Restaurant of the Week: JN’s BBQ

JN’s Original BBQ Pit House, 1180 N. White Ave. (at Orange Grove), Pomona

When they say house, they mean house: It’s in the front portion of a single-family home. But JN’s — I know, it looks like NJ’s on the sign, but the menu and website is JN’s — has done a decent job with it. Once you’ve turned the doorknob and stepped inside, you see a tile floor, wooden booths, high tables, a flat-screen and a counter, just like a regular restaurant. You just have to get past the feeling that you should ring a doorbell.

My first visit, the day before the Super Bowl, they were sold out of almost everything, having only chicken, hot links and tri-tip left. I got a tri-tip sandwich ($7), which came with a side (I chose slaw) and soda. The tri-tip was a little tough and with a few too-large pieces that I had to tear off with my fingers. It might be heretical to say, but I could have had a better sandwich at a Dickey’s. But I resolved to go back on a typical day for a truer test. I was glad I did.

Two friends and I met for lunch and ordered three dinners: rib tips, beef links (both $9) and pork ribs ($10). We shared everything, including the sides: slaw, beans, potato salad, hush puppies and collard greens. We were all impressed. My least favorite was the rib tips, but the one who ordered them liked them best, so there you go. The service was also exceedingly friendly. We liked the whole vibe.

For Pomona barbecue, I might give the edge to J&J’s, but JN’s is pretty good too. (Imagine if they merged. What would they call themselves: J&JN’s?)

Sidenote on JN’s home-like look: If you use the bathroom, there’s a scale under the sink. I pulled it out and found, no surprise, that I weighed a couple of pounds more than before my meal. Last time I use that scale.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email
  • Darryl Musick

    Sounds good but you can’t look at the menu on their site without entering a password. Maybe next time you’re in the neighborhood, you can ask them what the secret handshake it.

  • The gas station behind it use to be on the corner of Orange Grove and White Ave. use to be the late Mayor of Pomona Eddie Cortez.

  • DebB

    The site must still be under construction, because the password
    request comes up when you click on most of the links. I have to say, the
    photos of the inside are a surprise, considering the look of the
    outside! The claim that they are in the “heart of the Fairplex” is just slightly misleading, isn’t it? Even so, this is just a couple blocks from me, so I’ve got to try it soon!

    • davidallen909

      “On the outermost edge of Fairplex” might be more accurate.

  • JJ’s is far better than JN’s – i went there and my ribs where tough and too chewy and the mac n cheese did not pass my daughters taste test and she loves mac n cheese 🙁

  • DebB

    I finally tried JN’s for lunch today, and I can’t say I was overly impressed. But after re-reading your review, maybe I’ll give them a second chance and try something different.

    I ordered the tri-tip dinner, with mac & cheese and cornbread. I agree the tri-tip was a little tough, and the sauce a little salty for me, although I admit I tend to be a little sensitive to salt. The mac & cheese was good, but my cornbread was burned on the bottom. Overall I’d give it a horizontal thumb – neither really good nor really bad.

    The service was friendly, but I was the only one there. One person did arrive while I waited, but the owner didn’t hear him and he left after a few minutes of no service. The inside of the place looks cozy and comfy. The house isn’t any bigger than mine – I came home and wondered how all those tables would fit in my living room!

    Did you notice that they have a big smoker in the back yard, and a huge pile of wood for it? Right behind them is someone’s house – that BBQ scent must really drive them crazy (not to mention the smoke itself)!

    • davidallen909

      I believe I spotted the smoker and wood through the restroom window (before weighing myself).

      Could be the food is inconsistent. I’d have had a negative view had I only had the one meal. You should try J&J’s and see what you think.