaurant. 

The modern atmosphere was shown with the flat screen televisions and their vivacious menus which complemented the music theme well. 

“Our specialty here is that all of our meats are smoked in Hickory Pecan wood for hours and served with our homemade Bar-B-Q sauces” said co-owner Chris Politis. 

CJ’s Bar-B-Skew, which opened this past September, is co-owned by Politis with Julian Lara.

Before my meal, Politis taught me the basics about Bar-B-Q sauces.  “The sweet sauce has a Louisiana background, the Chipotle sauce from Texas and the mustard B-B-Q sauce from Tennessee”

When my food arrived from the friendly staff I was ready to dig in.  The St. Louis-style ribs were the best part of my meal as I could taste quality of the meat and preparation.   I was not as impressed with their pulled pork which could have been easily disguised as a Sonny’s drive thru meal.

The modern menu showcased appetizers such as “Ancho Chili Deviled Eggs” and “smoked house almonds”.  Options such as the Mediterranean Chicken Skewer and Greek Style Veggie Skewer are what put the Skew in Bar-B-Skew.  Politis wanted to make his restaurant different than the average Bar-B-Q place and he did just that with his diverse menu and music like atmosphere.

I was very impressed with the BBQ chicken which went very well smothered in their homemade sauce but while their sides had really unique names, they did not live up to the expectations.  The “Green Apple Herb Slaw” tasted the same as a KFC side dish and the “Smoked Mac Attack Oh So Gouda” was not what as good as I had hoped.

Overall I do indeed recommend CJ’s as a place to try.  CJ’s Bar-B-Skew is located at 10047 North Dale Mabry and its hours are 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sundays – Thursdays and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.