Dee Jay’s BBQ Review – West Virginia Staple Moves East

Published by Jeremy. Last Updated on March 14, 2024.

Disclaimer: Our site uses demographic data, email opt-ins, display advertising, and affiliate links. Please check out our Terms and Conditions. Pricing, operating hours, or menus may have changed since our initial visit and may not be reflected in subsequent updates. Please confirm these directly with any business or attraction prior to visiting.

We are quite spoiled to have so many wonderful barbecue restaurants in Pittsburgh, and more keep coming out onto the scene with each passing year.

One famous barbecue spot we have been told about again and again since founding this site was Weirton, West Virginia, based Dee Jay's BBQ for their wildly popular ribs.

Admittedly, as our blog here focuses on southwest Pennsylvania, we have to admit we never featured them despite having visited in the past. But now that Dee Jay's has expanded with restaurants in Pennsylvania, now is the time. So on a trip down to Washington, PA, we made a stop at a location there for a brunch full of barbecue!

Dee Jay's BBQ Ribs and More

Dee Jay's Barbecue Ribs

Naturally, every visit to Dee Jay's BBQ should involve an order of ribs, and I very easily landed on a half-rack order of 10 baby back ribs served with two sides.

From the very first bite, the word tender is the only thing that could come to mind. The meat fell right off the bones almost just by looking at it, and each bite was soft, juicy, and flavorful thanks to a generous slathering of their sweet and tangy barbecue sauce on top.

While the ribs are smoked, with noticeable smoke flavor, barbecue staples like a crusty bark and other characteristics were not present. As we know everyone has their own personal interpretation of what makes a perfect rib, where you fall on the spectrum here can influence your opinion significantly. I happen to like tender ribs in the right context, and these hit the mark quite fine in this regard.

The sides, on the other hand, sweet potato fries and mac and cheese, were disappointing at best. While generous portions, both felt like they were woefully underseasoned and needed significantly more salt and pepper for my tastes- these were perhaps the biggest miss of the entire meal.

To accompany the ribs, we ordered a pulled pork breakfast bowl from the breakfast menu, which was available through early lunchtime. 

Dee Jay's Barbecue Pulled Pork Bowl

This one featured a generous portion of pulled pork, a fried egg, cheddar cheese, potatoes, onion straws, and topped with barbecue sauce. The bowl itself was decently sized, with more than enough for leftovers with generous portions of both the tender pork and onion straws (which added a nice textural contrast to a bowl of otherwise very soft ingredients). 

While we admittedly thought the dish was also undersalted as served (albeit not to the degree of the sides), adding some of the rich and spice-forward barbecue sauce that was served on the side helped considerably. Interestingly enough, our server pointed out that they serve different barbecue sauces for the ribs and pulled pork, and although both were on the sweeter side, we quite enjoyed the barbecue sauce for the pork and even found it preferable on the ribs, too.

As such, it may be worth keeping the sauce options in mind as it was unlikely we would have received the pork barbecue sauce had we not ordered the bowl, but we will be requesting it in the future!

Overall, we can see why Dee Jay's has been a popular spot for barbecue ribs since 1980, as those who love fall-off-the-bone tender meat can't ask for much better in terms of texture here. But with Pittsburgh's exploding barbecue scene, we also have to admit we were hoping for just a bit more from this particular meal.

Still, there is something to be said about a restaurant that has been in business for 40+ years, and while the Pennsylvania locations are new compared to Weirton, we have to give credit where credit is due- this one has stood the test of time. And, thankfully, we now no longer have to drive to West Virginia to enjoy them, too!

Dee Jay's BBQ has several locations in Pennsylvania including in Collier, Wexford, and Washington. We visited the Washington location at 100 Adios Drive for this review.

Leave a Comment