We recently ate at the BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse on Wolf Road as a dining companion wanted to try it out. Right off the bat I want to point out that 3 of us don’t drink beer and the 4th didn’t order beer, so I guess you know I can only report on the food. With that out of the way, let’s carry on.
Given the presence of extra guests, I don’t have any photos to share, but for most items whatever photo you can find online should be representative, the presentation was quite decent. This was a moderately, but not excessively, busy Sunday evening.
With no pictures or really an interesting thread through our meal, enjoy the following workmanlike description of the meal below:
Beverages: Like I said, no one ordered their beers or housemade sodas. I got a drink that looked pretty tasty, a “sunset peach iced tea”. It was rather terrible. Just iced tea with a strong shot of those weird flavorings they use for drinks at bars sometimes. Really fake. I’m never thrilled about spending over $3 on an iced tea that I don’t want to even finish.
Orders: I got the mandarin orange-glazed pork chop that came with two sides, so I got the green beans and chicken tortilla soup, since you can pick soups as one of your sides. The soup came out first and alone since no one else got anything soup or salad-y. It was terrible. Like, really bad. For starters, it had a handful of cilantro in it. Cilantro? In chicken tortilla soup? Apparently. You may note that the menu photos do not show a handful of cilantro. One plus to cilantro, if you hate it, is that it doesn’t tend to flavor things it’s thrown into. If you can pick it out, you’re ok. Well, I picked and picked and picked until I had a ring of cilantro around the bowl. And avacado. Not a fan, but I did pick out those few pieces, not offended by those. I was left with a thick smear of ‘soup’ in the bottom of the bowl containing some tortilla strips and corn. Maybe there was a little chicken in it. If there was, I missed it. I scraped up most of the 1/2 inch or so of soup and tried it, it tasted like nothing except for where I didn’t get all the cilantro. That tasted entirely of cilantro.
*sigh* OK. So, so far I’ve had a lousy drink and disgusting, useless soup. At a restaurant my wife and I would never have picked. It was going great.
But wait! Come back! It’s all uphill from here!
Not even kidding. The extremely thick, tomahawk cut pork chop was amazing. No lie, probably the best pork chop I’ve ever had, certainly top 2 or 3. It was cooked perfectly, quite the feat for such a thick cut of pork on the bone (like 2 inches thick). It was juicy, as in cut it and see the liquid bead up on the cut surface. And, while well done pork is no longer the rule (I was not asked how I wanted it cooked), it was a uniform pale throughout with just a hint of pink from the bone as I cut the last scraps from the bone. The orange glaze was present in a quantity that was just enough to flavor every bite, I was concerned with that massive slab of pork it would only flavor the top and the rest would be dry and blech. It was neither. There was enough on top to cut a slice and dab some off the top if it wasn’t already on the bite. The sauce had a sweet vibrancy. You could have knocked me over with a feather or whatever the saying is after I tasted this given how negative I was feeling before it arrived at the table. The green beans, roasted or dry pan fried, were fine. They needed some salt and pepper, but then were fine, cooked through but still quite crisp. I ate every scrap on my plate, stopping short only of gnawing the bone. Our server said she thought it was the best thing on the menu and it was super popular and they often run out. She is not wrong. This was fantastic.
Obviously not as much detail about the other orders, but briefly:
My wife ordered a turkey burger with a sweet potato fries upgrade. It was good and she ate everything…maybe left a couple of fries? But it got a thumbs up.
Guest one is occasionally nitpicky at restaurants and I was a little worried when she went for the Enlightened (lighter fare) Mediterranean Chicken Pita Tacos. Two tacos that come with a little crock of “seasonal bistro grains”. She ate every scrap. So I guess that got a thumbs up, too.
Guest two usually manages to order something weird and then doesn’t always like it. He went for the New Orleans Jambalaya, because of course he did. Well, he put down half of the heaping pile of chicken, shrimp, sausage, etc. and brought the rest home. He said it was rather spicy, but I don’t think he has much of a tolerance for spice, so take that with a grain of salt. Fourth thumbs up.
And there you go. I started out ready to trash the everloving snot out of this place (not before starting, but after the start of the meal), but our entrees completely rocked and mine was one of the best I’ve had in a while that wasn’t lamb-based. The menu is pretty extensive and ranges from seafood to steak to burgers to pizza, so pretty much something for everyone. Service was OK and friendly. I don’t know that we’ll return by choice, but BJ’s is recommended.