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CJ's Eatery
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  • Post #61 - March 22nd, 2009, 6:36 pm
    Post #61 - March 22nd, 2009, 6:36 pm Post #61 - March 22nd, 2009, 6:36 pm
    Wow, I have lurked for so long, my email has changed and I had to reregister. Anyway, just home from CJs, which prompts the need to share. A delicious and delightful meal. The fried chicken with greens, cornbread stuffing, a corn muffin and sweet tea. Chicken was tasty but I could have made a meal of a big bowl of the greens! Next visit I will find a way for a double portion. Some things (sweet potatoes and pulled pork) were already gone, due to a large group earlier. Which is good, I suppose (missed the sweets) after the small crowds I have read of here. There is a play, says CJ to have Friday night fish fry's starting the first Friday in April. I did not ask about the Lenten Friday's discussed here. I look forward to returning.
  • Post #62 - March 22nd, 2009, 7:15 pm
    Post #62 - March 22nd, 2009, 7:15 pm Post #62 - March 22nd, 2009, 7:15 pm
    nola1978 wrote:Wow, I have lurked for so long, my email has changed and I had to reregister.


    To straighten this out, please contact a moderator with your old screen name.

    Regards,
    Cathy2 for the moderators
  • Post #63 - March 23rd, 2009, 11:01 am
    Post #63 - March 23rd, 2009, 11:01 am Post #63 - March 23rd, 2009, 11:01 am
    (absurdly underpopulated for how good it is, some of those folks eating mediocrely at, say, Orange should come out here sometime and have a shrimp-and-grits-gasm)


    I couldn't agree more. We were one of three occupied tables for brunch at 1 pm on a Sunday! The mob outside Flo on the drive over was at least 20 deep. Wisen up, masses! Plump, sweet shrimp nestled in cheesy gooiness (I cannot seem to deviate from this menu item), best bisquits in town, light and crisp catfish, sweet tea!, attentive and adorable server. Come on, people, eat at CJ's!
  • Post #64 - March 23rd, 2009, 11:50 am
    Post #64 - March 23rd, 2009, 11:50 am Post #64 - March 23rd, 2009, 11:50 am
    I had the shrimp and grits at Big Jones Saturday night, preceded by a bowl of gumbo ya ya. Good stuff to be sure, but I couldn't help but think that neither was as good as CJ's! Now the Sazerac and Dark & Stormy-different story.
  • Post #65 - March 23rd, 2009, 12:37 pm
    Post #65 - March 23rd, 2009, 12:37 pm Post #65 - March 23rd, 2009, 12:37 pm
    Jefe wrote:
    (absurdly underpopulated for how good it is, some of those folks eating mediocrely at, say, Orange should come out here sometime and have a shrimp-and-grits-gasm)


    I couldn't agree more. We were one of three occupied tables for brunch at 1 pm on a Sunday! The mob outside Flo on the drive over was at least 20 deep. Wisen up, masses! Plump, sweet shrimp nestled in cheesy gooiness (I cannot seem to deviate from this menu item), best bisquits in town, light and crisp catfish, sweet tea!, attentive and adorable server. Come on, people, eat at CJ's!


    Jefe, I was there on Sunday too! But we were there a little earlier. There was a table of 6 when we walked in and another 2 top came in after us. I agree it is a shame there were not as many people at CJs. The shrimp and grits were excellent and Mike had the sausage casserole. The waitress was a little absent minded and service was a little slow, but the food more than made up for it!
  • Post #66 - April 5th, 2009, 1:14 pm
    Post #66 - April 5th, 2009, 1:14 pm Post #66 - April 5th, 2009, 1:14 pm
    CJ's was busy today! All booths were taken, 3 tables on the floor occupied... Happy that business is picking up.

    Chicken and Waffles were good. I prefer Belgian waffles though. The chicken wings were perfectly fried, juicy and big.
    Image

    Had the shrimp and grits to go, and finished them off when I got home. How can anyone resist the smell?!
  • Post #67 - April 14th, 2009, 9:06 pm
    Post #67 - April 14th, 2009, 9:06 pm Post #67 - April 14th, 2009, 9:06 pm
    good news. after seriously cutting back their hours to weekends only- as of april 10th, cj's is now serving friday night dinner again. justjoan
  • Post #68 - April 14th, 2009, 10:11 pm
    Post #68 - April 14th, 2009, 10:11 pm Post #68 - April 14th, 2009, 10:11 pm
    I was there a couple weeks ago. I was warmed by the big smiles I recieved from CJ, the other cook, and the server as soon as we walked in the door.

    The chicken n waffle was new to me, and i loved it! The waffle was Fresh, HOT, crispy and moist. The chicken was crunchy and juicy. I eat meat, but a little goes a long way for me, so the smallish wings were perfect, and I even thought they were meatier than average. I used the entire cup of maple syrup with toasted pecans added to it-their nuttiness added an extra layer of flavor to the over all dish, making it more interesting and delicious.

    We also ordered the B&G and shrimp and grits.

    I make great biscuits at home, using a recipe passed down from my Southern great grandmother, who I never knew personally. Her recipe is similar to a typical baking powder biscuit, with one or two key differences in the amount of liquid and mixing technique. I learned her unique method from my grandma, and they're my standard for a great biscuit. They are very moist, fluffy rather than flaky(I like flaky biscuits too, they just aren't what I grew up with), are coated in fat before baking, and have a nice brown crispy bottom.

    CJ's biscuits were very good in terms of moistness and texture, and they tasted very fresh, but I couldn't get past the strong flavor of margerine. I'd prefer shortening to fake butter. The gravy was very nice, although i like red pepper and heavier use of spice in the sausage.

    I had a similar artificial-flavor issue with the grits. Although fresh and well made, they had a very strong fake onion flavor. I think onion powder may have been used. It was too strong for me to finish the dish.

    Still, I want to go back for the chicken n waffle! And to try some of the other southern items on the menu.
    Logan: Come on, everybody, wang chung tonight! What? Everybody, wang chung tonight! Wang chung, or I'll kick your ass!
  • Post #69 - April 28th, 2009, 1:26 pm
    Post #69 - April 28th, 2009, 1:26 pm Post #69 - April 28th, 2009, 1:26 pm
    RAB and I went to CJ's for the first time on Saturday. The food was solid, but I think I was happier with my shrimp and grits than RAB was with his chicken and waffle.

    We experienced a huge service problem. We understood that it was a mistake and mistakes happen - - nothing was intentional. CJ, though, swept in and handled things appropriately and generously.

    Ronna
  • Post #70 - April 28th, 2009, 3:50 pm
    Post #70 - April 28th, 2009, 3:50 pm Post #70 - April 28th, 2009, 3:50 pm
    REB wrote:RAB and I went to CJ's for the first time on Saturday. The food was solid, but I think I was happier with my shrimp and grits than RAB was with his chicken and waffle.

    We experienced a huge service problem. We understood that it was a mistake and mistakes happen - - nothing was intentional. CJ, though, swept in and handled things appropriately and generously.

    Actually, I did quite enjoy my chicken and waffle. The waffle was very good and the pecan syrup tasty. My problem was simply that I did not expect chicken wings. Though the wings were well-prepared, I had myself ready to dig into a thigh or quarter. Probably my mistake -- I never read this thread before going and didn't ask the server what kind of chicken was being served.

    Kudos to CJ, however, for taking good care of us after he was alerted to the service snafu that REB vaguely referred to above.

    --Rich
    I don't know what you think about dinner, but there must be a relation between the breakfast and the happiness. --Cemal Süreyya
  • Post #71 - September 7th, 2009, 11:44 am
    Post #71 - September 7th, 2009, 11:44 am Post #71 - September 7th, 2009, 11:44 am
    Been a while since a C.J.'s post, been a while since I'd been there (since about the time I wrote this). But we got up late Sunday morning, putting a lot of breakfast choices out of reach, and so had to think of somewhere that wasn't likely to be overwhelmed. C.J.'s earned that somewhat backhanded distinction.

    I've usually ordered the shrimp and grits or the B&G, but after Melrose Park excess that was just too much. So I went for a simple plate of ham on the bone, eggs over easy, biscuit and hash browns.

    Everything was just stellar, just as good as you'd want it to be and rarely is. Okay, maybe one of the two eggs was a bit hard. But the ham was excellent and high quality, the hash browns were just perfectly textured, and the buttery biscuit is always great.

    Charles stopped by and said business was a little better than it had been back when I wrote that, and that the soul food dinners and such have been successful. I was glad to hear it, it's a solid place that should definitely be in everybody's rotation, like the Depot Diner, for a classic breakfast a couple of steps above the norm in terms of the quality of ingredients and the care with which it's prepared.
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  • Post #72 - September 7th, 2009, 12:50 pm
    Post #72 - September 7th, 2009, 12:50 pm Post #72 - September 7th, 2009, 12:50 pm
    HI,

    Are their hours weekend only?

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #73 - September 7th, 2009, 4:25 pm
    Post #73 - September 7th, 2009, 4:25 pm Post #73 - September 7th, 2009, 4:25 pm
    Last I heard yes, it was weekend brunch, soul food dinner Sundays, maybe the Friday thing? I should have asked where they stood now.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #74 - November 21st, 2009, 5:52 pm
    Post #74 - November 21st, 2009, 5:52 pm Post #74 - November 21st, 2009, 5:52 pm
    Was here for brunch today, so good, and clean and lovely. Why don't you go?!?

    I was sad that it was empty. We had gumbo, catfish and eggs, bacon and eggs and the ham off the bone and eggs. Get after it!
  • Post #75 - November 28th, 2009, 5:00 pm
    Post #75 - November 28th, 2009, 5:00 pm Post #75 - November 28th, 2009, 5:00 pm
    We stopped by this morning at 9:30, and CJ's seemed to be closed - lights off, papers at the door. Anyone have any information?
  • Post #76 - November 28th, 2009, 5:45 pm
    Post #76 - November 28th, 2009, 5:45 pm Post #76 - November 28th, 2009, 5:45 pm
    Hi,

    They have been open only on weekends for quite sometime. I called their phone to learn they were purposefully closed Saturday. They plan to be opened Sunday for brunch from 9 AM to 2 PM and dinner (though I didn't catch the hours).

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #77 - December 20th, 2009, 5:35 pm
    Post #77 - December 20th, 2009, 5:35 pm Post #77 - December 20th, 2009, 5:35 pm
    I finally made it to CJ's for brunch, prior to seeing the Poinsetta show at Garfield Conservatory (about a mile away). We ordered Shrimp and Grits and an order of Crawfish/Andouille Gumbo (and Blueberry Lemonade), and both were really excellent. I loved the creamy cheese grits with bacon and onions. I can't think of a better place for a late Sunday morning Southern brunch. Excellent and friendly service as well in a colorful space. Sunday at 11, and we were not eating alone, but there were many open tables.
    Toast, as every breakfaster knows, isn't really about the quality of the bread or how it's sliced or even the toaster. For man cannot live by toast alone. It's all about the butter. -- Adam Gopnik
  • Post #78 - January 31st, 2010, 5:25 pm
    Post #78 - January 31st, 2010, 5:25 pm Post #78 - January 31st, 2010, 5:25 pm
    had brunch today at CJ's (first time), absolutely loved the shrimp and grits and although the chicken and waffle tasted very good, i do also agree it would be even better if they add thighs and legs to the dish

    had a cup of gumbo for taste and its amazing as well

    at noon, there were plenty of open tables
    this place deserves more love!
  • Post #79 - March 3rd, 2010, 11:55 pm
    Post #79 - March 3rd, 2010, 11:55 pm Post #79 - March 3rd, 2010, 11:55 pm
    How do the menus work here? I'm looking at the website and I don't see when lunch ends and dinner begin. I'd love to get the chicken and waffles or shrimp and grits, but I'm going around noon or one PM.
  • Post #80 - March 4th, 2010, 11:28 pm
    Post #80 - March 4th, 2010, 11:28 pm Post #80 - March 4th, 2010, 11:28 pm
    So I went to CJ's today and it was closed, despite the website stating they would be open from 8-4 today. A bit frustrated, but we ended up going to Cemitas Pueblas, so it wasn't a total loss.

    Will try to get back here soon.
  • Post #81 - March 4th, 2010, 11:45 pm
    Post #81 - March 4th, 2010, 11:45 pm Post #81 - March 4th, 2010, 11:45 pm
    Hi,

    I don't know how often they update their website. A few months ago, they decided to be open on weekends-only. I hadn't heard of any change to this schedule.

    I'm glad you had a plan B, which is always a good idea.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #82 - March 5th, 2010, 7:12 pm
    Post #82 - March 5th, 2010, 7:12 pm Post #82 - March 5th, 2010, 7:12 pm
    Made it back here today and I'm very glad I did. Had sweet tea, gumbo, and chicken and waffles. I haven't been that happy with a meal in a long time. The chicken and waffle was just transcendent. Great food, great people. Looking forward to trying brunch here.
  • Post #83 - March 5th, 2010, 7:18 pm
    Post #83 - March 5th, 2010, 7:18 pm Post #83 - March 5th, 2010, 7:18 pm
    Stephen wrote:Made it back here today and I'm very glad I did. Had sweet tea, gumbo, and chicken and waffles. I haven't been that happy with a meal in a long time. The chicken and waffle was just transcendent. Great food, great people. Looking forward to trying brunch here.

    stephen, now i'm confused. i thought cj's was only open on the weekends. were you there for lunch or dinner? and what did you learn about their hours? thanks, justjoan
  • Post #84 - March 5th, 2010, 7:21 pm
    Post #84 - March 5th, 2010, 7:21 pm Post #84 - March 5th, 2010, 7:21 pm
    justjoan wrote:
    Stephen wrote:Made it back here today and I'm very glad I did. Had sweet tea, gumbo, and chicken and waffles. I haven't been that happy with a meal in a long time. The chicken and waffle was just transcendent. Great food, great people. Looking forward to trying brunch here.

    stephen, now i'm confused. i thought cj's was only open on the weekends. were you there for lunch or dinner? and what did you learn about their hours? thanks, justjoan


    Hi Joan,

    I should have clarified. I was their for lunch today. Their hours are now Friday-Sunday, 9 AM-8PM, with brunch being served Saturday and Sunday from 9-2.
  • Post #85 - March 5th, 2010, 7:32 pm
    Post #85 - March 5th, 2010, 7:32 pm Post #85 - March 5th, 2010, 7:32 pm
    thanks stephen for the update on the hours. cj's is one of my favorite places-glad to hear how much you liked it. justjoan
  • Post #86 - April 17th, 2010, 4:29 pm
    Post #86 - April 17th, 2010, 4:29 pm Post #86 - April 17th, 2010, 4:29 pm
    A Google search for "waffles site:lthforum.com" led me to this thread, which in turn led me to CJ's this morning.

    Why the hell didn't anyone grab me by the labels, shake me, and say, "get your ass to CJ's ASAP" earlier?! The chicken & waffles were spot-on, and those hot, griddled biscuits were fantastic. Service was friendly, food was quick, fresh & piping hot, and the place is clean, airy, and relaxed - everything what one wants in a brunch place.

    The next time I'm craving chicken & waffles or some shrimp & grits, I will jet down Division to CJ's without hesitation.
  • Post #87 - April 17th, 2010, 4:34 pm
    Post #87 - April 17th, 2010, 4:34 pm Post #87 - April 17th, 2010, 4:34 pm
    Khaopaat wrote:The next time I'm craving chicken & waffles or some shrimp & grits, I will jet down Division to CJ's without hesitation.

    LOL, where do you land that thing? :D

    Been too long since I've been to CJ's. Perhaps another trip is in order. Thanks, Khaopaat, for the reminder. :)

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

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  • Post #88 - May 23rd, 2010, 6:19 pm
    Post #88 - May 23rd, 2010, 6:19 pm Post #88 - May 23rd, 2010, 6:19 pm
    Khaopaat wrote:Why the hell didn't anyone grab me by the labels, shake me, and say, "get your ass to CJ's ASAP" earlier?! The chicken & waffles were spot-on, and those hot, griddled biscuits were fantastic. Service was friendly, food was quick, fresh & piping hot, and the place is clean, airy, and relaxed - everything what one wants in a brunch place.


    Here is your quarterly friendly shake, everyone: get to CJ's ASAP. Chicken and waffles exceeded Nightwood's recent entry and came with garlic mashed potatoes, smoky greens, and a corn muffin as well. Across the table from me were the shrimp and grits and BBQ meatloaf tower, and the bites I snagged were fantastic. Homemade sweet tea washed everything down on this 88 degree day.

    The unexpected bonuses were the glacial air conditioning and fluid service, neither of which I'd expect or demand for the first really hot day of the year and a place with sadly reduced public hours. They were every bit as calm and welcoming as a few years back; all of the sides were still scratch and fresh, and they got the grits mixed, shrimp sauteed, and waffles and chicken crisp to order in about 15 minutes. CJ's is a family-friendly place I look forward to getting back to soon this summer.
  • Post #89 - May 30th, 2010, 3:25 pm
    Post #89 - May 30th, 2010, 3:25 pm Post #89 - May 30th, 2010, 3:25 pm
    Not enough being said about the the catfish here (just a couple of short mentions above): Fresh and moist, piping hot out of the fryer, lightly crisped, about as good as it gets.

    And if you like your pulled pork fatty and juicy, you'll find it here (at least we did).

    Shrimp and grits were off the menu this Saturday (oil spill?), but plenty else to take its place. Check the hours and go if your looking for good Southern cooking NW of the Loop.
    "The fork with two prongs is in use in northern Europe. In England, they’re armed with a steel trident, a fork with three prongs. In France we have a fork with four prongs; it’s the height of civilization." Eugene Briffault (1846)
  • Post #90 - July 8th, 2010, 1:25 pm
    Post #90 - July 8th, 2010, 1:25 pm Post #90 - July 8th, 2010, 1:25 pm
    I hope I'm wrong, but it appears as though CJ's has closed.

    I attempted to eat there on 6/27, and it was closed. I stopped by again the last Saturday (7/3) and it was closed.
    There was no info available on their website or facebook page, but reviews have started to show up on Yelp suggesting it is indeed closed.

    Anyone have additional info?

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