Report Card: BJ’s Brewhouse

BJ's Brewhouse

BJ’s Brewhouse

BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse on Urbanspoon

http://www.bjsbrewhouse.com/

Overall GrubGrade B

 

The Breakdown:

Atmosphere:  Grade A:  We hit BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse around 4:30pm on a Friday.  That would normally mean a 45 minute wait and a noisy, raucous crowd.  However, on this occasion the place was not too crowded and really pretty quiet, which was nice.  BJ’s is one of our favorite spots to hit up for menu and you get the recipe for multiple Grubgraders visits.  The only negative is that sometimes the place gets super busy.  There is nothing special about the exterior, and the interior is clean with an upscale, contemporary décor.  BJ’s has really nice table spacing, so you will not feel like you’re sitting on top of another family.  There are lots of widescreen monitors on the walls, so this might not be the place for a first date if you have a touch of ADHD.

High marks:  Clean, contemporary, nice table spacing

Low marks:   Can get extremely crowded, exterior a little bland

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Service:  Grade B-:   Overall, we received pretty good service on our visit.  The low score is actually due to some bad advice we received from our server.  We will go over the food in the next section, but if you are a server reading this blog, take note: if you offer your unsolicited opinion on how to tweak a dish, you’d better be right.  Unfortunately, our server botched this, and you can read the details in the next section.  Food and drinks came out quickly, and we never had a prolonged wait for our server to attend to our needs.

High marks:  Accurate, quick service

Low marks:   Bad advice from server

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Food/Spirits:  Grade B:  As previously mentioned, BJ’s Brewhouse in one of our favorite spots.  While they usually have really good food and excellent pizza, the real reason we like the place so much is the mixed drink menu.  As a beer drinker primarily, I usually do not have any problem finding adult beverages to enjoy when we go out, but Katina has it a bit rougher.  Since she primarily is a cocktail person, Katina is particularly fond of establishments with large drink menus.  BJ’s has a big drink menu, and pretty much every drink Katina has sampled she has enjoyed.  On this occasion, she sampled BJ’s Berry Jack Lemonade and the Strawberry Splash.  Katina thought both drinks were tremendous.  I had a couple of their seasonal Octoberfest beers and a BJ’s PM Porter.  I have tried all of BJ’s home brews and enjoyed them, but I advise you to go during the winter when the seasonal beer is the Grand Cru.  Definitely try one, and if you enjoy it, order a second – just hand off your car keys before you do because that particular beer packs a big punch.  Most of BJ’s menu is delicious, but we happen to be particularly fond of their deep dish pizza.  On this occasion, we sampled the new Pepperoni Extreme pizza with sausage added.  Our server talked us into ordering it with hand tossed crust instead of the normal thick, deep dish crust.  This turned out to be a mistake.  The pizza was good, and there was a ton of pepperoni on it, but the thicker crust would have evened out the flavor more.

The Pizookie -- you might need a cigarette afterwards

The Pizookie — you might need a cigarette afterwards

Now, let’s get serious.  I hope many of you give BJ’s a shot if you haven’t done so already.  And we normally are not big dessert connoisseurs – we have found it hard to maintain our sweet figures if we eat too much of them.  However, if you go to BJ’s and do not order a Pizookie, then you are seriously damaged.  Think of a huge, perfectly cooked, warm, soft cookie – sounds good, right?  Now throw some ice cream on that!  Pow!  Pizookie.  Enjoy.

High marks:  Great cocktails and beer, Pizookie so good you’ll need to go to confession

Low marks:  Pizza needs deep dish crust

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Value:  Grade B:  You will get pretty generous portion sizes at BJ’s, and since I know you are going to follow my advice and order a Pizookie, plan on leaving stuffed.  If you have the will power to go to BJ’s Brewhouse and just get an entrée and appetizer, your wallet will be pretty happy with you.  You are also no fun.  If you give in to temptation (like we always do) and add a couple (or half dozen) drinks to the tab, and you can get a little pricey.  BJ’s drinks are not cheap, but they’re awesome, so you’ll have to decide for yourself if theyre worth it.  We think they are.

High marks:   Generous portions, good food

Low marks:   Adding drinks and dessert will drive your bill up

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