Thursday, July 23, 2015

Restaurant Review: BJ's Brewhouse

BJ's Brewhouse - lunch on June 7, 2015
BJ’s is one of those All-American restaurants we go to regularly so these pictures aren’t from one meal but multiple visits. Although they have a fairly diverse menu from sandwiches and salads to pastas and fish tacos to pizzas and burgers, in my mind, they’re mostly known for their deep dish pizzas and their pizzookies (more to follow on the pizzookies).
Their pizzas are my favorite kind: deep dish. The crust is amazing, particularly the whole wheat; you can order any of their specials with its predetermined set of toppings or build your own. As with most pizza parlors, they’re obliging enough to grant half and half orders on toppings, for an additional charge. My favorite is the Canadian Bacon and Pineapple Pizza but their BBQ Chicken is good as well. I don’t think I’ve had a bad pizza at BJ’s.
Avocado Egg Rolls
If you opt out of the pizza and prefer a burger or sandwich which comes with an option for steak fries or crispy thin-cut fries, go with the thin-cut fries. They’re nice and crunchy on the outside and mealy on the inside as all good French fries should be. It almost doesn’t matter what sandwich or burger you get as long as you get the fries. My only bad experience at BJ’s was with a turkey burger. They cooked it to within an inch of its life so it had the taste and texture of cardboard that no self-respecting turkey would endorse. Fortunately I had a plate of fries to help me get over it.
Sirloin and Fries

Now let’s talk about the pizzookies. I think BJ’s offers other desserts besides the pizzookie but I can’t tell you what they are or how they taste because I only ever get a pizzookie for dessert. In fact, most of the time when I opt to go to BJ’s, it’s because I want a pizzookie. The ironic part is they’re so easy to make and I can make them on my own but that doesn’t detract from my enjoyment of them when I’m at BJ’s. All you need to make a pizzookie is a small baking dish, your favorite cookie dough and, the most important part, vanilla ice cream. This is the one and only time you want a cookie dough that spreads. After years and years of baking experiments to get a cookie that doesn’t spread and stays thick and chubby, all that goes out the window when I make pizzookies.

You want the dough to spread so that it fills the pan. You don’t want the cookie or pizzookie to be too thick (or too thin). You want just the right amount so when you top it with ice cream, you get the right proportion of warm cookie and cold ice cream together. I know some people don’t like blending textures and temperatures together. If you’re that person, the pizzookie is not for you. If you’re like me and not only do you enjoy the warm and the cold together but you’re also a fast eater (so the ice cream doesn’t have time to melt too much over the warm cookie), you need to have a pizzookie. 
Chocolate Chip Pizzookie
BJ’s offers a variety of flavors for the pizzookie: there’s the traditional semisweet chocolate chip, there’s white chocolate macadamia, chocolate chocolate with Oreos, red velvet (not sure if that’s still on the menu but I think so) and their most recent addition is a new favorite: salted caramel chocolate chip pizzookie with pretzels baked inside the cookie for some additional crunch and a little salt to offset the sweet. All topped with ice cream. There’s no point in having a pizzookie without the ice cream.
White Chocolate Chunk Pizzookie
It’s also worth mentioning that although I’ve gone to several different BJ’s restaurants at different times in different locations, I’ve never had bad service there. Sometimes the wait is a little long to be seated and served, especially if you come during popular game day times since it’s basically a chain sports bar with good food, but the wait staff has been universally very pleasant and efficient. 
Salted Caramel Pretzel Chocolate Chip Pizzookie

No comments:

Post a Comment