BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse
I first went to BJ's a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, and decided it was time to go back (Roseville, CA location). First off, it is NOT Chicago-style pizza, but it is very good pizza none the less. The wait to get a table was somewhat outrageous (1 hour at 7:30 PM in the 'burbs), but there were numerous large parties ahead of us. Somehow, the place is very popular with parties of 20-30 people. However, after watching the Kings lose in the bar, it was time to eat.
I ordered the small pizza with pepperoni, Italian sausage, and roasted garlic. I followed a highly recommended tip to request no tomatoes and extra sauce. The pizzas come with little sauce and diced roma tomatoes on top. Now I abhorr vegetables on my pizza, but I have heard a lot of people complaining about the romas too. My friend had the Blackened Chicken Pasta. My berry cider helped me forget about the Kings' loss, and was mighty tasty as well. Amazingly, BJ's has won awards in the California State Fair for their beer.
The food arrived quickly and I was sure that the server would screw up my pizza, but it came out perfect. I love this pizza! The extra sauce did the trick. It is a pan pizza with an excellent crust, and the cheese on top of the toppings (or middlings?). Everything worked well together, especially for a garlic lover like me. My friend also enjoyed her meal, but not nearly as much as me. Her chicken was done well, but there was too much pasta in the bowl for her to finish. She was hoping for some true Cajun spice, but ended up with suburban spice instead. She did note that the stuffed potatoes were good, and I can attest to the good burgers - especially the sinful Sourdough Burger on grilled parmesan sourdough bread (medium rare for a complete - but tasty - mess).
We ordered a Pizookie for dessert, 1/2 chocolate chunk, 1/2 white chocolate macadamia nut. The dish came right out of the oven, slightly undercooked, but it worked well with the ice cream on top. I like my cookies gooey, so the combination worked nicely. Overall, I can understand why the wait was SO long, and will likely return. Pizza and burgers are king, but there are a couple of gems on the menu to appeal to the rest of the group. Only go if you are into pizza or burgers and beer, but isn't everybody?
I'm a big fan of BJ's and everyone I've taken there has become a fan. I go strictly for the pizza so I can't comment on the entrees. I LOVE the pizza! Especially the BBQ chicken pizza.
I've tried a few of the appetizers and the chili cheese fries are great also.
But don't miss out on the Pizzookie (spelling?). It's awesome if you love warm gooey chocolate cookies and ice cream. Mmmmmmm.
Actually I think the best thing on the menu is the chili. The sandwiches and pastas are pretty miserable and I'm not a fan of pizza that is mostly bread dough. I do like their Nutty Brunette (or something like that), their version of Newcastle Brown. And of course who could hate a Pizookie. They do always emphasize enthusiastic and friendly service.
a new one opened up recently near me in St Pete Florida, and I have to say I thought the Porter and Stout were horrible, way to sweet and practically undrinkable. the food was ok but they lost my pizza, they were very nice about it and offered me a salad on the house while I waited for a new one to be made,
I had lunch once at the BJ's in Foster City, CA. I found their jambalaya was pretty tasty and packed a good amount of spiciness that builds as the meal progresses.
However, I've been to the BJ's in Foster City and nearby San Bruno many times over for their happy hour, which is one of the better ones around. Mini pizzas are half price, $2 off all their appetizer list and $1 off pints of beer (so $3 per pint, instead of the usual $4). Pizzas are fine, the other apps are no better or worse than the typical wings/chicken tenders/potato skins/etc. you find everywhere.
BJs started here in Orange County, CA and I happen to know one of the two guys who LBO'ed it years ago and are responsible for it's growth. You couldn't hope to meet a nicer person and it's great to see their success. I always tease him because he's actually FROM Chicago but you're right that the pizza is deep dish but not really Chicago. I've been to Gino's Uno and Due..... not the same thing at all.
But it does get the job done. And the beer is pretty good too. They have a couple of chopped salads that are terrific as well. And they still give a portion of the tab for the Pizookie to charity (especially to Multiple Sclerosis). Nice place, nice people.
The only compalint I have about the place is the wait. Wherever they are there's a wait which is generally longer than the other 'wait-challlenged' chain here 'Claim Jumper'.
Their blackened salmon is also very good. A friend of mine told me that they have the best steak for the money. I haven't tried it yet, but will order it the next time I'm there.
For a pizookie type dessert, I think the cookie at ESPN Zone is a little better since it comes with hot fudge and whipped cream.
I have only been to the B.J.'s in Summerlin NV, even though we have one here in NE Phoenix. I have friends that live in the area that keep insisting that I meet them there for dinner. I have had the fish tacos and was pleasantly suprised how light they were...served w/ a side of crisp shredded cabbage.
Last visit we ordered 2 large pizzas...and a salad....
The pizza was terrific. We did keep it simple ...one pizza was pepperoni and sausage the other mushroom and black olive.....
I would definitely reccomend the pizza........
I may have to try the B.J.'s closer to home next time!