BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse

Okay, okay, I know, a chain restaurant. But it was pretty good. Our group decided on the Quail Springs location on Memorial between May and Penn, and the food was all decent quality though I didn’t spot too many stand out menu items on this visit. We went with a fairly large group of friends so we were able to order and try many dishes this evening, which was good because the menu is fairly large. If you are looking for a well made pizza or burger they can take care of that for you. Of the multitude of dishes we attempted to eat this evening, a few standouts for me were the chicken wontons and the avocado egg rolls, both fairly small dishes.

We managed to get both the buffalo wing and the spicy Thai style chicken wontons, both of which are filled with roasted chicken and a creamy, cheesy filling. The Thai chicken wontons were well seasoned with a curry and ginger filling and just a tad spicy, and were accompanied by a sweet chili sauce. My favorite dish actually came off the appetizer menu and that was the avocado egg rolls, egg roll wrappers filled with chopped avocado and cream cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, red onions, cilantro, pine nuts,  and chipotle seasoning with a sweet and tangy tamarind sauce on the side.

The pizza’s are well made and good size to split with one other person, though you might have to ration if you wanted to share with any more. But with the various options and flavors available ordering more than one might be a good idea. The sizes of portions varied wildly from what I saw; the hamburgers and sandwiches were enormous while some specialty plates looked as if they would need back-up in order to be considered filling, so I would suggest asking your server as to the actual size of a dish if you are unsure what to expect.

Where BJ’s does seem to excel is behind the bar. They have an extensive list of beers, with a separate menu dedicated to Belgian brews alone, as well as eight to ten micro-brews available seasonally. My suggestion is to try the beer and then stay for some food. The desserts are okay, in my opinion, neither good nor bad. They push their specialty desert, the Pizooki, which is a large cookie with different sweet toppings done up like a pizza, and they are an alright end to a meal, though I can think of many other places to pick up desserts that are far better. The wait staff was friendly and managed to keep our orders straight and get it out to us in a timely manner, even with such a large group of people. I will warn you that this place is not good for conversation–it is loud. High ceilings, large spaces, and stucco wall treatments make for some serious echo issues, and they crank up the music to compensate. As a chain restaurant it does a little better than some of its competition in the quality department and is not without its own merits, but expect to pay a higher premium for that quality as well.

BJ's Brewhouse