Not to be confused with another similarly named establishment out east, Bobby Q’s of Freeport has recently opened its second location in September. The first and still existing restaurant on Main Street in Freeport survived through COVID and has sort of taken on a more on-the-go feel since it opened in 2017. The newest location, Bobby Q’s Jus Like Mama’s on Sunrise Highway is surely to become a dining destination once the word catches on far and wide.
Crime fighter by day, soul food chef by night, owner Bobby Ford’s expansion to the larger sit-down location is making his dreams a reality of bringing more dining services to the patrons who are tried and true fans of his six-generation Southern comfort food and seafood dishes.
“My mom taught us, I am one of nine, all about cooking,” Ford said. “It is in our DNA; I am the one who took up the torch.”
Ford’s mother was originally from South Carolina before moving to Harlem with her family and then eventually to Brooklyn where Ford was born and raised.
The roasted sweet peppers, Bobby Q’s “pepper poppers” are filled with vegetarian stuffing and are a great place to start.
Salad? There’s no salad in soul food. Just kidding. In Southern cooking, you get plenty of vegetables through your side dishes like fried okra, mashed potatoes, whole ear corn and candied yams. Ford has spent a lot of time perfecting his dishes so that people who are vegan can even enjoy his collard greens and black eyed peas that are surprisingly vegan.
Many items on the menu are vegan to accommodate a diverse dining crowd.
I would be remiss if I did not sing the praise of Ford’s nine-cheese mac & cheese. This stuff is dynamite. It is the one thing that even after you are full, you could still find room to finish the bowl.
“Fried chicken and barbecue chicken have always been popular, but somewhere along the line fried fish and turkey wings shot up to the top of the most requested menu items,” Ford said.
There is really something for everyone on the menu, from vegetarian options to the classic poultry, fish, seafood, steak, pork, sandwiches, platter options and sampler plates.
Something special about Bobby Q’s jerk chicken and pork is that it’s truly enjoyable jerk.
“It’s not spicy; it has a sweet component to it to mellow it out,” Ford said. “A lot of people really don’t like the spiciness, but they love the jerk.”
Jus Like Mama’s is also offering a special Valentine’s Day price-fixed menu for $69.99 per person. Reservations are required for the special dinner.
What Southern soul food meal would be complete without a peach cobbler to top it off? This thing is like heaven with its savory seasoned warm peaches in a caramel sauce atop a cake dumpling. It is only available occasionally. Of course, there are other dessert options that are equally as tasty like carrot cake, red velvet cake and banana puddin’.
While not specifically listed on the menu Bobby Q’s will prepare some of the commonly ordered meals for kids including pasta, sliders, chicken fingers or nuggets.
The building used to be a furniture store but has been thoughtfully transformed into a sleek and appealing venue. The exposed ceiling gives Jus Like Mama’s a cool warehouse vibe. Although we visited in the winter, the patio is going to be highly sought after seating once the temperatures start to warm up. The restaurant is handicapped accessible.
There is ample street parking surrounding the restaurant and a small, fenced-in parking lot immediately behind the restaurant off Centre Street.
Bobby Q’s Jus Like Mama’s is open Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 10 p.m. (closed on Mondays and Tuesdays). Bobby Q’s on Main Street is open Tuesday through Saturday, with an abbreviated menu.
If traveling by LIRR, take the Babylon line (green) to Baldwin station. Bobby Q’s Jus Like Mama’s is located two blocks east of the train station at 365 W. Sunrise Highway in Freeport.
Reservations are highly encouraged, especially during the winter months when seating is limited to solely indoors.
Bobby Q’s offers dine-in, catering, private parties and takeout. There is a separate menu to takeout. Delivery options are available through DoorDash and UberEats.
Visit www.bbqeastofharlem.com or call 516-460-8056 for menus and more information.