Food & Dining

You won’t miss the train after visiting Bill’s BBQ Shack in Bayville

BAYVILLE, NJ – When C.B. Huntington’s shut down, we were visibly upset.  After all, many of our kids grew up sitting beside the trains as they grew up with character nights and just overall good fun family times.   Kids across Ocean County absolutely loved a day out at C.B. Huntington’s because after dinner next to the trains, there as arcade games, rides, batting cages, go-karts, minigolf and so much more at the adjacent Black Beard’s Cave.

It took us a while to get over the pain of losing part of our children’s past, but now that we finally made down to Bill’s BBQ, we realized…we’re not going to miss the train.

Central Ocean County has been without a good BBQ joint and Bill’s BBQ is a hidden gem located on Route 9 in Bayville.  It was the night before outdoor dining began, so we chose takeout…but since they have opened outdoor dining and now are planning for the 25% occupancy indoor dining, so it’s a great time to make it down there.

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Let’s start by saying, we judge all road-side bbq joints by the south’s franchise “Woody’s BBQ”.  Now we know Woody’s isn’t “deep south” bbq, but it’s about the best you’ll find from a roadside joint.   While nothing in the Northeast can compare to the pit bbq joints of Georgia and Texas, what we do have is Bill’s BBQ.

We got the brisket, half chicken, ribs and pulled pork.  For sides, we had the baked beans, cornbread, coleslaw and we couldn’t resist throwing a Bavarian pretzel roll in there.

Everything was delicious, lets just start with that out of the gate.  Nothing disappointed.  Let’s also put out there that bad-mouthing a local BBQ joint in New Jersey is like flying from LaGuardia Airport to Missippi and complaining about the pizza choices there.  There is not and never will be a comparison between New Jersey BBQ and Texas or deep south BBQ…prove us wrong.

With that being said, on local standards, Bill’s BBQ shack delivered everything it promises, a great family style BBQ dinner here at the Jersey Shore.  They don’t claim to be the best at anything, they don’t compare themselves to the big players in the game, they keep it real and it shows.

Everything was what you expect from a roadside BBQ and more than what you expect from one in Jersey.  Now, before going to Bill’s we read some of the Yelp! reviews….One thing is evident….some of the people there probably confused Bill’s BBQ with a chain restaurant like Olive Garden or Applebees.  Many probably never even ate a real BBQ joint.  I remember going into one place in Plano, Texas, I forget the name. It was dark, it was smokey, it was annoying, it was a hassle, but when it came time to sit down, it was among the best BBQ I’ve ever had.

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That takes us to Bills, it’s definitely near the top of the list from what we’ve had in the New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania area, but the nature of BBQ is that it’s not a perfect science and things don’t always go right. If you’re in the BBQ game, you learn this early on and deal with it.  We’re not going to go into detail on the food itself because how many times can we say, it was an overall enjoyable meal?  We’ll definitely be back, there’s no doubt and can’t wait to actually experience the southern style indoor decor and service before a night with the family at Blackbeard’s.

If you have quarantine fever and want to just get out one night, definitely put a pin on the map at Bill’s BBQ.

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We’re using Bill’s stock photo on this story, because posting photos of food in a styrofoam takeout after a 30-minute ride home wouldn’t do it justice.  Next time, we’ll put in some real pictures.

 

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