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Smokin' J's BBQ is worth a drive to Winchester

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Rory Ryan

By Rory Ryan
The Highland County Press

From time to time over the last three-plus decades of writing this column, I have mentioned a few restaurants that I like. As readers know, I've also held by the credo that it is more fun to eat in a bar than it is to drink in a restaurant. I still maintain that.

For the most part. With one exception.

There happens to be a little hole-in-the-wall joint in Adams County – in Winchester, to be precise – that does barbecue as well as anyone else in our neck of the woods. It's called Smokin' J's BBQ, located on S.R. 136 near the center of Winchester.

In fact, Smokin' J's BBQ is on par with the famous Jack's Bar-B-Que at 416 Broadway in Nashville. Yes, the Ryan clan has been to both.

This evening, we had a mix of pulled pork sandwiches, smoked pork steaks, baked beans and mac and cheese.

The food was ready on time for a carryout order. The prices were more than reasonable. The overall quality was top-notch.

Smokin' J's BBQ has a family friendly atmosphere in northern Adams County, where people appreciate locally owned small businesses and their employees.

I was first alerted to Smokin' J's BBQ by my son, Colin, who knows relatives of the restaurant owners. Our first carryout meal was last year, and it was superb. 

On a hot June evening this week when we did not feel like cooking, we called in for another carryout order.

We were not disappointed. Everything was delicious.

And, no, I will not receive any future discounts on meals because of this column, but it is worth mentioning a local small business that does it the right way.

Good luck to Smokin' J's BBQ, and please keep on doing what you do. We will be back.

Smokin' J's BBQ is located at 19261 S.R. 136, Winchester. Call (937) 695-6001 for daily specials and carryout orders.

Rory Ryan is publisher and owner of The Highland County Press, Highland County's only locally owned and operated newspaper.


Jacqueline Lindblad (not verified)

5 June 2023

We currently live in Az but have lived and traveled all over the US. We were visiting relatives in the area and tried Smokin' J's. We had the Brisket and it was AMAZING. We have eaten smoked meat all over the county and Smokin' J's are right up there with the best of them at a fraction of the price. If we ever make it through Ohio again we will make Smokin' J's one of our stops.

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